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Date: 10 Dec 1999
Ronnie defends Kit Siang, Karpal
Selangor DAP chairman Ronnie Liu said Fan Yew Teng's suggestion that Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh should resign was a "call from the wild" which did not reflect the view of the party's majority. "The pact with PAS and our co-operation in the Barisan Alternatif was a collective decision. I also went along with the decision.
"It is unfair to blame Lim and Karpal for the election defeat suffered by DAP," said Liu.
He added that the decision was made after many brainstorming sessions among senior members of the party.
Liu said he could not recall if Fan had raised objection to the pact during the brainstorming sessions, although "some did think the risk was too high".
"However, the final party decision was to take the risk and enter the pact.
"If the party wanted to be selfish, we could have gone into the elections alone with more confidence of winning the seats," he said.
Liu said the party needed stalwarts to keep the "flag flying" while young turks dedicated themselves to gaining public trust.
As for the kharaj (tax on non-Muslims) proposed by the PAS-led Terengganu Government, Liu said he was informed by a senior PAS leader that paying the tax was not compulsory.
He added that the PAS leader, a scholar, told him those who choose to pay the kharaj were exempted from paying other kinds of taxes, such as premiums or land charges.