Ramasamy, Karpal spat far from over

(New Straits Times) – The high-powered committee formed to resolve a dispute between DAP chairman Karpal Singh and Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy may like to think it has resolved the problem, but the issue is far from being settled.

Karpal yesterday made it clear that the panel may have come to its own conclusions, but “it was definitely not the end of the matter”.

In a statement faxed to the New Straits Times office here, Karpal said the three-man panel —comprising national adviser Lim Kit Siang, life adviser Dr Chen Man Hin and secretary-general Lim Guan Eng — had “made a quick decision” to solve the issue between him and Ramasamy.

He said while there was no doubt that DAP had to move forward, the party would not tolerate political intimidation from any quarter, referring to the commotion caused  by Ramasamy’s supporters at the Penang DAP convention on Sunday.

It was reported that about 150 people had gathered outside Pearl View Hotel in Prai carrying placards supporting Ramasamy.

The group also condemned two Penang DAP assemblymen — R.S.N. Rayer (Seri Delima) and A. Thanasekaran (Bagan Dalam) — besides throwing jibes at Karpal.

The protesters turned rowdy as soon as Karpal arrived for the convention, and he did not mince his words about what he thought of the group when he started his speech.

There was also a slight commotion during the convention  when a Ramasamy supporter tried to disrupt Karpal’s speech.

Karpal said it was clear that what happened at the convention was disgraceful and could not be allowed to happen again.

“Those responsible for the disturbance in the convention hall and those who organised the demonstration outside the hotel will have to face the disciplinary board.”

“No one, however high in the party hierarchy, will be spared if he is found responsible for organising the demonstration or, in any way, encouraging it.”

He added that other matters requiring solutions would be dealt with through party channels.

Earlier yesterday, Kit Siang, Guan Eng and Dr Chen issued a statement announcing that the issue between Karpal and Ramasamy had been resolved and the party leadership would move forward as a united team to face the 13th general election.    They said Tamil newspaper Makkal Osai had issued a correction of its Nov 28 report quoting Ramasamy on DAP candidates for the  polls.

They said its chief editor, M. Rajan, had issued the correction in the newspaper’s Wednesday edition, which stated that the report had not originated from Ramasamy,  besides expressing sadness that it had caused the public controversy between Karpal and Ramasamy.