KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 — If there is one thing the DAP will not compromise on as a component of the ruling alliance coalition, it is being party to a pardon bid for convicted Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the former prime minister it believes to be responsible for the 1MDB global financial scandal.
In a podcast today, former Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming said his party is open to compromise but draws the line at expediting a pardon for Najib who has only served eight months out of his 12-year jail sentence after being convicted of misappropriating RM42 million belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former 1MDB subsidiary.
“To me, for DAP's grassroots and maybe its leaders, the red line is Najib’s freedom,” he told “Keluar Sekejap” podcast hosts Khairy Jamaluddin and Shahril Hamdan.
As for other issues such as political appointments to head agencies, Ong said those were easier to swallow as DAP leaders had also been appointed to such positions, citing the appointment of former Klang MP Charles Santiago as the chairman of the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) in March.
“When your own members get positions like that, it’s hard to criticise others for political appointments,” he said.
But the same cannot be said for political appointments for government-linked companies (GLCs), he said, although he did not comment further on the matter.
This was because of fears that DAP could not guarantee that it could retain its dominance among Chinese voters for much longer, he said.
The reason for that was discussed earlier in the episode, with Ong saying that local politics is hard to predict.
“If before the general elections in 2022 (GE15) I had told Khairy that in GE15, Barisan Nasional (BN) would win only 30 seats before the campaign started, would you have believed it?” he asked.
Khairy and Shahril admitted that they would not have believed it, saying that they would have at the time assumed that BN could win 60 seats.
“Nobody would think that Umno could fall to 26 seats. It’s the same for Pakatan Harapan (PH) and DAP,” Ong said.
Last Friday, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that his party does not welcome opinions and views, especially from partner parties in the unity government, on Najib’s royal pardon bid as the matter is at the absolute discretion of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
He stressed that political parties, especially those who are allied with Umno and BN, should refrain from commenting further on the matter.