by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 15th June, 1991:
DAP CEC accepts resignation of S.Asameley as Assemblyman for Prai and would forward his resignation letter to the Penang Speaker next week
The DAP Central Executive Committee, after a three-and-a-half hour meeting in Petaling Jaya last night, unanimously decided to accept the resignation of S.Asameley as Assemblyman for Prai.
At the meeting, I read out to the CEC the two-page letter by S.Asameley dated 9th June 1991 to explain “the regretful turn of events”.
In his letter Asamaley said that what happened was “a personal matter which unfortunately has been exploited by some unscrupulous and irresponsible people who turned it into a political and public issue.”
Asamaley said that given time, he would have resolved his personal matter “amicably as things were very much under control. However, unfortunately the front page report in the Sunday Mail of 26th May, 1991 precipitated the tragic suicide of my later wife”.
In his letter, Asamaley said:”I wish to further state that since being elected as an Assemblyman I have not acted in any manner detrimental to the interest of the party and the public even though I concede that I was having personal problems. I have not failed in the discharge of my duties as an Assemblyman.
“I tendered my resignation letter to you as my personal matter has become public and I cannot be a judge in my own cause as to the implication to the party and to the public. I therefore leave the matter of my resignation entirely in your hands and that of the C.E.C. and sincerely hope that you will reach a just and fair decision.
“I will abide by any decision taken by your goodself and the C.E.C.
“Regardless of the outcome of the C.E.C.’s decision my loyalty and dedication to the DAP is unquestionable.”
DAP National Deputy Chairman and Penang DAP State Chairman, Sdr.Karpal Singh, reported to the CEC the views expressed at the Penang DAP State Committee meeting on Monday.
The CEC was informed of the reactions and feedback from some Prai constituents who were of the view that the Party should and accept Asamaley’s resignation as he had been a very hard-working and conscientious Assemblyman, and that Asamaley’s problem was a personal and private one, and that some Barisan Nasional elected representatives have even worse personal and private problems.
The CEC recognise and acknowledges that in his seven months as Prai Assemblyman, Asamaley has been a good Assemblyman, both in the Penang Assembly and in his constituency and has shown great political promise.
Asamaley has also set a most commendable example of political accountability and responsibility when he submitted his resignation as Prai Assemblyman on May 29 to the DAP CEC so as to protect the Party from ‘embarrassment’ and to let the Party leadership decide on his future as Assemblyman, for every DAP elected representative holds his seat as a trust by the Party and must answer and account to the Party for all his actions which could affect his performance and credibility as an MP or Assemblyman.
The CEC unanimously decided to accept Asamaley’s resignation because the issue before it requires a purely political decision.
The DAP hopes that its decision on the Asamaley case would set a healthy precedent in Malaysian politics where political leaders would accept greater responsibility and accountability for their actions-and not make a false distinction between ‘responsibility’ and ‘accountability’ as attempted by the Malacca Chief Minister, Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Chi, over the Malacca water shortage crisis.
The DAP CEC is fully conscious of the difficulty the DAP would face in a Prai by-election, which the DAP had won on a slim 355-vote majority, especially with the ‘3M onslaught’ of the Barisan Nasional money power, media blitzkrieg and juggernaut machinery.
The difficulty of retaining the Prai seat in a by-election, however, is irrelevant to the issue of whether the DAP CEC should accept Asamaley’s resignation. If in accepting Asamaley’s resignation, the DAP has to lose one seat in the Penang Assembly, this is a price the DAP will have to pay.
Asamaley’s resignation letter will be handed to the Penang State Assembly Speaker, Datuk Abdul Rahman Abbas, next week.
The CEC meeting last night was informed that Sdr.Lee Lam Thye and Sdr.Hu Sepang have resigned from the Party.