Teng: DAP still working with PAS

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 22 Oct 2003

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP assemblyman Teng Chang Khim, who created controversy by speaking at a PAS ceramah in Terengganu, has insisted that the two parties are still working together. 

“There is co-operation between the DAP and PAS on common issues in Parliament and this had been extended to attendance at ceramahs

“MPs of the two parties help each other when common issues are raised. They complement and support each other,” the Bandar Klang assemblyman said. 

Teng said his presence last Friday at the PAS ceramah in Kampung Tiong, Kuala Terengganu, should not be turned into a controversy. 

He admitted urging voters to reject Barisan Nasional just as they had done in the 1999 general election. 

Teng said that DAP left the opposition coalition as it was not in favour of PAS’ Islamic state concept “but we are still friends.” 

The ceramah was held in Kampung Tiong where Chinese voters make up 38% of the electorate in the Bandar state seat (which includes Kampung Tiong), the only seat in the state allocated by Barisan Nasional to MCA. 

In the 1999 election, state MCA deputy chairman and state executive councillor Wong Foong Meng lost to PAS candidate Md Azni Lop Yusuf by 511 votes and since then the Chinese community was denied its representative in the state government. 

Deputy Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin said the presence of the DAP assemblyman at the PAS ceramah clearly showed the indirect co-operation between the two parties which had different political ideologies. 

Zainuddin said it was unfortunate that DAP was continuing its co-operation with PAS, adding that the DAP had not learnt its lesson. 

Terengganu MCA chairman Datuk Lau Yin Pin had said that several DAP leaders held municipal councillor posts in Terengganu, adding that state DAP secretary Ng Chai Hing was a Kuala Terengganu councillor and special assistant on Chinese affairs to Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Hadi Awang. 

Yesterday, Teng defended his presence at the ceramah, saying the attendance of DAP leaders should not be misconstrued as supporting the policies of the opposition party. 

Teng, a former DAP Youth chief, said he did not state that the DAP supported hudud law or an Islamic state in his speech. 

MCA Youth secretary-general Loh Seng Kok, meanwhile, said that MCA was not surprised by Teng’s presence at the ceramah as the party had started campaigning for PAS. 

“It is illogical for DAP to say it is not in support of PAS but openly ask voters to reject Barisan in favour of PAS. By supporting PAS, DAP is merely endorsing the PAS’ Islamic state concept,” he said. 

Loh said that DAP sent a senior leader to the recent PAS general assembly, and this was more proof that the two parties were working together despite issuing denials. 

MCA Youth central committee member Fam Lee Ee said that DAP's support for PAS in Kelantan and Terengganu in the last election had strengthened the Islamic party. 

“In 1999, DAP leaders openly said it was okay to support PAS. They then pulled out of the pact, saying they were against PAS, but now they are still holding hands. Yet, they expect the Chinese community to trust them,” he said. 

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