Adding to the sparks, rebel Penang leaders have joined in
the fray with fingers pointing to the
existence of a Knock Out Kit Siang
Some say KOKS can also stand for Knock
Out Karpal Singh, the party's deputy
It's a strange campaign. No one wants to
accept responsibility although it has gone on for years, according to the
No one has been named although several
people have been quietly
That has not stopped the central
executive council (CEC) from ordering all state committees to hold meetings to discuss the KOKS issue.
Feathers have been ruffled as a result.
The dissidents in Penang, former state
chief Teoh Teik Huat and vice-chairman
Gooi Hock Seng, are as red as a cock's
At a CEC meeting last week, they insisted
that Karpal Singh name names, according
to party sources.
The KOKS issue, however, seems to be one
topic the DAP leadership does not mind
talking about as it seems to have
sidetracked the controversy involving the removal of the three DAP stalwarts.
But before anyone could make out what
KOKS is all about, there is now another
campaign known as Knock Out Dr Chen
According to national chairman Dr Chen
Man Hin, certain members want to get rid of him, too.
The doctor who regularly takes part in
marathons has so far outrun and
outclassed all his detractors. Some have
quit, with one defecting to another
To add to the confusion, Wee and his
friends have expressed support for Dr
Chen openly after criticising the
chairman for insisting they apologise to
the party for their actions.
Some party leaders said that such
campaigns were started by young turks in
the party who had a hand in the Knock
Out Old Leaders (KOOLS) campaign in the
last party elections.
According to those implicated in KOKS,
the same upstarts who started KOOLS have
suddenly pledged undying loyalty to the
KOOLS or not, staying cool isn't a
virtue in the opposition party these
days where magnanimity has become a rare commodity.
Newsmen reporting on the dissension have received angry calls from party leaders, threatening to end friendships.
Many DAP leaders seem to have lost their
sense of humour. That is understandable,
considering the pressure they face and the unwanted publicity in the
It is made worse by the fact that their
estranged relationship involves party loyalists with over 20 years' experience.
The party is in danger of seeing a
generation of experienced leaders
being left out in the cold.
But given the voting trend, especially in urban areas where the Rocket symbol is chosen rather than the personalities of candidates, the
current uproar is unlikely to have much impact on the general election.
The dispute will probably drag on until
the party congress on Aug 22 when
elections are held.
The possibility of secretary-general Lim Kit Siang losing the tussle seems remote and in all likelihood most of the rebels will not win a CEC seat.
The dissidents will have to convince the party grassroots that their presence will provide check and balance.
The ruckus in the party has also
provided an avenue for some has beens to make a comeback by
pledging support for the leadership
which they had abandoned at some
One state leader, who went on holiday in
a neighbouring country during the 1995
general election to avoid campaigning,
has proclaimed himself a dedicated
A Youth leader who had called for
reforms a few years back, insinuating that veteran leaders should be ousted, is singing a different
As they say in politics, there are no
permanent friends or permanent enemies.
For the DAP, it is time to stop behaving like fighting cocks in order to fend off charges of No Action Talk Only during the runup to the general election.