Ngeh has taken to criticizing MCA, calling it subservient to the Sultan and that it cannot serve the people if it cannot stand on its own.Ngeh has taken to criticizing MCA, calling it subservient to the Sultan and that it cannot serve the people if it cannot stand on its own.
KUALA LUMPUR: Perak DAP chairman Dato’ Ngeh Koo Ham should fully understand the federal constitution and the monarchy concept that is practiced in this country before expressing his personal opinion on matters pertaining to both.
Via his Twitter account, Ngeh has recently taken to criticizing MCA, a party that he described as ‘subservient to Umno’, and is now subservient to the Sultan of Johor.
“MCA is subservient to Umno, now subservient to Sultan. MCA can’t make any stand on its own? How to represent the people?”
Ngeh was reportedly responding to Datuk Tee Siew Kiong who was appointed Johor state exco by the Johor Sultan.
Ngeh had criticize Tee’s acceptance of the appointment following MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek’s earlier announcement that MCA will not be taking up any state or federal government position as a result of the component party’s poor showing in the recent 13th general election (GE13).
Upon Tee’s acceptance, MCA said his appointment fell under the Sultan’s authority.
However, Ngeh is of the opinion that, by accepting the Sultan’s appointment, MCA is subservient to the Sultan, therefore is unable to represent the people.
What Ngeh has to realize is that, a party’s acceptance of a Sultan’s decree does not in any way hinder the party from serving the people.
Tee accepted the appointment, pointing out that while he is an MCA representative, he is also a Johorean who respects the Sultan’s wishes.
It was earlier reported that the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar had wanted a Chinese representative in the state exco, despite MCA announcing they were going to decline state or federal government posts.
Meanwhile, in another attempt to rile up the country’s constitution, DAP national chairman Karpal Singh had recently said there was no longer a need for the Senate.
Quoted by theSun, he had said: “There is no need for the senate. It is an unnecessary expense required to be borne by the people. It does not serve a useful purpose.”
Presenting yet another example that indicates his preference for the system practiced in Singapore, Karpal said, like the republic, a house with a single legislative chamber would suit public interest better.
It is also important to highlight Karpal’s non-interest in accepting titles given by the royalty. While the practice of titles is a commonplace in this country, DAP has always taken the stand of declining titles bestowed by royalties.
Ngeh, however, carries a Datukship. He was awarded the Darjah Dato’ Paduka Mahkota Perak, which carries the title Dato’, in 2008.
There were some initial dissatisfaction within the DAP’s central executive committee (CEC) on Ngeh accepting the title, in a report by English daily The Star last November, Ngeh had said he understood that the party was against class creation through titles.
Karpal was amongst those who objected to Ngeh receiving the Datukship. To that, Ngeh had responded, “I believe he (Karpal) should also respect the views of the majority.”
DAP’s Datuk Teng Chang Khim had also commented on his own datukship, saying: “When the Sultan of Selangor conferred the award and title, it was only proper to accept it respectfully.”
Perhaps it is proper to refresh Ngeh’s memory on what his fellow party member had opined in receiving titles from the Sultan.
It can be said that Tee’s appointment by the Sultan of Johor should also be regarded in the same manner that Teng justified his acceptance of the title given to him by the Sultan of Selangor.
DAP’s apparent dissatisfaction with the federal constitution and a system that has been practiced for hundreds of years stems from its constant comparison of Malaysia and Singapore.
DAP has to learn to work with the system that has been put in place for many years, and iron out the problems within by still maintaining the system.
In another example of showing retaliation, in 2011, several DAP representatives refused to wear the formal attire of Sarawak’s State Assembly.
According to a TV3 report, Sarawak DAP chairman Wong Ho Leng at the time refused to put on the formal attire saying it was too expensive and that the ‘songkok’ (Malay headgear) goes against their freedom of religion.
Meanwhile, a similar incident had occurred in Johor in 2008 where four DAP assemblyman faced dilemma when some members of the DAP CEC did not want them to wear the headgear at an event where the Sultan of Johor would be present.
The Star carried a report on the issue in June 2008, quoting then state DAP vice-chairman Norman Fernandez as saying: “It is not fair to put the Johor DAP assemblymen in such a difficult position, especially with the Sultan.”
It is hoped that DAP is able to show due respect to the Sultanate and institution of monarchy in the country, particularly because the Malays are watching closely.
The big question that Ngeh has to answer is, how different is Tee and him with regards to respecting the sultanate?
Tee was appointed by the Sultan and Ngeh was conferred the Datukship without having asked for it.
In a report by The Star, Ngeh had said: “I have never asked for the Datuk title.”
*Well written article by Farah Hanith.