Teng has still a bright future in DAP if he
can learn the lessons of his DAP Youth election defeat
by Lim Kit Siang
After the opening of the 13th DAP National Conference at the Federal Hotel,
Kuala Lumpur, yesterday, I was asked by three or four reporters about the
DAP Youth elections the previous day, but my comments came out in many other
As some of the reports were not very correct, having got it second-hand, I
am putting the record straight to avoid any misunderstanding or
Asked to comment on the allegation by former DAPSY leader Teng Chang Khim
that certain central executive committee members had conspired to oust him,
causing his defeat and unable to make it to the 20-member DAPSY national
executive council, I said I did not know who Teng was referring to. If he
was referring to the DAP Secretary-General, Kerk Kim Hock, then the question
should be directed to Kerk. In the past three years, Kerk had been taking
the "big and small" decisions in the party.
However, if Teng was referring to me, then I may have to take certain
responsibility. In the 2001 DAP Central Executive Committee elections, I
openly asked the delegates to vote for Teng, but I did not do so in the
DAPSY elections on Saturday.
Some press reports about the DAPSY elections make surprising reading, as for
instance the Star headline today "DAP youth team ousted - Teng and his
committee of 20 lose for going against leadership" giving the public the
impression of massive blood-letting in the party.
I checked with the newly elected DAPSY leaders and was informed that out of
the 14 incumbent leaders from the old DAPSY committee who contested in the
elections on Saturday, nine were re-elected. This gives the lie to the
newspaper headline that the old committee of 20 had been ousted when the
majority had been re-elected.
From the DAPSY election results, it is clear that there were basically two
groups who voted according to their respective choice. It is a good sign
however that the first 10 elected DAPSY committee members had the support of
both groups, securing from 84 to 113 votes. The second group of ten elected
DAPSY committee members, securing 65 to 76 votes, clearly had support from
only one group and were all denied support from Teng's group.
Teng's group of three candidates did not get the support of the other group
and did not get elected.
While it is most positive that at least half of the 20 DAPSY committee
members had the support of all the delegates, regardless of group, it is sad
that the DAP MP for Batu Gajah, Fong Poh Kuan should be regarded as
belonging to one group and denied the support of one group - which is most
unfair to the youngest DAP MP who was suspended from Parliament without pay
for six months for having the courage and principle to speak out
unflinchingly against injustice.
Now that the DAPSY elections are over, this is the time for all the DAP
youth leaders to come together to face the challenges of the movement and
the party as one united and solid force.
I have always appreciated Teng's talents and capabilities, and this was why
he was appointed Opposition Leader of the Selangor State Assembly after the
1995 general election, and was the only DAP candidate in Selangor in the
1999 general election to contest both parliamentary and state seats in the
state - despite the opposition of the Selangor DAP leaders and the
resolution of the Selangor DAP in 1995 that DAP candidates in Selangor
should contest only one seat, either Parliament or State Assembly.
Teng has still a bright future in
DAP if he can learn the lessons of his DAPSY election defeat, as to why he
could be so unpopular in the youth movement which he had led for more than
Lim Kit Siang, DAP National