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KUALA LUMPUR: Outspoken DAP vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim will not be reappointed as senator when his term ends at the end of this month.
He was informed of this yesterday morning and later gave a farewell speech during a luncheon for senators whose terms were expiring.
“I wanted to serve another three years, but after what I said, I know it’s not possible. I understand the party’s stand is important, but the nation’s well-being matters most to me,” he said with a tinge of sadness during his speech at the Parliament banquet area.
Tunku Aziz said he was aware that his recent remarks against Bersih 3.0 would cause friction within the party and was prepared not to be re-nominated.
His decision not to support Bersih 3.0 came after Senator Datuk Ng Fook Heong criticised the opposition for going ahead with it at Dataran Merdeka despite the government's offer of a different venue.
Tunku Aziz earned DAP's ire when he said the party's refusal to accept the offer to hold the gathering elsewhere showed that it was encouraging Malaysians to break the law.
He had said that although he supported Bersih's cause, he would not support an event which was against the country's laws.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng admonished Tunku Aziz for his remarks, saying that he had gone against the party's stand and embarrassed the party leadership.
After the April 28 rally degenerated into chaos, Tunku Aziz again criticised those who participated in it and added that they were not completely blameless for the violence.
Later, speaking to the New Straits Times, he said he was told by the party a few weeks before Bersih 3.0 that he would be reappointed.
"But my statement against Bersih sealed my fate. It's a small sacrifice for speaking my conscience."
Earlier, during the luncheon, Ng, who is also retiring, apologised for his provocation, saying it led to Tunku Aziz's outburst and landed him in trouble with his party.
Dewan Negara president Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang said Tunku Aziz's stand was something that needed to be emulated by all senators.
The luncheon was held to honour the nine senators whose terms have either ended recently or will end before the next sitting. All, except for Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, were present.