Barisan Nasional’s (BN) “underhanded tactics” in the Registrar of Societies (RoS) ;s decision NOT to recognise the DAP’s office-bearers, DAP’s Lim Guan Eng said today.
The DAP secretary-general said that the RoS decision, which was made less than three days before the nomination day on Saturday, showed that this was the “worst BN we’ve seen in history”.
“This is despicable, this is dishonourable,” a visibly upset Lim told reporters at the DAP headquarters here today.
“This is character assassination. This is political assassination. I’m very upset by these underhand tactics,” he added.
Lim said that DAP candidates would run under PAS’ full moon logo in the peninsula and PKR’s eye logo in East Malaysia in the 13th general election, if the Election Commission (EC) did not issue a letter approving DAP candidates in using their rocket logo.
“The most important letter to issue is to withdraw this letter,” he said, referring to the RoS letter dated April 17, 2013, that refused to recognise DAP’s office-bearers that were elected on December 15, 2012.
Lim said that he did not trust the EC’s verbal assurance on the DAP being able to use its rocket logo in Election 2013, pointing out that DAP candidates needed to show EC officials on nomination day a letter of authority signed by the party’s secretary-general, authorising them to use the party’s logo.
“If our CEC is not recognised, we don’t have powers to issue letters of authority,” said Lim, referring to DAP’s central executive committee.
He added that legal recourse was difficult due to time constraints.
Lim, who is also the Penang caretaker chief minister, questioned how the RoS could punish the DAP when it was still in the process of investigating the opposition party’s election process.
He pointed out that the RoS had, on the same day, issued another letter requesting two DAP members to attend an inquiry on May 9.
PAS and PKR secretaries-general Datuk Mustafa Ali and Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, who were also at the press conference, said that their party leaders approved the use of their party logos by DAP candidates.
The 13th general election is touted to be the keenest election race in recent history after BN lost its two-thirds parliamentary majority in Election 2008.
The RoS ruling will likely affect DAP candidates’ chances in the 49 federal seats and slightly more than 100 state seats in the May 5 polls, as most of the contests are in Chinese-majority areas where the Rocket is popular but not the other logos.
The MCA has also frequently warned Chinese voters against supporting Pakatan Rakyat (PR), claiming that PAS would implement hudud law in the multi-racial country.
The DAP’s rocket logo was ubiquitous in Election 2008, where it contested in 149 constituencies, including 47 parliamentary seats and won 28 parliamentary seats and 63 state seats.
Nineteen of the state seats was in Penang, where it formed the PR government with PKR and PAS.
The three parties have yet to formalise the pact and are using their respective logos in the coming polls.
BN component party MCA is the immediate beneficiary of the RoS move as it has been struggling to counter DAP’s influence since Election 2008.
The Chinese party has “loaned” three federal seats to Umno to prevent a further loss of support from the Chinese community that swung against the ruling coalition in the last election.