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"What will happen to Dr. Hiew King Cheu and YB Jimmy Wong of Sabah?

GEORGE TOWN: DAP national chairman Karpal Singh today warned certain party leaders against becoming political warlords by circumventing the leadership to promise and announce seats for their cronies on their own accord.

He said that no party leader or even member has the right to bypass the party top decision-making body, the central executive committee (CEC), to allot seats for their cronies.

“No one has the authority to choose or announce candidates and seats.

“Only the top leadership has the rightful privilege to do so,” Karpal, the Bukit Gelugor MP, told FMT here today.

Firing a broadside against Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy, Karpal stressed that the party would not hesitate to take stern disciplinary action against the “warlords”.

“There is no room for warlords in DAP.

“The party never had warlords and will never entertain it in future,” he said.

He was commenting on a recent vernacular newspaper article quoting Ramasamy, a CEC member, as saying that the party had decided to field three Indian women – D Kamachi, Kasturi (daughter of the late DAP stalwart P Patto) , and an unknown lawyer from Penang, Mangleswari.

Ramasamy was also quoted as saying that parliamentarians M Kulasegaran (Ipoh Barat), Charles Santiago (Klang) and M Manogaran, and assemblyman A Sivanesan (Sungkai) were virtually certain of contesting in the coming general election.

According to the article, Ramasamy, the Penang DAP deputy chief, has also claimed that he would re-contest both his Prai state and Batu Kawan federal seats.

This has irked Karpal who has repeatedly said that the DAP would field one candidate for one seat in the next polls, albeit minor exemptions to the rule.

Dismissing Ramasamy’s claim that the party had given him the green light to contest both seats, Karpal said the CEC was yet to decide on party candidates and their seats for the next general election.

He also pointed out that current incumbent elected representatives do not even have the luxury to choose their seat in next polls.

He said the incumbents would even be dropped altogether if found to be incompetent.

He added that it was for the CEC to decide on candidates and their seats based on performance and winning credentials.

One exemption

One exemption to the “one man-one seat” rule, however, is that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng would be allowed to contest both in state and parliamentary seats.

For time being, Karpal said the chief minister needed to be a MP to raise state issues in Parliament.

Another exemption will be applied in Sabah and Sarawak due to lack of credible candidates.

“Elsewhere, a person can only contest one seat,” said Karpal.

The one man-one seat decision, which has been agreed on principle by the CEC and backed by many party members, would affect at least five current double-seat elected representatives.

Apart from Ramasamy, the others are Penang DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow (Tanjung MP and Padang Kota assemblyman), Perak DAP chairman Ngeh Koo Ham (Beruas MP and Sitiawan assemblyman) and secretary Nga Kor Ming (Taiping MP and Pantai Remis assemblyman), and Teresa Kok Suh Sim (Seputeh MP and Kinrara assemblywoman).

Karpal said the double-seat incumbents were not privileged to decide on which seat to omit and which to contest.

“It’s the CEC, the party supreme decision-making body, which decides.

“Hence, no one shall act like a warlord and make premature announcements,” Karpal said in a pointed reference to Ramasamy.

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