Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy is grateful that DAP leaders are more mature than Bersatu Youth chief Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman or there would be a war within Pakatan Harapan.
He was responding to Syed Saddiq threatening open season on DAP unless the party punished its assemblyperson Ronnie Liu for his criticism of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Bersatu.
“Bersatu leaders might have reason for their anger but to threaten DAP is something beyond comprehension.
“If DAP leaders are going to adopt the same immature approach of Syed Saddiq, then there will be a virtual war.
“Fortunately, DAP leaders are more sane and guarded in their public outbursts than the 'kid' Syed Saddiq,” he added in a statement this afternoon.
Noting that Liu had been referred to the DAP disciplinary committee, Ramasamy pointed out that all political parties faced problems in dealing with dissent, whether directed internally or externally.
“In the case of Liu, a long time grassroots party leader, the party might find it difficult as to determine what is permissible or what is not.
“A delicate balancing act is needed to safeguard democracy in the party, the right to dissent and most importantly ensure that decisions are not seen as antithetical to the wishes of party members,” he added.
Declining to delve into the merits or demerits of Liu's statements, Ramasamy said he is confident the disciplinary committee would make the right decision.
“The statement by Liu was in his personal capacity, not the official line of the party. However, the drawing of this line does not allow Liu and others from escaping party responsibility.
“The social and political context is important.
“Liu’s criticisms of Mahathir were based on achievements and disappointments of Harapan and the possibility of a future grim scenario of weakening of coalition partners due to political realignments and manoeuvrings,” he added.
Ramasamy said just because Liu had been referred to the disciplinary committee, it does not mean DAP leaders would distance themselves from him to appease others.
“Liu is my longtime friend and comrade. It was he who invited me to join the DAP after I left UKM in 2005.
“It was Liu and me who fought the nefarious attempt to build a giant incinerator in Broga by the Selangor state government against the wishes of the local residents many years ago.
“Liu might be a Maverick in many ways, but a great fighter against injustice in society. He has a good measure of support among party members and the general public. DAP needs Liu,” he added.
In a statement earlier, Liu remained unapologetic over his remarks and that he was also prepared to face the disciplinary committee.