By S Rutra
KUALA LUMPUR: A prominent member of Perak DAP has called on his bosses at national headquarters to pay more attention to complaints about the leadership style of Ngeh Koo Ham, the party’s top official in the state.But in the same breath, he asked local leaders to practise what he called “self regulation”.
Teluk Intan MP M Manogaran, commenting on the current quarrel between Ngeh and his deputy, M Kulasegaran, said he agreed with other critics of the Perak DAP chairman and his cousin, Nga Kor Ming, that they behaved like warlords in the state.
Nga is secretary of Perak DAP.
Manogaran did not go easy on Kulasegaran either, saying his recent outbursts were uncalled for.
Kulasegaran has been at odds with Ngeh and Nga over several leadership issues and have had disagreements on the formation of new branches in Perak.
Ngeh and Nga are accused of forming new branches without endorsement from the state committee while Kulasegaran is alleged to have illegally revived dead branches.
According to Manogaran, party leaders like Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh hardly interfere with issues that they feel can be resolved at local level, preferring to give room for self- regulation as long as no one goes against what the party stands for.
However, he added, the situation in Perak called for greater involvement from them.
Started with state DAP elections
Speaking to FMT, he said the current spat in Perak had its roots in the 2008 Perak DAP election, where Kulasegaran scored the highest number of votes for the 15 state committees available.
Ngeh was in fifth position and Nga was sixth.
Kulasegaran was firm in declining to take over the state chair, according to the Teluk Intan MP. “Let us not rock the boat," he quoted Kulasegaran as saying then.
He said he had expected the cousins to be fair and to give “room and space for everyone,” but that nothing of this sort happened in the 10 months that Pakatan Rakyat ruled the state.
"Favouritism and cronyism did take place,” Manogaran said. “It’s an open secret that the cousins actually behave like warlords in Perak."
He said this could be partly due to the leadership’s belief in self-regulation.
“Leaders like Kit Siang will just merely indicate that things are not right and need to improve," he said.
Referring to Kulasegaran's conduct in the past week, he said MP for Ipoh Barat was letting down the party members who had given him their mandate in 2008.
"I can't understand why he called off his press conference and on the next morning he landed in Nepal, apologising for his action," he said.
"He is a seasoned politician, not an amateur.”