With just a few days to go before the Malaysian general election, friction has emerged in the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP).
The DAP made a surprise announcement that longtime party stalwart Charles Santiago would not stand for his Klang constituency seat in the upcoming election.
However, Santiago disputed the party's assertion that he was informed beforehand of the decision.
Seemingly conflicting accounts
On Oct. 28, DAP leader Anthony Loke gave an explanation for the announcement that Santiago would not be standing for election once more in Klang, Selangor.
Santiago had first won a parliamentary seat in 2008 for the DAP and served until 2022.
According to Malaysiakini, Loke said the party had agreed in advance that 2018 would be Santiago's last election.
Loke also claimed that Santiago had been informed of this decision before the announcement.
However, Santiago refuted this.
In social media posts on Oct. 28, Santiago said there were "no such arrangements" and no indication about calls to replace him, either in 2013 or 2018, as suggested by another DAP leader, Gobind Singh Deo.
He also claimed that this was put out to mitigate the backlash against the announcement and said it was "unbecoming" of the DAP leaders.
And even if the extent of the backlash freaks them out, it’s unbecoming of both Loke and Gobind to hint that they were doing me a favour by allowing me to continue as a lawmaker given that I do not hold positions in the party.— Charles Santiago (@mpklang) October 28, 2022
However, Santiago maintained that he would like to see the DAP do well in the polls, and he was determined to ensure that Pakatan Harapan coalition succeeds in this election.
He said he spoke up because he saw this as a matter of "personal integrity" and called on Loke not to "tarnish" his integrity.
Top image from Charles Santiago and Anthony Loke's Facebook pages.