Monday, May 13, 2013
Karpal’s Threat to Resign Makes One Wonder Why He is Threatening to Resign
The latest zinger comes from the DAP chairman, Karpal Singh, who has arrived late on the scene of think-tank and blogosphere suggestions that the DAP could (or should) cooperate with Barisan Nasional to form a new Government.
"Joining Barisan is completely out of the question," he said at the weekend.
"I'll be the first to walk out if that happens, and I'm sure 100 per cent (of our party members) will walk out with me," offered Karpal.
As emphatic as Karpal's threat to resign is, it will doubtless raise questions about what is going on in his mind and within his party for two reasons.
Firstly, these are just rumours and proposals from the blogosphere and there is absolutely no evidence of a concerted campaign to unite the DAP and BN. This makes his remarks appear slightly over the top.
Secondly, these rumours have already been dealt with by DAP elder statesman Lim Kit Siang, one of the few measured voices these days inside Pakatan Rakyat's leadership.
Kit Siang has said there are plenty of proposals and ideas floating around these days, but that he would only countenance working with BN if Pakatan's manifesto were to be embraced by the new Government. But despite Kit Siang's remarks, Karpal still felt the need to wade in with his resignation threat. We are not sure why he did this.
Following his initial outburst, Karpal went on to pretty much echo Kit Siang's position saying "we can work with Barisan only if they accept the Pakatan manifesto, then we will give serious consideration."
The idea of a broad-based coalition has been mooted by the think-tank ASLI and by former Information Minister Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin, who blogged that the DAP's presence in BN would give a new voice to the Chinese community.
Karpal's latest comments will also fuel fresh speculation about the 72-year-old's future in Malaysian politics. He found the campaign gruelling, and is not exactly the face of the future.
But it might not be his physical health or age that matters most. Instead, his relevance within his party could be the key to his future. Karpal has always been prepared to say unpopular things if he believes them to be correct, but this time it might not be enough to end the disquiet within the DAP.
Or maybe Karpal did not really mean to make a scene inside or outside the DAP with his eccentric and gratuitous resignation threat. Maybe he was just being Karpal.