KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 — DAP grassroots leaders have pleaded with the party’s leadership for leniency towards Sungai Pelek assemblyman Ronnie Liu, who was issued a show-cause letter over a Facebook post.
Malaysiakini reported that over 40 party members and leaders gathered in Petaling Jaya to vouch for Liu, out of concern he would be unable to contest in future party elections and due to his status as a respected DAP veteran.
PJ DAP branch member Louis Phan said that although Liu has explained matters to the committee as instructed, he may not be able to contest in the election should his membership be suspended for three or six months.
Phan said it would be unfair for DAP to take action against Liu as the assemblyman was simply expressing his personal opinion by replying to a comment on his Facebook post, and not in his public capacity as a party member.
“The party election is coming soon, probably at the end of the year. We do not want to see Ronnie’s membership suspended for a few months and for him to lose the chance to contest as a central committee member or even to the Selangor state committee,” Phan was quoted as saying at a press conference yesterday.
Similarly, Seksyen 19 Semangat branch chairman Wong Yau King said Liu’s status as a veteran DAP member and leader meant he was highly respected by the people and grassroots.
He said Liu’s outspokenness meant that he would always be on the frontline fighting for the people. Wong also hoped DAP would not make a “fuss over a small issue” and instead encourage more of its leaders to speak up.
Wong also noted that Liu did not explicitly make accusations against any individuals but merely conveyed a message to another leader, which is the norm on social media.
Klang DAP Socialist Youth wing secretary Simon Kong argued that Liu was just reiterating what he had heard before.
“Since DAP has defended freedom of speech on various issues, we should have democracy within the party too. Any opinion should not be devalued, otherwise, we are slapping our own faces.
“He did not name or defame anyone. For us, Ronnie is the one who always tries his best to help the people,” he said.
The press conference was arranged by seven DAP branches in PJ, with support from 84 branches in Selangor.
On June 18, Liu made a post on Facebook concerning his views of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Johor DAP treasurer Poh Eng Guan made a comment, to which he promptly replied.
Liu said he had received complaints on June 17 that some of DAP Johor’s Youth leaders have been discussing working with Datuk Seri Azmin Ali so they could once again enter government, something which he said is not the way.
Consequently the show-cause letter was issued by DAP’s disciplinary committee in September.
Committee chairman Chong Chieng Jen informed Liu in the letter that his remarks implicated the integrity and good name of the young party leaders in Johor, and that he would have to give an explanation on the issue within a fortnight.
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