Tunku Aziz relieved to be free from ‘tyranny of demagogue’

Tunku Aziz: ‘I am not against the party. I am just against the attitude taken by the party secretary-general.’

(The Star) – A day after he resigned from the DAP, Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim said he trusted party adviser Lim Kit Siang but not his son, secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, whom he described as a “different kettle of fish”.

“A deep sense of relief of being freed from the tyranny of a demagogue,” were among the kinder words that the 78-year-old ex-Bank Negara adviser, who had for many decades been at the forefront of promoting integrity and ethics, had to say of his former party boss.

In an exclusive interview with The Star, Tunku Aziz said Guan Eng did not even “have the decency” to reply to an e-mail he had written over a rebuke the Penang Chief Minister had issued over his comments on Bersih.

“I had offered to resign from the (party) CEC (central executive committee) and after an appropriate and dignified time, also resign from the party if that was the solution needed to bring back harmony into the party.

“But there was no reply. Guan Eng did not write back to me. He did not have the decency to do so. But Kit Siang came to see me twice at my home and hoped that it would not come to that.

“Kit Siang and I are old friends. I trust him but his son is a different kettle of fish,” said Tunku Aziz.

He also revealed that he had also informed the party leadership that he was willing to be hauled up for disciplinary action for what he had said about Bersih 3.0.

“He should have gone ahead and done it but he did nothing. That is the duty of the leader but he did nothing.”

On Bersih, Tunku Aziz pointed out that he objected to the march because he knew it would end the way it did but stressed that he is a staunch supporter of the movement and its call for free and fair elections.

This was why, he said, he objected to the public rebuke against him by Guan Eng after he had made his statement.

“I am not against the party. I am just against the attitude taken by the party secretary-general, particularly when he falsely accused me of going against the party decision to support Bersih. I have always stood for free and fair elections.”

Tunku Aziz said the rebuke gave the impression that what he had said was against the party as well as Bersih and this was why he decided to “withdraw from the party”.

The former Transparency International head for Malaysia also said that a phone call from Guan Eng on Sunday offering a new post sped up his decision to quit.

“I do not know if it was an act of compassion or the need to compensate me for the loss of the senator’s post. He offered me a senior fellowship in the Penang Institute dangling travel as an attraction.

“Then yesterday, Zairil Khir Johari (Guan Eng’s political secretary) called and repeated the offer and stated there was a stipend of RM50,000 to go with it.

“I regard the offer as totally insulting. It came from someone who had no sense of respect. Did he think I was that sort of a person?” said Tunku Aziz, adding that he considered the move as an attempt to bribe him.

“This man has no sense of decency. As a senior person, I think it is biadap (uncouth). This was what really made me decide to announce my resignation. I will not work with this man.”