DAP: Election fiasco an embarrassment

Party chairman Karpal Singh dismissed talk that the technical glitch was a way to bring in a elected Malay CEC member.

Athi Shankar, FMT

National chairman Karpal Singh was frank that the technical glitch that caused miscalculations of party election results at the 16th DAP National Congress in Penang on Dec 15 was a “bona fide error.”

He said such electoral technical glitch was unprecedented in DAP’s history and expressed hopes it would not recur in future.

He however, dismissed criticisms that the fiasco had undermined the party credibility and that DAP was no longer qualified to criticise the Election Commission.

“It was unwarranted criticisms … party credibility is intact.It was a bona fide error, an honest mistake.

“But of course I admit it was a political embarrassment to us.We accept it,” Karpal told reporters at his office.

Despite mounting criticisms against the party over the fiasco, Karpal said the public would eventually understand that the DAP had “made right the wrong” and was open about it.

“The CEC unanimously supported the decision to reveal the issue publicly.No CEC members objected and no one wanted to keep it away from the public eye,” said the Bukit Gelugor MP.

Due to the technical “schoolboy” error, candidate Zairil Khir Johari who initially received 305 votes in the contest for 20 elected positions in the central executive committee (CEC) has now garnered 803 votes.

The latest count put him in the automatic 20th elected position of CEC, the DAP’s supreme decision-making body.

Vincent Wu Him Ven, who was initially elected to CEC at joint 5th position with 1,202 votes, has now only 669 votes and is in 26th position.

But he has been re-appointed into the CEC as a co-opted member.

Zairil is party secretary general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s political secretary.

He is also the state-sponsored research body, Penang Institute, chief executive officer.

Karpal dismissed cynical views that the the “technical glitch” was a leadership manipulation to bring in Zairil as an elected Malay CEC member.

“There was no sinister motive attributed to the error.It’s not a way to bring in an elected Malay member into the CEC … not the reason,” clarified Karpal.