SIDELINED: 70 members quit party
JOHOR BARU: TWO former DAP branch leaders, who were sacked by the party last month, protested yesterday over the way they were treated by the state party leadership.
One of them, former Taman Saga DAP branch chairman, V. Thulasi Das, said he and 70 other branch members now supported Barisan Nasional.
Thulasi and Murugan A. Kalliapan, who was Taman Nesa DAP branch publicity secretary, received letters from the party's central disciplinary committee on June 18, informing them of their expulsion from the party.
They said they were sacked because of their involvement in two protests against the party -- in January and last month -- and for accusing state DAP chief Dr Boo Cheng Hau as being "racist" when it came to treating members from the Indian community.
Thulasi claimed that Dr Boo sidelined Indian DAP members in Johor, preferring to help the Chinese community whenever he dealt with his constituents.
He had also openly praised BN's Bukit Permai state assemblyman Kamarulzaman Ali for helping the Indian community.
"I have been a DAP member for the past six years. But what happened recently was uncalled for," said Thulasi after joining a few others to protest against the state DAP leadership in front of the Johor Baru Tengah Municipal Council (MPJBT) building here.
The small group held placards, a banner and a replica of the DAP logo, which they were supposed to burn. However, a brief downpour prevented them from burning it.
Murugan said Dr Boo had never extended much help when it came to matters at the Taman Nesa branch in Skudai.
"After joining the DAP prior to the March 2008 general election, I promised my members we would open our own branch office.
"I managed to rent an office on my own accord. Dr Boo and the state party had never extended much help.
"I have spent RM40,000 of my own money to rent the branch office and organise activities for 200 branch members."
In an immediate response, Dr Boo said the party's central disciplinary committee had decided to sack the two members for demonstrating during the party's national conference in Shah Alam in January, and for attacking Johor DAP as being "racist".
He said the two should respect the party's decision and could appeal to the central executive committee if they wished to do so.
"Their accusations that I am a racist and do not help the Indian community are untrue," said Dr Boo.
"I have donated my own money to temples and the needy, besides helping stateless Indians to apply for citizenship and (giving) welfare assistance from various sources."