By REGINA LEE and TERENCE TOH, the star
KUALA LUMPUR: DAP chairman Karpal Singh has left it to the party's disciplinary committee to take action in the recent war of words between him and Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P Ramasamy.
Karpal said that he would abide by the gag order imposed by the three-man panel formed to resolve the issue.
However, the Bukit Gelugor MP let it slip that complaints had been lodged with the disciplinary committee, implying that many of them were against Ramasamy.
“There will be complaints, no doubt about it. It is too big a matter to just be dismissed,” he said, adding that they were filed by members who attended the Penang DAP convention two weeks ago, when Ramasamy's supporters staged a demonstration against Karpal.
“I am not one of the complainants, but I, of course, have interest in the matter,” he said.
“I can assure that certain action will be taken against anyone, however high their position, if they have defied the gag order,” Karpal told reporters at his office on Weednesday, referring to the statement that The Star attributed to Ramasamy.
He declined to comment on whether he is rescinding his call for the Deputy Chief Minister II to resign after Ramasamy said he would take legal action against The Star, claiming that he had been misquoted.
“Whatever I said, I went by the press report. If there was a controversy whether he said those words or not, that is between him and The Star,” Karpal said.
He also dismissed suggestions that the Indian leaders in the party were more supportive of Ramasamy as shown by their presence at the Deputy CM's press conference on Monday.
“I don't give press conferences with a show of might. Godfathers don't do that,” Karpal quipped to laughter among reporters.
He also denied that the legal action by Ramasamy against The Star could tarnish DAP's image and be construed as an attack on press freedom.
“Only in an extreme situation where your personal integrity is questioned must you or politicians go to court. If not, freedom of the press must be given utmost priority,” he said.
The high-powered three-man panel - comprising DAP lifelong advisor Dr Chen Man Hin, parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang and secretary-general Lim Guan Eng - had announced that the godfather-warlord spat was over.
However, Ramasamy, in an interview with The Star published last Friday, was quoted as saying there was a plot to oust him from office.
Karpal demanded his resignation from office because of his allegation, which Ramasamy has since denied making.