Media statement by DAP Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan, International Secretary for Wanita DAP and member of the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Rights and Gender Equality Kasthuri Patto on Wednesday 19 December 2018 in Batu Kawan, Penang
On his 72nd birthday today, P. Patto would have vehemently condemned ‘kataks’ who betrayed the electorate, the struggle and worst of all, forsaking the trust and confidence mandated by the rakyat, all for their own political survival or conscience.
I share my father, P. Patto’s statement cited by his former political secretary Choo Sing Chye on what he would have said in a Malaysia Baru and the troubling trend on political defections, in light of the latest slew of ‘kataks’ who are deserting what they deem as a sinking ship for their own political survival, including an open threat to our Pakatan Harapan MP for Kota Melaka a few days back who openly called for the rejection of the admission of former Chief Minister of Malacca into the fray.
On January 3 1985, 33 years ago, P. Patto wrote about the great immorality of MPs and state assembly members switching parties just at a drop of a hat for political or monetary gains. It was aptly titled “The dirty and treacherous tactics employed by some to “buy” DAP and other opposition parties’ elected representatives depict the level of political immorality and corruption in the system”.
He explicitly spoke about the rakyat voting for any candidate, rejecting decisively against Barisan Nasional (BN), to work for the people, and that there would be no betrayal to the movement and to the rakyat.
“Betrayal by elected representatives who cross the floor when the carrot is held before their eyes cannot be condoned in any parliamentary system which adheres to the principles of parliamentary democracy. The choice by the electorate in any election or by-election must be held in high esteem and not treated as a licence to trade one’s position as an MP or state assembly member for personal gain and glory.
“Such acts of betrayal by individual elected representative must be brought to an end by way of legislation.. And the the best way to put an end to such betrayal of the people’s trust is to introduce legislation whereby an elected representative on a party platform is barred from crossing the floor unless he or she resigns his or her seat and seeks a fresh mandate from the electorate by contesting on the new party’s ticket”.
“Such legislation will be a sure way to arrest political immorality and corruption now prevalent in the political arena”.
In today’s political climate, I believe my father would have called for the same – to legislate the jumping of ‘kataks’.
On this day, my father’s words along side the words of leaders in the DAP and Pakatan Harapan, including that of the rakyat who voted for a change of regime after a 61 year spell, calls out and pleads for the people’s representative to have honour, dignity, virtue and courage in respecting the choice of the rakyat which led to this unimaginable win in the Mother of all General Elections, GE14.
The DAP has always been steadfast and unflinching on the morality of her MPs, state assemblypersons and councillors, as well as local grassroot leaders in upholding democracy, justice, accountability, transparency, freedom and good governance and will speak without fear or favour against any attempts connived or plotted to destabilise Pakatan Harapan in a new Malaysia Baru mandated by the rakyat on 9 May 2018.
Thank you, Papa for always being a voice of conscience no matter how dark and grim the circumstances. The legendary voice we all miss so much.
Rest now. Till we meet again.
Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan
International Secretary for Wanita DAP
Member of the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Rights and Gender Equality
Secretary of Parliamentarians for Global Action (Malaysian Chapter)