PETALING JAYA: Zulkifli Mohd Noor (pix), the first among two Malays to contest on a DAP ticket, passed away yesterday while visiting his mother in Sungai Petani. He was 71.
Zulkifli leaves behind a wife and three children.
The outspoken former DAP leader had earlier complained that he was unwell and was rushed to the Sungai Petani Hospital where he is believed to have succumbed to a heart attack.
Affectionately called “Abang Zul,“ (Brother Zul), the former army officer contested on the party’s ticket about the same time as the late Ahmad Nor.
He was fielded in two elections by DAP – 1999 and 2004 but lost in the Bukit Bendera and Bayan Baru parliamentary seats.
And when Ahmad stepped aside after 2004, Zulkifli contested and was made a DAP vice-president.
But after DAP rose to prominence in 2008 when it captured Penang and Selangor, Zulkifli turned bitter when he alleged that the Malays in the party were sidelined by the leadership.
When certain quarters begin accusing DAP of being a Chinese chauvinistic party, Zulkifli contended that it was true and began criticising the party.
He then quit DAP and formed a civil society outfit called the Penang Malay Congress, which subsequently grew to become a political party called the People’s Alternative Party (PAP).
However, both organisations failed to make an impact with the electorate in the last two elections despite the numerous media engagements by Zulkifli and former PAP chairman, Rahmad Isahak.
When contacted, Rahmad confirmed Zulkifli’s death.
“He was a fighter to the end; someone who believed that time was ripe for a truly multi-ethnic party which was not dominated by either Malays, Chinese or Indians,” Rahmad said.