Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lies, damn lies and stupidity

After my polite final appeal to the president of KEADILAN was ignored... No, actually, she told us that the central election committee would carry out thorough investigations and that all candidates should stop using the media to criticise the party. Although that did not sit well with me, I respected her wishes so much so that even when I withdrew from the contest for a vice presidential position, I did it quietly.

Indeed, I know some shrewder politicians ridicule me for not taking the opportunity to make a public statement. Well, the rationale for me is simple. I quit because I found the entire party election to be such a disappointment and it completely lacked credibility. And it gave me neither profit nor pleasure in making the party look worse than it already was. (For your information, I tried contacting the president directly before I wrote my open letter to her.)

Now, I share my true feelings not because I want to embarrass the party but because I sense the presence of foolish arrogance in the voice of the party’s secretary-general. And I simply cannot remain silent in the face of bold-faced lies because I know it will eventually bring the party to its knees. Yes, I am talking about his statements vis-a-vis the sacking of Jenapala.

Before I proceed, let me confess one thing. I am no fan of Jenapala’s. At one point in time, we were both deputy secretaries-general of the party and I came to realise that I did not like the way he expressed himself, which is probably due to the way he thought. Anyway, I digress.

Back to the current sec-gen of KEADILAN. He said that he welcomes the police to investigate the forgery of a letter sacking Jenapala, purportedly signed by the previous sec-gen. (For those who are unaware, I served as the deputy to the previous sec-gen.)

Apart from opening the doors of the party HQ and computer servers to the friendly PDRM, the current sec-gen also says that, “All we did was open our files and found the letter that Salehuddin signed... How am I supposed to know if his signature was forged.” Does he expect members, supporters and the public to just accept this lame explanation and conclude all is well in the party?

Please allow me to share how the previous sec-gen would have handled things if this matter cropped up, i.e. whether Jenapala was actually sacked from the party. One, he would have asked the membership officer to check Jenapala’s membership status. Two, he would have asked me to scrutinise the central leadership council meetings’ minutes for the relevant decision. And, three, he would have asked whether we issued a letter to inform Jenapala, if indeed such a decision was made.

For me, just the stupidity of how this Jenapala issue was handled is enough to tell me that the judgement of the people who are purportedly in charge of the party are seriously impaired.

But what really sickens me to the core of my being is that I know for a fact that someone in the party HQ knows that the letter is a forgery. It was created to cover up an initial honest mistake made by somebody when they said that Jenapala was sacked in February 2009.

For your information, I was the deputy secretary-general charged with the responsibility to assist the disciplinary board in handling cases referred to them by the MPP. When the Jenapala matter first came up during the party election, someone from the HQ called me to ask whether there was a letter sent to Jenapala to sack him. I said there isn’t such a letter and there never was such a decision to sack him. There was only a decision to sack him in principle, if indeed it was found that he was involved in the formation of a new political party.

Then, before I knew it, I saw a letter with the previous sec-gen’s signature, which was purportedly sent to Jenapala to sack him way back in February 2009. I was speechless.

I was speechless because there is no doubt in my mind that the letter is a forgery, and I am dumbfounded that they could resort to such a thing to cover up an honest mistake, for which they could have just humbly informed the media and move on.

Now, in light of the police report lodged by the previous sec-gen, this matter cannot be swept under the carpet anymore; especially not the way the current sec-gen attempted to do it. I’m amazed that he doesn’t see the gravity of the situation.

I know, in politics perception is everything. But I also know, in a court of law evidence is everything. And when the judiciary is not on your side, it doesn’t even matter if they don’t have the evidence. All they need is a good reason to put you away.

If the president still does not take some serious action to remedy this situation, then I’m afraid the party’s days may be numbered, with or without a new line-up. And let me unequivocally state that I am not addressing the de facto leader on this matter because I no longer recognise the validity of that position.

Jonson Chong
ex Deputy Secretaries-General
Parti Keadilan Rakyat



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