Umno-BN hatched ‘author’ in new anti-DAP plot, says Kit Siang

(MM) – Lim Kit Siang suggested today that a Father Augustus Chen, who is said to be the author of a booklet alleging irregularities in the DAP polls last year, is a fictitious character created by Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) as part of their anti-DAP campaign.

The DAP veteran said the 16-page booklet, released mid-June, was penned to provide “justification” for the Registrar of Societies (RoS) to invalidate his party’s polls outcome and call for fresh election.

“I was at first perplexed why the booklet of lies by the fictitious ‘Father Augustus Chen’ appeared last month as the 13th general election is over, but now I understand its appearance — to provide a semblance of justification for Umno/BN and the RoS to act against the DAP,” Lim (picture) said in a statement.

The Gelang Patah MP pointed out that it was Umno minister Datuk Hasan Malek who had cited the alleged irregularities as purportedly revealed in Chen’s booklet in justifying the RoS’s decision last week.

Hasan, the Kuala Pilah MP, was quoted as saying in a New Sunday Times report yesterday that instead of lashing out at detractors, Lim should blame Chen for exposing the alleged presence of 547 “illegal delegates” who were present during polling for the party’s central executive committee (CEC) polls.

But Lim said that Hasan’s move to cite Chen’s booklet as an authority for the RoS’s decision showed that the alleged anti-DAP conspiracy by Umno and BN has now been taken to an “absolutely bizarre” level.

He labelled Chen a “total figment of imagination” of Umno and BN’s anti-DAP campaign and insisted that the allegations made in the June booklet were merely more of the same lies that had already been published since January in some 400 mainstream media reports.

“However, the fact that this booklet by a fictitious character was given such a high profile in the Umno/BN-controlled media, published in four languages in Bahasa Malaysia, English, Chinese and Tamil, and distributed in huge quantities for free and general distribution, point to a high-powered and well-funded source — Umno/BN ‘war-room psy-war’ campaign to demonise and destroy the DAP,” he said.

Questions over the DAP’s status have been dragging on for nearly half a year following party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s disclosure on January 4 that an internal audit had showed errors in the tabulation of votes in the December 15, 2012 party elections.

He said the counting error was caused by a technical glitch when the results were transferred to a computer using the Microsoft Excel programme.

The amendments resulted in the Penang chief minister’s political secretary, Zairil Khir Johari, moving up from 39th position to 20th ― taking the last elected position in the party’s CEC.

Following complaints by some members, the RoS began investigations that at one point led to fears that the party would be unable to use its logo in Election 2013.

But the RoS later confirmed the validity of the DAP CEC’s appointment letters to candidates, which enabled the party to field its candidates in the general election under its rocket symbol.

In a letter dated July 30, the RoS said it found the DAP’s explanation on the “tabulation error” of its CEC elections unsatisfactory.

The brief contents of the letter, however, heightened suspicions of bias within the party, which was already bristling at the government’s reaction following Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s early remarks on the matter.

Zahid was reported by Sin Chew Daily as saying that the RoS was dissatisfied with the DAP’s explanation for the counting mistake and the party would be directed to hold its internal polls again.

According to the Chinese-language paper, Ahmad Zahid, who is also an Umno vice-president, said he would not interfere in RoS matters.

This led the DAP to suggest that the RoS was being used to manipulate the opposition party’s internal affairs at the behest of the ruling BN.

The DAP has since refused to accept the RoS’s decision and formally submitted a letter demanding that it justify its reason for directing it to call for fresh polls.