The defections of Walter Loh and Richard Ho
When Lee Beng Cheang defected and joined the MCA last February, I felt sorry for him for he was a victim of circumstances. My colleagues and I in the DAP shed no tear for the defections of Walter Loh and Richard Ho.
Richard Ho has now followed the footsteps of the Yeoh Eng Chyes, and for a comfortable place and life, betrayed the people’s trust and hopes.
Richard Ho has been a political misfit in the DAP. We are aware that for over a year, MCA leaders had been working on Richard Ho. We had thought that Richard Ho would have enough decency, self-respect and sense of honour to stand by his pledge to fight for the people’s interests and rights. We were mistaken.
As Member of Parliament for Sitiawan, Richard Ho has failed to discharge his constituency duties. He has pushed them to the State Assemblymen for Lumut, Sdr. Pang Teik Hwa.
Richard Ho has now not only failed his constituents in attending to their constituency problems, he has now betrayed their hopes and aspirations for a more just and equal Malaysian society.
Walter Loh is a more despicable case. Only last week, he was speaking at DAP public rallies at Ulu Selangor condemning the MCA and the Alliance for destroying the future of the next generation of Malaysians. Overnight, he has found the MCA the best party for Malaysia.
In fact, only a few days ago, the MCA Youth were issuing statements denouncing Walter Loh for his neglect of constituency duties. But today, Walter Loh has overnight become a model MCA Member of Parliament.
From Walter Loh’s action, we are now convinced that he is an informer at party meetings for more than a year. That is why I say he is so despicable.
The defections of Richard Ho and Walter Loh are no loss to the DAP, for they have made no contribution to the forward expansion and progress of the DAP. They had been passengers.
Human beings being what they are, it is impossible to totally prevent defection or betrayal. Even the Malayan Communist Party, which has the image of unsurpassed discipline where every member is a hardcore and unbreakable, great party defections had taken place. Two instances that come to mind are Lai Tek, Chin Peng’s predecessor as Secretary-General of MCP. Lai Tek was one of the most brilliant leaders of the MCP, but was believed to be a double, if not a triple agent – serving both the British and Japanese intelligence. It was Lai Tek who was responsible for the famous ‘September 1st’ Incident at Batu Caves in 1942 when about 100 top Communist leaders gathering for a meeting were massacred or captured by the Japanese. Finally Lai Tek absconded with the entire MCP funds in 1947. Another instance was Lam Swee, top organizer of communist trade unions before the First Emergency and during the Emergency, the MCP boss in Johore. He later defected from the MCP and went over to the Special Branch.
The MCP, despite these major party defections, continued to be a serious political force today.
There are enough other examples in history that party defections cannot be completely prevented, but that these defections do not necessarily cause the decline or disintegration of the Party.
In the course of the political struggle of the DAP, some will fall by the wayside, either for lack of resolution, conviction or because they have gone soft and decadent from the baneful influence of certain political success. This is human weakness.
The past year had been a year of great trial and tribulation for the DAP – both collectively for the party and individually foe the party leaders, Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen.
The Alliance conceived a big scheme to wreck and disrupt the DAP, because the DAP is a serious opposition party in Malaysia. High-pressured attempts to wreck the party by detention, sedition charges and other court persecutions failed to achieve their desired purpose. The tactics changed and more subtle, insidious methods were used to try to exploit human weaknesses through the offer of money and other material inducement, and even offer of Ministerial posts. Realising that DAP leaders could not be broken, attempt was made to buy them.
There have been a few casualties among our MPs and State Assemblymen, who either for lack of political conviction, character or firm personal and political integrity, have betrayed the DAP cause.
The coming months and years will be even more trying than the past year, for the Alliance operators and manipulators will step up their campaign to break or buy up DAP officials, particularly through exploitation and inflation of human weaknesses.
The DAP officials are undergoing a great test of our political convictions and integrity. Even more important, we are all individually undergoing a test of character and personal honour.
I have faith and confidence that the DAP will be able to emerge from the coming test of wits, ideas and character not only basically intact, but even stronger and more capable to advance the ideals of a more just and equal, more democratic Malaysia.
Finally, Mr. Alex Lee claims that about 1,600 DAP members and supporters in Selangor have joined the MCA. Let Mr. Alex Lee live in his dream world, and let him feed fictions to the Alliance and MCA bosses to shown what a great political leader he is. His claim is so ridiculous that it is not worth comment. Mr. Alex Lee can consider himself lucky if he can produce a dozen card-carrying members of the DAP in Selangor who have joined the MCA.