Kong See Hoh, The Sun Daily
Himpunan Hijau is divided over its chairman Wong Tack's (pix) decision to contest in the 13th general election (GE13), with naysayers asking him to quit his post and threatening to leave the environmental group.
According to an Oriental Daily News report today, Himpunan Hijau steering committee member Clement Chin said some of the panel members were against Wong contesting in the elections but did not have the courage to speak up. Instead, they have chosen to stay away from the committee meetings where Wong received endorsement to contest, he said.
Chin pointed out that 70% of the 10 central steering committee members who gave Wong the thumbs-up are either DAP or Parti Keadilan Rakyat members.
He said the endorsement by the 10 does not reflect the wishes of the majority of the steering committee members.
He told the daily he and other naysayers are considering quitting Himpunan Hijau or launching a protest to keep the group non-partisan.
On Tuesday, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng announced that Wong will be contesting the Bentong parliamentary seat under the party's ticket. Bentong is held by MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who is also health minister.
Stressing that Himpunan Hijau can work with political parties but not for them, Chin said Wong should resign from his post.
He urged Himpunan Hijau to re-elect a new chief, saying the environment group should remain independent and non-partisan.
Suaram director Dr Kua Kia Soong, who left a civil rights group to join DAP in the 90s, also felt Wong should resign from his post as he cannot represent Himpunan Hijau in the race for the Bentong seat, and should contest in his personal capacity.
Meanwhile, political analyst Datuk Cheah See Kian said Wong should make it clear whether he is contesting in his personal capacity, for Himpunan Hijau or DAP.
On Wong's chances, he said it remains to be seen if he can create an upset in a "mixed" constituency where bumiputras, who are known to be less enthusiastic than Chinese about green issues, account for more than 40% of the electorate.