An open reply to Jason Chin’s article, “Does the Selangor DAP election mean anything at all?”


Choo Sing Chye

It is tiring to argue subjectively on the merits and demerits of a political party without first knowing its conventions or rules that guide its actions.

If we do this, our arguments will be rendered as opinions rather than a Science. We can argue from dawn to dusk and still not come to any solution or conclusion.

Because opinions are not based on facts and the outcome is always a faulty No-holds-Barred session, argument or write up.

We must remember that there are only a few facts pertaining to any issue as compared to hundreds of opinions.

Unfortunately, the majority of our politicians or for that matter political news commentators employ opinionated viewpoints  to further their arguments.

They argue political issues from a perspective of an artist, who, as we know, has total freedom of choosing whatever scheme of colours, subjects and techniques he/she chooses.

This is Politics without the Science – Politics of Opinions.

Political Science is the study of institutions, types of government, ideologies, democracies, conventions and so forth. And certainly it is not in their profession to analyse how a particular politician stabs someone in the back or doing political mischievous acts.

In your article, “Does the Selangor DAP election mean anything at all?”, you fail to take notice that State DAP elections are based on a Committee model of voting in which delegates vote for their choice of fifteen members whom they think best suited to become  State Committee Members.

You continued: “DAP State elections witnessed Gobind Singh Deo topping polls with the most amounts of votes. Tony Pua came in 8th, 241 votes behind Gobind. Yet, Tony was reappointed as chairman and Gobind as deputy chairman. How does that make any sense?”

Yes Jason, it does not make sense if DAP party elections are position based rather than committee based elections. Incidentally, Jason, DAP party elections are committee based and  there are no rules or conventions to state that a person who got the highest number of votes becomes the chairman.

The first 15 members who received the highest votes are deemed elected as State Committee Members. All these elected State Committee Members are equal, notwithstanding the number of votes they get. And from here, the 15 members will amongst themselves choose the Chairman, Secretary and so forth. This is often referred as the second level voting.

Now compare this to the Westminster Parliamentary System. All elected MPs are deemed equal even though some get a higher majority of votes than others. And from all these equals, they choose a first among them – the Prime Minister.

But nowadays, Prime Ministers are selected by Party delegates and hence, it is often referred as the Prime Ministerial Government.

In your next postulation, “Gobind won the ‘popular vote’ why isn’t he the new chairman? Is the ‘popular vote’ logic only applicable to the general elections when things do not go the DAP way?”

Given the fact that you have mentioned the words “popular vote logic,” it is not wise to use this conceptual term “popular vote”  in two different settings i.e. the General Elections and party elections, as your argument would be made technically invalid  by the science of Logic.

When Logic comes into play, the question of  validity is questioned. And as a consequence, the validity will be put to test if the concept of “popular vote” is seamlessly bundled together with another different form of election.

For an example, in a General Election, millions of popular votes are cast by the voters to vote in MPs or SAs. But, Party elections are closed-door elections which is only open to a few hundred selected delegates; and it is done in a close and composed manner. There is nothing popular or unpopular about the candidates, they are all comrades of the same political creed.

Thus, in Logic, the above is known as the  “fallacy of Division which is the converse of the preceding, and it is often hard to keep the two apart.”

We can test  the validity of this concept clearly with this syllogism, “Three and two are odd and even;  therefore three and two are odd and three and two are even.”

Here we could see the odd and even numbers share the same meaning and are also invalidly interchangeable like the concept of popular vote between General Elections and party elections.

Thus in finality, the your logical representation of “popular vote” is invalid.

On the opinion that Tony Pua is gutless and a  flip-flopper,  you use very well the Greek expression, Argumentum ad hominem – it literary means attack or run down the man and not his policy or argument.

Needless to say, Jason, your article is full of them.