Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ngeh flays Kula over quit threat

IPOH, Oct 2 – Perak DAP chief Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham, accused as one of the protagonists behind M. Kulasegaran’s outburst last night, indicated today that he would not kowtow to his deputy’s emotional threat to leave the state leadership.

Instead, the state party chairman chose to castigate the Ipoh Barat MP for washing the party’s dirty linen in public when he published damaging statements on microblogging site Twitter.

“I regret that he should announce his intended resignation through Twitter instead of informing the state committee.

“As a responsible leader, we should all follow proper procedures and keep all internal matters within the party,” Ngeh (picture) told The Malaysian Insider this afternoon.

Ngeh and his cousin, Perak DAP secretary Nga Kor Ming, have been blamed for Kulasegaran’s emotional outburst during a special leadership meeting held last night at Kampung Simee near here.

The Malaysian Insider understands that what was supposed to be a discussion on unity, turned into a bitter quarrel between the two feuding factions – Kulasegaran’s camp and the Ngeh-Nga camp.

For months, the two teams have had several run-ins with one another but the climax of their bickering occurred last night when Kulasegaran, who is also the party’s national vice-chairman, stormed off in a huff, leaving behind a threat that he would resign from his state party post.

Ngeh confirmed today that Kulasegaran had indeed mentioned his intention to bail from the state committee during the heated meeting last night but was cajoled to stay by other leaders.

“It was just an informal meeting between a few leaders. In the midst of it... before he left, he expressed his intention to resign and the leaders pursuaded him not to.

“However, he tweeted about it anyway,” said an upset-sounding Ngeh.

After last night’s meeting, Kulasegaran wrote on his Twitter timeline: “Just finished DAP leadership meeting in Ipoh. Sad day as I will announce what is lacking in Perak leadership 2molo n why I have 2 leave 4good.”

Later in the night, he told The Malaysian Insider via SMS that he had no intention to leave the party but was tired of his ongoing charade with the Ngeh-Nga cousins.

“Leaving DAP no way. But going open on internal problems. I am being run down by Ngeh and I can’t take it any more,” he explained.

It was later announced that Kulasegaran would be organising a press conference at 10.30am this morning to go public with his grouses against the two cousins.

More tweets, however, were seen on Kulasegaran’s Twitter account prior to the conference this morning and this time, the leader’s tone had somehow mellowed.

“Very disturbed about having d pc latter. My mind is unsettled as I c factional fight is seeing its ugly head in Perak,” he said in one tweet.

Shortly after that, Kulasegaran cancelled the press conference.

He said in his Twitter message: “Members and supporters asking me to reconsider. I will be away for a week n will then tell all if the need arises.”

In his last tweet at about 2pm, Kulasegaran said: “If ever there comes a time and point where I am no longer able to play any meaningful role, I shall merely retire from politics.”

His words were a clear indication that the veteran leader had likely decided to stay in as the Perak DAP’s deputy chairman.

However, the party is also heading for its state elections this November, and the internal bickering between the two feuding camps is expected to rear its ugly head once again.

Today, Ngeh made it clear that should Kulasegaran still press on with his intention to leave the state committee, he would respect the leader’s decision.

“If he still persists in resigning, we will respect his decision and we would like to thank him for his past services,” he said.

Ngeh also refused to comment on allegations made by Kulasegaran’s camp that the he and his cousin Nga had been attempting to round up their branches to gang up against them.

“There is a proper channel of discussion and a problem-solving process. I hope all party members will abide by the rules to discuss all matters internally,” he said.

As such, Ngeh noted that it was “not true” that the Perak DAP was on the verge of self-destruction.

He acknowledged that there would likely be fierce competition during the coming state party elections but noted that this was healthy in any democratic process.

“Just because there is an election does not mean there is faction-fighting,” he said.

Ngeh added that despite Kulasegaran's outburst, the unity plan between the two camps would still press on through internal discussions.

“As a chairman, I always, at any point in time, want unity in the party. There may be issues sometimes but any issue can be resolved internally,” he said.

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