Can Teng spring a surprise?

By FMT Staff

KUALA LUMPUR: The battle for all positions in the Selangor DAP has intensified as some 1,000 delegates get ready to cast their ballots on Sunday.

Party insiders say the tussle for votes has reached feverish level as two rivals – Selangor State Legislative Assembly Speaker Teng Chang Kim and Kinrara state assemblywoman Teresa Kok – go on overdrive to woo the delegates.

And there is a possibility that popular “rogue” leader Teng and his group, dubbed the “Justice Reform Group”, may pull an upset win.

Teng’s camp is challenging the establishment team led by Kok, who has also put up a line-up or “cai dan” (menu) for her faction known as the “Unity Team”.

A state party leader, who did not want to be named, said that Teng’s group might cause an upset as the “Justice Reform Group” has strong grassroots support.

The leader said Teng’s group has been gaining ground, with some leaders aligned to this group claiming to have the support of nearly 70% of the state DAP branches.

They also claimed that the group had control of over 80% of DAP branches in Selangor, with branches from Sabak Bernam and Sungai Besar fully backing it.

“They (Teng’s group) are riding on the Tee Boon Hock’s sacking momentum. A lot of people are unhappy with the way the whole Tee issue was handled by the DAP leadership. They might just show protest by voting for Teng’s team,” said the leader.

Tee, former state DAP organising secretary and Klang Municipal Councillor, was sacked from the party over the “support letter” fiasco. He had allegedly given support letters to family members and friends to obtain state government contracts.

The Tee factor

“It is an open secret that Tee’s supporters have been working hard to garner as much support as possible for Teng’s group. In the past two years, Tee has been instrumental in increasing the number of DAP branches in Selangor in his capacity as the organising secretary,” said the leader.

“This is evident when those aligned to Kok were knocked out at branch elections. Now we will have some 700 new delegates and they can cause problem for Kok,” he added.

Moreover, the leader claimed that Teng has declared his intention to take up the state chairmanship and this has pleased grassroots members who want to see a change in the state leadership.

Party sources revealed that Kok, who transferred her membership from Kuala Lumpur to Selangor, risks defeat at the polls.

Wishes of party leadership

Kok is said to be “acting on the wishes” of the national leadership, which is bent on wiping out Teng and his supporters, consisting of party veterans sidelined by the party, through the state election.

The sources said the top leadership felt that Kok should be leading the state because of her immense popularity among the masses and her “scandal-free” stature in the party.

Should she win, Kok, who is also Seputeh MP, is tipped to helm the state DAP, taking over from Ean Yong Hian Wah.