Perak DAP rift widens ahead of party polls

In fact, the source claimed that the pre-general election scare caused by Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan when she suddenly decided to pull out of the 2008 election race, had been caused by Nga himself.

The infamous “Ngeh-Nga factor” in the Perak DAP appears to be rearing its ugly head once again as party members gear up for state party polls this November.

Speculation is rife that the “Ngeh-Nga” factor, a term coined long ago when the Pakatan Rakyat still helmed the northern state, has apparently come back to haunt the infamous cousins of the Perak DAP – state party chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham and secretary Nga Kor Ming.

The Malaysian Insider understands that the cousins, accused of being dictatorial and overzealous in running the party, could very well be “punished” during the polls if they failed to change their methods.

“If they refuse to change, if things remain as they were before… they will face opposition. Just wait… things are about to explode,” one Perak DAP state committee member told The Malaysian Insider.

According to party insiders, the anti-Ngeh-Nga faction rumoured to be led by the party’s deputy state chief, M. Kulasegaran, is now gaining strength in numbers, ahead of the crucial party polls.

The Ipoh Barat MP appears to be quietly garnering support for his team by spreading his arms to welcome Ngeh-Nga detractors and allowing them to find solace on his side.

One party source told The Malaysian Insider that the rift between the factions has become so obvious today that anyone who disagreed with the cousins were immediately recruited into Kulasegaran’s camp.

“It is not like all of them are truly supportive of Kulasegaran… it is just that they have no other camp to head to. In Perak DAP now, you are either with the Ngeh-Nga team or against them. It is hard to stay in between,” said the source.

As such, recent state party committee meetings have apparently become battlegrounds for both factions to iron out their grievances.

“Yes, it is true. We are very divided during the meetings. You can see that one side only consults with their own while the other side does the same. Sometimes they may be just about small, petty issues, but the opposition is very obvious. Some meetings could become very fiery and we find it hard to strike middle ground,” said one committee member.

On some occasions, The Malaysian Insider understands that the state liaison body was even forced to invite national party leaders to join their committee meetings and become mediators to settle the disputes.

A veteran party leader told The Malaysian Insider that the faction-fighting had already existed long before today, from as far back as before the March 2008 general election.

“The whole faction thing was only put aside momentarily when we won Perak from the BN during March 2008. Then we had more things to concentrate on… we needed to sit together and plan how to run the state,” said the leader.

He explained that the factions were formed when it became apparent that the “Ngeh-Nga” cousins were taking on too much in the party and were allegedly making unilateral decisions without consulting other leaders.

In fact, the source claimed that the pre-general election scare caused by Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan when she suddenly decided to pull out of the 2008 election race, had been caused by Nga himself.

“They started sidelining her in 2004. She resigned from the committee in 2006 and when she wrote in and said she wanted to return, they were against it. She had felt that the entire Perak DAP was against her.

“Then in 2008, she pulled out when she was clearly facing opposition from Nga over her seat. She had to be pursuaded to return,” said the leader.

The leader also claimed both Ngeh and Nga were partly to blame for the fall of the Perak PR government last year.

“They were running the party like it was their own. When we won state, it was no different. Everything, every policy was their own… all had to be subservient to them. They would bulldoze through the state exco meetings and the voices of other exco members meant nothing to them,” said the source.