By Jahabar Sadiq
The Malaysian Insider
April 18, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 – The Registrar of Societies’ (RoS) decision not to recognise the DAP’s office bearers means one thing, no one can authorise its candidates to use the party’s recognisable Rocket logo and force them to run under allies PAS’s full moon or PKR’s eye logos.
This ruling is likely to affect DAP candidates’ chances in the 49 federal seats and slightly more than 100 state seats in the May 5 general elections as most of the contests are in Chinese-majority areas where the Rocket is popular but not the other logos.
“The RoS decisions means that no party officials is recognised as officials by the authorities. So, they can’t authorise the candidates to use party symbols,” a DAP official told The Malaysian Insider.
He said the party’s top officials are still discussing their options now although the Election Commission (EC) has said the Rocket logo can be used.
“We have to see the implications of this decision,” he added.
The party’s Rocket logo (picture) was ubiquitous in Election 2008, where it contested in 149 constituencies, including 47 parliamentary seats and won 28 parliamentary seats and 63 state seats.
Nineteen of the state seats was in Penang, where it formed the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government with PKR and PAS. The three parties have yet to formalise the pact and are using their respective logos in the coming polls.
EC deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar however believed that the DAP can still use the Rocket logo.
“Can use their logo because the problem with RoS is not a problem of deregistering the party. The only problem is that RoS did not recognise the CEC,” he told The Malaysian Insider over the phone.
“So the DAP leadership needs to meet with RoS whether today or tomorrow to resolve this problem and get an explanation as to which CEC list the RoS recognises,” he added.
An immediate beneficiary of the RoS move just two days before nomination day is Barisan Nasional’s (BN) component party MCA, which has felt the growing influence of DAP since Election 2008.
The Chinese party has “loaned” three federal seats to Umno as shrinking support from the community is seen as a risk to the ruling coalition in the May 5 general elections.
“MCA will go to town and say the Chinese vote is under threat from Islamic rule as DAP has kow-towed to PAS … if they can’t use the Rocket logo,” said a political analyst, who declined to be named.
“This will severely affect the DAP,” he added.
BN sources say that the coalition must at least win 25 per cent of the Chinese vote in Election 2013 or they could lose more seats than in Election 2008.
Most pundits believe BN can only muster 20 per cent of the Chinese votes in the coming polls. Some 13.3 million voters, including 5,200 abroad, are eligible to cast their ballots in the general elections.