PETALING JAYA: Senator Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim (pic)has announced his resignation from the DAP, citing “irreconcilable differences” with the party leadership.
His resignation comes days after his criticism of the recent Bersih 3.0 rally and the announcement that his senatorship, which ends on May 31, would not be renewed.
During an interview aired on NTV7 last night, the party vice-chairman said he would advise the DAP of his resignation “within the next few minutes”.
“I think the time has come for me to take a hard, very serious look at my own position within the party. Given the very wide differences now, which are irreconcilable, there is no alternative but for me to seek to withdraw, with some dignity left.
“I will therefore resign my membership from DAP and I will be advising the party within the next few minutes,” he said.
A man of strong principles, Tunku Aziz is among the few Malays who joined the Chinese-dominated party and was immediately made a DAP vice-chairman. In 2009, he was nominated as a senator for Penang.
Tunku Aziz said he had already been warned by friends and colleagues to be prepared to be sacked.
“But so far, there has been no indication from the top leadership that this would be my fate,” he said during the hour-long Chat Time segment.
He stressed that he had always supported the struggle of Bersih for clean and fair elections but merely opposed its decision to go ahead with the plan to sit in at Dataran Merdeka as it was “clearly against the law.”
“I found it extremely difficult to support anyone breaking the law,” he said adding that the party leadership had, however, claimed that he was against Bersih.
Asked about allegations that he was a “traitor to the party”, Tunku Aziz said people were entitled to their opinions.
“But this seems to be a standard script for people who differ from their views,” he said.
Tunku Aziz said he was sure that his tenure as senator had not been renewed as a direct result of his statements against the Bersih rally last month.
He said he believed that as a member of a democratic party, he had the right to differ.
Holding up party adviser Lim Kit Siang's book, The Right To Differ, he said he had believed the party was one that could accept dissent.
On the Barisan Nasional Government, Tunku Aziz said he felt they were on the right track.
“They have put in place transformation programmes which will bring about the sort of change that we have been yearning for and fighting for,” he said, adding that the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, on the other hand, did not have any experience.
On his plans for the future, Tunku Aziz said he did not have any plan yet.
“I think I am still in the position to make some contributions to the country. I hope in the next few years of my life I will be able to do just that.”
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said he would respond to Tunku Aziz's resignation today.
At 11.30pm last night, Kit Siang responded on Twitter: “Just saw recorded (video of) Tunku's TV interview as I was taking a flight. Heart-broken @ ending of Tunku's stint in DAP. TQ 4 efforts 4 yrs n best wishes”. TheStar