It’s all in the family for DAP’s top rung

(The Star) – It will be a family affair among some of the 68 candidates vying for the 20 central executive committee (CEC) seats at the 16th DAP National Congress in Penang next week.

National chairman Karpal Singh is in the list, along with sons Gobind Singh Deo, the Puchong MP, and Jagdeep Singh Deo, the state assemblyman for Datuk Keramat.

Party secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is in the race, together with his father, DAP adviser and Ipoh Timur MP Lim Kit Siang.

Perak’s top strongmen, state chief Ngeh Koo Ham and his cousin, Perak DAP secretary Nga Kor Ming, are also in the contest.

Ngeh is Beruas MP and Sitiawan assemblyman while Nga is Taiping MP and Pantai Remis assemblyman.

If all of them win, they would make up close to a third of the DAP’s national office bearers.

Aside from that, the candidate line-up will see 69% of the contenders being either an MP or assemblyman, or both.

Newly-appointed senator Ariffin SM Omar and Lt-Col Roseli Abdul Ghani, the latter tipped as DAP’s choice for the Mentri Besar’s post if Pakatan Rakyat takes over Negri Sembilan, are among the newcomers joining in the fray.

All the incumbent office bearers, with the exception of Senawang assemblyman P. Gunasekaren who had spoken in support of the Internal Security Act, are contesting in the party elections which will be held together with the congress on Dec 15 and 16.

Party organising secretary Teresa Kok, who is also the congress organising chairman, confirmed that Gun-asekaren was not contesting.

Of the 103 initial nominees, 35 later pulled out, Kok said yesterday.

“Aside from the 20 elected CEC members, 10 others will be appointed later to sit in the committee,” she said.

Besides Kok, who is the Seputeh MP, well-known names contesting the CEC seats include Bukit Mertajam MP Chong Eng, Tanjung MP Chow Kon Yeow, PJ Utara MP Tony Pua, Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai, Kepong MP Dr Tan Seng Giaw, Rasah MP Anthony Loke, Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran and Penang Deputy Chief Minister Prof P. Ramasamy.