The Straits Times
Published on Apr 13, 2013

Malaysia GE13: DAP faces inquiry over 'glitch' in internal party election


GEORGE TOWN - Malaysian opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) has been told to attend an inquiry by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) over a snafu that disrupted its internal party elections last year.

A Malaysian Insider report on Saturday quoted DAP national chairman Karpal Singh as saying that the party had received a letter from the ROS asking party representatives to attend the inquiry next Thursday, two days ahead of nomination day for the May 5 general election.

The inquiry concerns party polls last December where a "technical glitch" in the vote count resulted in none of the Malay candidates being elected into its central executive committee (CEC).

A recount was conducted which saw Mr Zairil Khir Johari elected to the CEC with 803 votes compared to 305 in the erroneous results.

However, the CEC lineup remains unchanged after the recount.

The party then conducted audits of the recount, confirming the results of the recount as accurate.

The incident led to some complaints being filed with the ROS.

"We have been requested to supply documents relating to the party elections including notices sent out to delegates during the inquiry," Mr Karpal said in a press conference on Saturday.

"We will supply all the information and documents in support of the party elections in compliance with ROS," he said.

He pointed out that the errors in the party polls were due to a technical glitch so there was no fraud or misrepresentation involved.

"There have been calls for DAP to be deregistered. The deregistration of a party is a serious matter," he was quoted by The Malaysian Insider as saying.

He said the ROS may have the power to deregister a party but this can only be done after an in-depth investigation had been conducted and backed up by solid evidence.

"As the investigation falls on April 18, it is virtually impossible that they will make a decision before April 20, which is the nomination date, so the ROS should refrain from making decisions before then," the incumbent Bukit Gelugor MP said.

Mr Karpal said he was not asking for the inquiry to be postponed but urged the ROS to allow the party to make its case and that both sides, the party and the complainants, should be given space to be heard.

"I am not asking them not to make a decision but they could make the decision after the elections," he said.