KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 — Lim Kit Siang sought to defend the scarcity of DAP leaders in the Pakatan Harapan presidential council today by saying the pact did not operate in the same format as rivals Barisan Nasional (BN).
Umno’s Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak earlier questioned why DAP leaders were notably absent from the top of the pact’s leadership despite being the party with the most representation in Parliament by far.
Salleh had suggested that this was intentionally done to allow DAP to mask the fact that it was the dominant force in Pakatan Harapan by giving the pact a Malay facade.
“DAP is neither sidelined nor do we dominate Pakatan Harapan, which is coalition of political equals based on the operational principle of consensus, unlike Barisan Nasional which is founded on Umno hegemony,” Lim said in a statement.
The DAP parliamentary leader also said allegations that he was a “dictator” and DAP was the power behind the scenes were simply part of a propaganda campaign by rivals Umno.
He added Salleh’s belief that the party with the most representation should be the dominant force was coloured by his own experience with Umno, which Lim said was BN’s political foundation but not that of Pakatan Harapan.
The pact yesterday announced its presidential council with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as chairman and Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as president.
DAP’s most senior position went to its secretary-general, Lim Guan Eng, who is one of three deputy presidents in the pact.