‘Tunku Aziz is lying’

Karpal Singh says he had never issued an edict prohibiting DAP members from accepting awards from Malay rulers.

Athi Shankar, FMT

DAP national chairman Karpal Singh today denied that he had ever issued an edict prohibiting party members from accepting state titles and awards, especially Datukships, from Malay rulers, as alleged by former party vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim (pic).

He blasted Tunku Aziz for “lying publicly” and demanded an immediate retraction of his statement published in an English daily article yesterday.

Karpal insisted that he had only told party leaders, assemblymen and MPs not to accept Datukships or, state titles or awards, as long they were active in politics.

He said the party rule was DAP leaders and members can accept such titles and awards after retirement from active politics.

“The statement by Tunku Aziz attributing my having issued what amounts to an edict prohibiting DAP members from accepting awards from Malay rulers is certainly a half-truth.

“It was perpetrated for the sole purpose and objective of putting me in bad light in the eyes of the Malays in the country.

“I consider this an exceptionally sharp and unkind cut devoid of justification.

“I have never mentioned Malay rulers. Tunku Aziz has lied.

“He should publicly withdraw his statement,” Karpal, the two-term Bukit Gelugor parliamentarian read out his statement to newsmen here today.

Expressing shocked over Tunku Aziz’s statement, he said DAP had considered the ex-vice-chairman as a paragon of virtue and man of integrity after having presided over the Transparency International Malaysian Chapter.

But now, Karpal said the transparency of Tunku Aziz was more than suspect due to his poisonous and obnoxious utterances against DAP.

“He should cease and desist from attacking DAP and its leaders,” said Karpal.

Facing the CEC

He said the policy of not to accept Datukships, any state titles or awards so long as DAP leaders were still active in politics and public duties was a long standing party principle constituted back in 1990s.

The rule was reaffirmed when Perak chairman Ngeh Koo Ham and Selangor Assembly Speaker Teng Chang Khim accepted Datukships in their respective states after the 2008 general election

Nonetheless they were given a dressing down during a central executive committee (CEC) meeting for serious breach of ethics.

“At the conclusion of a CEC meeting, Tunku Aziz had come up to state that it would be better for the CEC to resolve the issue from then onwards that Datukships ought not to be accepted and leave Ngeh and Teng alone,” recalled Karpal.

Since then, he said no one had accepted Datukships, or any state titles or awards, including himself, senior leaders Dr Chen Man Hin and Lim Kit Siang, and Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng.

“Penang government is with us. We could have easily accepted all awards. But we didn’t,” pointed out Karpal.

In Penang, the DAP-led Pakatan Rakyat state government had honoured former Bukit Mertajam MP the late Chian Heng Kai, former Batu Lanchang assembly the late Tan Loo Jit and former Berapit assemblyman Wong Hang Yoke with Datukships.

“All three had retired from active politics,” clarified Karpal.

He warned party leaders and elected representatives to observe the “no to state titles and award” rule strictly or else they would pay penalty for breach of party code of conduct.

“They would be disciplined,” he warned.