KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — Rahang assemblyman Mary Josephine Prittam Singh who announced her resignation from DAP and stunned its leaders today has been asked to reconsider her decision by the party’s national organising secretary Anthony Loke.
He said there would be no time limit for her to withdraw her resignation nor any pressure.
“There is no time limit for her to reconsider her resignation letter, but I hope she will do so in the coming few days. I know she needs time to consider so I will not pressure her,” Loke told a press conference this afternoon.
He also expressed regret at her resignation, as he felt Mary Josephine could simply resign from the state committee rather than leave DAP outright.
“If she was dissatisfied with the state committee, I can respect her decision to resign from it. But there is no actual need to leave the party. So I advised Mary Josephine in a letter to not leave DAP but continue as its veteran.
“Her membership in the party is older than even me. I am 43 years old, but she has been in DAP for 46 years. So it is a real loss that she chose to resign,” Loke said.
The Seremban MP explained the sequence of events leading up to Mary Josephine’s resignation today morning, adding it began with the nomination and appointment of village community management council (MPKK) chairman of Kampung Baru Rasah in Seremban.
“She was dissatisfied with the current MPKK chairman. Shortly after the state government was formed post-May 9 in 2018, we nominated and appointed people as MPKK chairmen.
“They would serve for a two-year term, until April 30 this year. We reappointed all MPKK chairmen to their posts after that, to resume their services. Mary Josephine was dissatisfied that Kampung Baru Rasah’s chairman is the same incumbent as before,” he said.
Loke said Mary Josephine and the chairman, named Liow, found it difficult to cooperate with one another in the past.
“She wrote to the state government opposing Liow’s appointment and urging it be withdrawn. However I spoke to the Mentri Besar and informed him that any such appointment must be through the party, and without its endorsement the proposed candidate cannot be brought to the state government.
“To this, we held a DAP state committee meeting on Tuesday night (July 7) on the matter. Two names were proposed as candidates; Liow being one, and the other was by Mary Josephine, who proposed a woman from Kampung Baru Rasah but lived in Taman Bukit Chedang. This individual was also not a DAP member,” he said.
There was a discussion to seek compromise so as to avoid the necessity of having to go through an election among the 18 members of the state committee. Loke said the Rahang assemblyman ultimately decided not to compromise, as she simply could not agree with Liow.
“Seeking a resolution I opened it up to be decided by the committee members, all of whom were in attendance. We cast our ballots in secret (undi rahsia) with the results of 11 members voting to support Liow, while seven were in favour of Mary Josephine’s candidate.
“As committee chairman, I had to affirm Liow and said whatever decisions were made had to be respected by all party members, even if at times the decision will cause dissatisfaction to some. Mary Josephine said nothing but simply left the meeting as soon as the decision was announced,” he said.
However, should Mary Josephine choose to remain firm, Loke remains confident that the former party veteran will not abandon Pakatan Harapan, nor betray the rakyat’s mandate.
“I have known her for a long time, her character and stance I am very familiar with,” Loke said during a press conference earlier today.
The Seremban MP claimed Mary Josephine had mentioned to him that two BN assemblymen approached her in March, in an attempt to convince her to leave DAP and join BN.
“The aim was to cause the fall of Pakatan in Negri Sembilan. I understand she was even offered to be made a state exco in the event, but she flatly and outright rejected their offer.
“Hence this is why I am confident, and I wish to assure Pakatan’s supporters of the fact as well,” he said.
In a press conference, Mary Josephine claimed she left DAP as she has been repeatedly side-lined by the party’s leadership. She also resigned as DAP Wanita national organising secretary, Harapan national women’s vice-chief, Negri Sembilan DAP Wanita chief and Negri Sembilan Harapan deputy Wanita chief.
Though she characterised her decision as final, she also assured her voters that she would still represent them in the Pakatan state government, and that her twice-a-month service centre will continue to operate as normal.