KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 — Penang DAP deputy chairman P. Ramasamy today denied that he is quitting the party after being dropped as an election candidate for the August 12 state polls.
He told Malay daily Sinar Harian that such news is false and was circulated by irresponsible parties.
“All these are ‘fake news’, not true. I am still the caretaker deputy chief minister II, I am still Penang DAP deputy chairman and still a DAP member. I am loyal to DAP.
“I believe there are some parties who are taking advantage of this to spread fake news after I objected to the party’s decision regarding the selection of candidates for the state election.
“I have no intention to quit the party. All these are rumours on social media and have no truth whatsoever,” Ramasamy was quoted as saying in the news report published today.
Rumours had been circulating that Ramasamy was leaving DAP, the party he joined back in 2005 because he had been dropped as an election candidate and gained traction after the 74-year-old expressed open disagreement with the selection of nominees.
According to Sinar Harian, Ramasamy also agreed with incumbent Bagan Dalam assemblyman M. Satees who announced his intention to defend his seat as an independent candidate to protest an unnamed “emperor” bent on dictating Penang’s next policies.
Asked if he was disappointed at not being named to defend his Perai state seat, Ramasamy he wasn’t but was not happy with the party’s decision to replace certain incumbents even if he accepted the omission of his name.
“I am not disappointed but the way they did it was not right. I accept the reality but the reasons they gave don’t make sense.
“This is akin to a political purge. That is why I am not happy, not disappointed that I was not selected.
“The reason given that the party wants to give opportunity to new faces to serve the people, why drop young leaders like Yeoh Soon Hin, Soon Lip Chee and Satees?” Ramasamy was quoted asking.
Yeoh is caretaker tourism, arts and culture state executive councillor while Soon is caretaker youth and sports state executive councillor.
Apart from Ramasamy, the other two DAP veterans who were left out of the Penang candidate list were its Wanita chief Chong Eng (caretaker social development and non-Islamic religious affairs exco) and Phee Boon Poh (welfare and caring society).
In a news conference earlier today in Seberang Perai, Satees claimed the existence of an unnamed “emperor” and a “tyrant” who sought to oust caretaker chief minister Chow Kon Yeow if the Pakatan Harapan-Barisan Nasional alliance wins the Penang state election.
Ramasamy was also reported by Sinar Harian to have denied rumours claiming he recently met Opposition leaders including Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for a “discussion”.
“I didn’t go anywhere, I am in Penang. I am still carrying out my duty as the caretaker deputy chief minister II and in fact I still go to my office at the service centre.
“Since when did I meet Muhyiddin or Tun? No such thing.
“All those are baseless allegations, and even if there was (a meeting), maybe I met them unplanned, not something that was planned. So the rumours regarding me meeting with Tun or Muhyiddin are not true,” he was quoted as saying.
Commenting on his plans next, Ramasamy said he does not have specific plans so far and just wants to focus on writing his memoir.
“I am still thinking about my future. Maybe my role at national level, but unsure yet. It’s still at an early planning stage.
“Regarding the state election, I won’t go to the ground to help with campaigns, but I will focus on writing my book and a few other plans. But what is for sure I will remain in politics,” he was quoted as saying.