‘Sonrise’ in Malaysia’s Indian, Chinese political families

August 24th, 2008 - 1:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Aug 24 (IANS) Two political families, an Indian and a Chinese, have emerged on Malaysia’s political horizon as delegates picked leaders of the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP).Its Indian origin chairman Karpal Singh made it to the 20-member Central Working Committee (CEC), as did his lawyer-lawmaker son Gobind Singh Deo, who scraped through with the lowest tally of 305 delegates’ votes.

NST Online said Sunday that Jagdeep Singh Deo, another of his sons who is a state level legislator, did not make it.

Two other ethnic Indians, M. Kulasegaran, a party vice president, and P. Ramasamy, also got elected to CEC.

The party’s ethnic Chinese adviser Lim Kit Siang led the way with 624 votes, followed by his son Lim Guan Eng, the secretary-general. He got 620 votes.

The multi-ethnic party, which made impressive gains in elections in March, is holding its 15th National Congress.

It has reiterated its resolve to oppose any move to introduce theocracy in Malaysia, be it Islamic or Christian variety.

This is significant as DAP is part of the opposition alliance, Pakatan Rakyat, which also has the Pan-Islamic Malaysian Party (PAS), whose aim is establish an Islamic state.

The opposition alliance is led by Anwar Ibrahim, who is currently campaigning to win a key parliamentary byelection, even as he is fighting a sodomy charge by an aide for which he is under probe.

Pitching for the former deputy prime minister, DAP chairman Karpal Singh said: “Only one man can bring these two parties together, and he is Anwar Ibrahim. He can be the middleman. Anwar is a changed man. He is not the Anwar we used to criticise.”

The DAP secured a record 28 parliamentary and 73 state assembly seats in the March general election, forming the Penang state government.

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