Problems continue to plague Kedah government

(NST) – A few days before the country went to the polls in 2008, Parti Keadilan Rakyat pulled a fast one on Kedah DAP — it betrayed the party and fielded a candidate in Derga.

This was despite a gentleman’s agreement between the two that the DAP was to represent Pakatan Rakyat to wrest the state seat from Barisan Nasional.

The outcome? Both opposition candidates failed. One of them was the Derga incumbent, a former Kedah Gerakan vice-chief who crossed over to PKR after he was dropped from defending the seat, a BN stronghold.

With the next general election just around the corner, Kedah DAP is feeling rattled about a possible recurring “nightmare” in Derga.

So rattled was its chief, Lee Guan Aik, he flew into a rage and publicly slammed his counterpart, Datuk Wan Salleh Wan Ahmad for allegedly saying that Kedah DAP should stop dreaming of Derga in the next general election. Wan Salleh has denied having said such but Lee was unconvinced.

A bitter Lee, still reeling from the bad experience with PKR in 2008, announced that Kedah DAP would field candidates in six state seats compared with only two state seats — Derga and Kota Darulaman — in the last general election.

One of them is of course Kota Darulaman, of which Lee is the incumbent. The rest are Derga (of course!), Bakar Bata, Bakar Arang, Gurun and Lunas.

Bakar Arang and Lunas were won by PKR in the 2008 national polls. However, its assemblymen, disenchanted by their leaders, including PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, whom they claimed played favourites, left the party to become independents shortly after.

Besides the state seats, Lee also proudly announced that his party would contest in Padang Serai and Alor Star parliamentary constituencies.

Incidentally, Padang Serai was also won by PKR in 2008, but its MP, again, frustrated with Anwar and his little Napoleons, left to join five other former PKR parliamentarians to become independents.

Lee’s outburst is understandable. The sole DAP representative in the Pas-led state government does not want the PKR to play him out again.

He also probably wants Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak to take him seriously for he had thrown tantrums at the State Pas chief once before.

Lee had threatened to quit the state opposition pact after his party claimed the state government was insensitive to the needs of the Chinese community when it allowed the demolition of a pig abattoir in Kampung Berjaya in 2009, barely a year after the Pakatan Rakyat took over the state reins.

Lee could have also felt slighted by Azizan after he was ignored for a state exco post.

 Azizan, instead, appointed three of the five PKR state assemblymen as state executive councillors!

As if Azizan has not enough troubles on his plate, Kedah Gerakan has lodged a police report after a number of Chinese associations alleged that an agent of one of his state executive councillors had demanded a 30 per cent “cut” from all allocations given by the state government.

Lee’s outburst and the 30 per cent “cut” controversy, proved to be the proverbial opening of a can of worms by Azizan’s partners in the state Pakatan Rakyat government.

Azizan has no one to blame — definitely not Umno or any of the Barisan Nasional component parties — for his troubles.

His troubles, pains and headache are all self-inflicted.

Incidentally, Azizan’s detractors, including his party’s deputy president, Mohamad Sabu, its Youth chief Nasruddin Hassan as well as a PKR national leader, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, have yet to make amends with him after they publicly accused him of invoking the Universities and University College Act over the Kolej Universiti Insaniah “controversy” which involved five students of the state-owned university college.