DAP leaders, grassroots affirm party is ‘for all’

Images of party leaders, grassroots holding placards stating ‘DAP is for all of us’ circulating on social media.

Images circulated on social media yesterday of DAP leaders Lim Kit Siang and secretary-general Lim Guan Eng holding placards that read “DAP is for all of us” together with grassroots has raised the eyebrows of many.

The photos invited speculation if the party was organising a flash mob following a dispute over the course taken as a multiracial party.

“DAP is for all of us,” tweeted DAP’s Selangor executive councillor Ng Sze Han yesterday, together with two group images featuring leaders and party members holding placards at a field.

“This was not a flashmob nor an assembly. It was just a regular meeting between the leaders and grassroots members. The (party) leaders travel all around the country to meet the grassroots.

“We were having a luncheon in Shah Alam yesterday, and it was planned one week ago. We also celebrated Kit Siang’s (belated) 80th birthday and the Vaisakhi festival,” Ng told Malaysiakini when contacted.

Grassroots and DAP leader holding placards that read “DAP is for all of us’

DAP deputy chairperson Gobind Singh Deo and Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim were also spotted in the images.

Ng, who is also Selangor DAP treasurer, said Kit Siang, Guan Eng and Gobind spoke on the party’s identity as a multiracial party and that the party does not belong to one particular ethnic during the luncheon.

“Later, we decided to take a group picture outside the restaurant,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ng’s colleague in the state executive council, V Ganabatirau, said the get-together luncheon was organised by the Kota Raja parliamentary liaison committee one week ago and was able to secure the attendance of 70 members from 17 branches in Selangor.

“I don’t want to get into the tussle where certain people said (DAP’s) identity should be maintained or it should be opened to everyone. The DAP I joined is a party for all Malaysians,” he said.

Ganabatirau said the placards were prepared by the Kota Raja parliamentary liaison committee chief V Pappa Raidu “to show no one (race) is super in the party and the party represents everyone”.

“The placards were in response to the argument in social media, in which some quarters kept on calling DAP a Chinese chauvinist party, a party that helps only Chinese.

“While we were having lunch, Raidu brought (the placards) from a nearby office. Since the leaders and members were there, so why not we show our support to the leadership,” he said.

Ganabatirau, who is part of the Kota Raja parliamentary liaison committee, said the grassroots wanted to lend their support amidst an alleged movement to oust Kit Siang, calling him to take a rest.

Conflicts in DAP are starting to resurface as the party prepares for its national congress and the central executive committee (CEC) election in June.

DAP central committee member Ronnie Liu was criticised by Damansara MP Tony Pua and Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh for urging the party not to “dilute its Chineseness”.

By : KOW GAH CHIE – MALAYSIAKINI

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