For Karpal’s sake, no nepotism please

Kua Kia Soong

After lionizing the tiger of Jelutong as the paragon of democracy, the worst thing we can do to his legacy is to associate him with nepotism.

His rather naïve biographer may have thought he was doing Karpal a favour by claiming that Karpal’s wish was for his son to be the candidate in the Bukit Gelugor by-election.

But it is a grave mistake if Karpal’s reputation is to be soiled with traces of nepotism, the antithesis of democracy.

There is no place for nepotism in our democratic system, especially in DAP which has pledged to a more egalitarian society in which leaders are supposed to be selected based on merit and character, rather than their parents’ net worth.

This compulsive desire to promote the interests of one’s children is nefarious to the health of an organization and society in general.

Only through a system of fairness and justice, led by competent and inspiring leaders will theorganisation grow.

At the heart of democracy lies the installation of a proper system of leaders by election or selection.

Karpal’s son, if he is eligible to be selected to be the candidate for Bukit Gelugor, should not be denied his opportunity. At the same time, his selection based solely on his relationship as the son of Karpal Singh is unadulterated nepotism and should have no place in a truly democratic organisation.

The DAP has been racked by allegations of nepotism in the past which has led to acrimonious party factional strife which continues unabated.

Such a taint of nepotism should not be allowed to sully the legacy of the Tiger of Jelutong as the uncompromising exemplar of democratic principles.

The DAP selection committee should be allowed to freely choose the best candidate for the by-election based on merit of their leaders across the required criteria of selection.

I, for one, can hear Karpal’s trenchant voice insisting that,

“The statement by my biographer should have no material consequence on this matter. No consequence at all! Now as for the selection of the candidate for Bukit Gelugor, may the best candidate win…”

Kua Kia Soong is a former DAP member and ex-elected rep of the party. He is now an advisor to Suaram.