DAP MP denies report that members told to ‘toe the line’ in khat controversy

Ramkarpal said that he was setting the record straight to correct public misperceptions about the DAP. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Ramkarpal said that he was setting the record straight to correct public misperceptions about the DAP. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 — DAP members were given free rein to express their views about the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s controversial introduction of jawi calligraphy in vernacular primary schools at a recent party meeting, its national legal bureau chief Ramkarpal Singh today.

The Bukit Gelugor MP sought to set straight the record after news portal Free Malaysia Today reported an anonymous “DAP leader” claiming members were “told to toe the line” in the ongoing debate over khat, as the calligraphy is called.

“In fact, members were given the freedom to express their views on the khat issue without any restrictions and to even suggest possible solutions to the same. None of us were told to watch our words or that we were not entitled to be concerned about the issue,” Ramkarpal said in a statement.

He said he was present during the five-hour meeting held at the DAP national headquarters here Monday night, and denied hearing party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng saying some leaders made “it seem like they were against jawi itself, which shouldn’t have been the case” as reported by the news portal.

“Needless to say, the said leader chose to remain anonymous and not open him or herself to being challenged on the matter.

“It is unfortunate that certain leaders choose to falsely tarnish the image of the party and hide behind the cloak of anonymity,” he added.

Ramkarpal said that he was setting the record straight to correct public misperceptions about the DAP.

The Chinese-majority DAP, a component of the ruling PH coalition, found itself in the spotlight over the khat debate following reported unhappiness among certain segments of their voter base with the khat lessons for Chinese- and Tamil-medium primary schools.

The party is expected to issue a statement on its stand about the new subject soon.

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