DAP-PKR tiff in Penang worsens

(The Star) – The Penang DAP-PKR tiff is catching fire with Penang DAP chief Chow Kon Yeow describing Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohd Hashim as being politically frustrated.

He said there was no doubt that the PKR Bayan Baru MP was unhappy over his removal as state party chairman and was now attempting to break up the Pakatan Rakyat coalition here.

Chow claimed he had been informed by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng that Zahrain was frustrated as he (Lim) had refused to endorse the MP’s decision to award tender for the privatised management of the Bukit Jambul Golf Club to a RM2 company.

“Zahrain may want to personally burn his bridges with us but he shouldn’t allow his political frustrations to break up Pakatan Rakyat in Penang,” he told a press conference at the party’s headquarters here on Saturday.

On Zahrain calling Lim a communist-minded dictator and chauvinist, he said this was a baseless, racially-motivated lie.

“Even Umno and Barisan Nasional never labelled Lim a communist when he was detained under the ISA in 1987,” he added.

Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister I Mansor Othman, who is the state PKR chairman, said the party’s central committee would meet today to discuss Zahrain’s outburst.

He said the party would announce the outcome of the meeting – whether action would be taken against Zahrain or otherwise – on Tuesday.

He said while the party allowed leaders to make criticism, it would not tolerate name-calling in the press.

When contacted, Zahrain said he “could not be bothered” with what the DAP had to say as he always spoke his mind.

“We cannot compromise on PKR principles just because we want to work with them. Lim is not qualified to be chief minister.

“I spoke to many people including party members and non-governmental organisations who all agreed that Lim is a dictator so I am not retracting my statement,” he said adding that he was prepared to face any action by his party, even sacking.

He also denied any involvement in the issuance of the tender for the Bukit Jambul Golf and that “if anyone implies otherwise, I won’t hesitate to sue.”

It was reported on Friday that dissension within Pakatan had spread, and the simmering feud between DAP and PKR leaders broke into the open when Zahrain verbally attacked Lim.