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DAP leader denies claim Guan Eng ‘unhappy with members who whacked khat’

Published:  |  Modified:

Ramkarpal Singh (above) has denied claims by an unnamed DAP leader that party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng was unhappy with members who had “whacked” the government policy on khat (calligraphy) writing in primary schools.

The DAP national legal bureau chairperson said the claims by the leader - quoted in a news report last night - alleging Lim felt members’ opposition had placed the party in a difficult position “could not be further from the truth”.

Lim was alleged to have made such comments during a special party meeting held on Monday night on the issue, which was attended by Ramkarpal.

“Worse still, the said leader is said to have falsely claimed that Lim had said members should consider other communities and not the Chinese, implying that somehow the views of the Chinese community have been sidelined in the matter.

“I also do not recall Lim saying that some leaders had ‘made it seem like they were against Jawi itself, which shouldn’t have been the case’ as claimed in the said report

“[...] I was present at the said meeting and can confirm that the claims above are not true,” said the Bukit Gelugor lawmaker in a statement today.

Instead, members were given freedom to express their views and were not told to watch their words, he claimed.

He further criticised the leader, who spoke to the portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT) on condition of anonymity, for choosing not to open him or herself to being challenged over the latter’s remarks.

He added: “It is unfortunate that certain leaders choose to falsely tarnish the image of the party and hide behind the cloak of anonymity.”

DAP's Jelutong MP RSN Rayer (above) also denied the claims made by the leader in the FMT report.

Saying he, too, was present at the meeting, Rayer denied Lim had “reminded” members that DAP was now in government and as such must “behave like the government”, as well as take care of what happens to the other Pakatan Harapan partner parties.

In the FMT report, the DAP leader was further quoted saying that no conclusion was reached on the party’s official stance on the issue, only a consensus the party would allow its leadership to make a stand.

“Among the proposals put forward, he said, was deferring the implementation entirely, implementing it in stages, and introducing it in secondary schools instead,” the news report read.

FMT did, however, quote the leader as saying Lim had acknowledged the right of members to express themselves, but had allegedly said it must be done in a way so as not to “put the party in a bad light”.

DAP had called for the meeting following objection by DAP grassroots over the introduction of six-pages of khat-writing lessons in the Year 4 Bahasa Malaysia syllabus for both national type and vernacular schools.

They had criticised some party central leaders for backing the government's plan over this matter.

Following the five-hour-long meeting, Lim, who is also Finance Minister, emerged, telling reporters that the party was still united.

He was later reported to have met with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad twice over the issue, and had met with Education Minister Maszlee Malik.

DAP had said it will issue an official statement on the matter.

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