PETALING JAYA: "I wanted to quit three times before."
With these words, Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim said he has had enough of politics, having learnt his lesson.
Saying his principles were not in sync with the DAP's style of politics which discouraged dissent and alternative views, the most prominent Malay member of the party said he wanted to quit the party on several occasions but was advised not to by party stalwart Lim Kit Siang and his son, Guan Eng.
"I came in 2008 as a friend of Kit Siang," Tunku Abdul Aziz told The Malay Mail yesterday.
The former party vice-chairman had announced on live television on Monday evening that he was leaving the DAP following the public dressing-down he received from the party leaders for his stance on the Bersih 3.0 rally which the DAP said was inconsistent with the party's views.
Guan Eng, who is also the DAP secretary-general, had even said Tunku Abdul Aziz's opposition to Bersih 3.0 was an "embarrassment" to the party.
"The DAP is clearly not a party that encourages democracy and alternative views," Tunku Abdul Aziz said.
The Transparency International-Malaysia founding president said his message in the Dewan Negara that his opposition to Bersih was taken out of context.
He had said that the organisers should have accepted the offer of Merdeka Stadium, as while he supported Bersih, he was against breaking any laws.
"There was a court injunction. There was a restriction from City Hall, yet they wanted to proceed," he said.
"The DAP is a party that encourages people to break the law ... we are lawmakers, not law breakers!"
He said as someone who came from a civil society background, he supported Bersih but was opposed to breaking the law and also expressed concern that Bersih 3.0 co-chairman Datuk S. Ambiga would lose control of the rally.
"Look at what happened, she was overwhelmed by the politicians who had their own agenda, Tunku Abdul Aziz said.
"I am opposed to any form of street violence and breaking of laws."
On events leading to his resignation, he said there was initially a "standing invitation" from Kit Siang that he would be extended as a senator, where Guan Eng was to announce it at the DAP central executive committee meeting.
However, after his statement on Bersih 3.0, he was told it might not go down well with Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders and that it might have an impact on his renewal.
"I said, if that is the case, I don't want to be the cause of disharmony within the party, so don't put up my name for renewal," he said.
"If it is so difficult to nominate me for an extension, don't. I did not ask for a senatorship in the first place.
"I joined the DAP -- not PR."