Does DAP condone litigation against a farmer? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Malaysiakini : It is more of a bullying gesture to silence dissent from a party that advocates democracy and freedom of speech. – Ti Lian Ker
COMMENT | In justifying suing a farmer, The Star
and the MCA president, Perak state executive councillor A Sivanesan
alleged that certain articles gave the impression that the DAP was
irresponsible. In that case, I think the DAP is irresponsible too. In fact, I have said more or less in a few articles post-May 9.
suing this farmer and the DAP seemingly comfortable with this, I think
that not only is the DAP irresponsible, they are also petty and
vindictive. Please keep in mind the public comments by Sivanesan
that he is doing this because he thinks that the reputation of the DAP
is at stake.
The mainstream media and the online media have been
sued numerous times and had to make retractions, but suing the media has
always seemed to me fascistic, except in certain cases. Suing
your political rivals is even more odious, but expected in a political
climate where police reports are lodged at the drop of a hat.
But why sue a farmer? Why this particular farmer? Why this particular issue? Sivanesan
makes it sound as if an accusation of not keeping promises is anathema
to politicians. I wrote a whole article devoted to the fact that Pakatan
Harapan was reneging on its election promises. From what has been reported in the press, it looks as if Sivanesan was actually attempting to sort out this issue.
details are important, but reading the articles, any rational reader
will not find anything that merits an exco member suing a paper, much
less suing a member of his constituency. Instead of suing
everyone, especially a farmer, why didn't Sivanesan just deny the
allegation if false and seek clarification from the company doing the
bulldozing? How do we discover the truth here? What is the point of
Sivanesan, as a representative of the people,
especially those going up against a corporate system with strong
political ties, should understand that when livelihoods are on the line,
the truth gets buried beneath a mountain of self-preservation. The
question is can anyone blame them?
'Vindictive and cannot be trusted'
a representative of the DAP, but most importantly as a political
operative, Sivanesan should understand that this is part and parcel of
dealing with communities who look upon political operatives as the most
important avenue to air their grievances. In addition, this is not
a reciprocal relationship. It is a "what have you done for me lately
relationship". This is politics after all.
of course, the DAP’s political rivals are going to get into action. Of
course, farmers who think that this is usual politicians [not keeping
their promises], are going to seek out other means of getting their
voices heard. What does suing a farmer get the DAP? Well, it tells
people, especially those who do not have the means, that the DAP is
vindictive and cannot be trusted, something Sivanesan was concerned
about in the first place.
If a stop work order was given, what is
the issue then? Most importantly when the MCA president, in a Facebook
post, states that the farmers deserve an answer, God's honest truth is
that, yes, the farmers deserved an answer as to why some of their farms
were being bulldozed, and the Harapan (DAP) had to provide those
The DAP, on many issues, has been doing this against the MCA, when they (MCA) had federal and state power. What is the big deal? I
do not know what is worse - Sivanesan suing this farmer or thinking
that if he wins or a settlement is reached, the MCA will cover whatever
damages this farmer, who obviously cannot pay, would incur.
DAP has a history of not tolerating dissent within its ranks. Now it
seems it wants to create history by political operatives suing their
constituents because political operatives claim that the party's
reputation has been questioned. Even if the farmer was a proxy for some other party, litigation is the dumbest, most inept strategy to take.
This brings into question the competency of not only the political operative, but also the DAP.