‘Who is she to question Karpal?’

The cracks in DAP continue to widen ahead of the polls, with M Manoharan launching a broadside against Teresa Kok for her ‘outburst’ against Karpal.

Athi Shankar, FMT

“Who is she to question Karpal Singh?” thundered a DAP leader who took Selangor exco Teresa Kok to task for being rude.

Kota Alam Shah assemblyman M Manoharan demanded that the DAP national organising secretary apologise to the veteran politician, who is also the party’s national chairman.

He said Kok’s “media outburst” with regard to Karpal’s statement on the “one man – one seat” issue was uncalled for.

Being the party’s Selangor chief and national organising secretary, he said Kok should know that Karpal as the DAP supremo had the right to announce the party’s public policies.

He said Kok had no right to question Karpal’s media statements on the “one man – one seat” issue, which had become a major political topic among party leaders and members at all levels.

He said Kok should always remember that Karpal was among the senior leaders responsible for the party’s political strength and growth over the years.

“She should retract her criticisms immediately and apologise to Karpal,” Manoharan told FMT.

Last Friday, Karpal called on the party’s nine double-hat wearers, who are both a parliamentarian and an assemblyman, to declare publicly that they would opt for only one seat in the next general election.

In other words, Karpal wanted them to show support to the proposed “one man – one seat” electoral formula.

Karpal, who first proposed the formula early last year, argued that the party now had enough capable and dynamic young grassroots leaders as candidates, unlike in previous elections.

But Kok, a double-seat holder herself, chided Karpal for highlighting “an old story” in the media.

The other DAP elected representatives who are both MPs and assemblymen are Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (Bagan MP and Air Putih assemblyman), Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy (Batu Kawan MP and Prai assemblyman) and the state senior exco and party chief Chow Kon Yeow (Tanjung MP and Padang Kota assemblyman), all in Penang; Beruas MP and Sitiawan assemblyman Ngeh Koo Ham, Taiping MP and Pantai Remis assemblyman Nga Kor Ming, both Perak; and Rasah MP and Lobak assemblyman Anthony Loke Siew Fook (Negeri Sembilan).

In Sarawak, state DAP chairman Wong Ho Leng is the Sibu MP and Bukit Assek assemblyman while state party secretary Chong Chieng Jen is the Bandar Kuching MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman.

‘She was neither here nor there’

Manoharan, who supported the “one man – one seat” proposal, said dual seat holders should put public and party interests above their own interests by accepting Karpal’s formula.

He said double-hat wearers should not draw multiple perks while dishing out poor performance as elected representatives at the expense of other single seat representatives and taxpayers.

At a glance, double-seat holders earn nearly RM40,000 per month.

In Selangor, an assemblyman’s pay is about RM11,700, inclusive of allowances, while that of an executive councillor is about RM25,000 (inclusive of state assembly pay). A MP earns about RM15,000 a month.

Manoharan recalled that during the recent July parliamentary sitting, which coincided with the Selangor state assembly session, Kok was unable to perform her duties efficiently as a senior exco, state representative and parliamentarian.

“She was neither here nor there. She was missing most of the assembly sittings,” he claimed.

Manoharan said he was now fighting a court case against the demolishment of a Hindu temple – Seafield Maha Mariamman Kovil – which comes under Kok’s Kinrara constituency.

“The temple management told me that it had been difficult to get even an appointment to meet Kok and resolve the demolishment issue amicably,” he said.

He said Kok was not able to divide and devote her time for her constituents partly because she was a MP and an assemblywoman in two different territories.