DAP warlords eye party sec-gen prize


(fz.com) – To outsiders, it may seem premature to be talking about a “post Lim Guan Eng era” within the DAP but the party warlords appear to be thinking otherwise.

The recently concluded central executive committee (CEC) party election result saw little change on the surface. However, dig a little deeper and you’ll find that the different factions in the party had used the platform (of the CEC polls) to get a stronger footing (within the party) with an eye on the coveted secretary general post in 2015 party election. 
The DAP had amended its party constitution to limit the tenure of a secretary general to three terms. This means Lim, who became DAP secretary general 2004, can only hold on to the post until 2015. The local Chinese papers had thus claimed that the party had now entered the “post Guan Eng era”.
However, political analysts believe that Guan Eng would continue to play an important role in the party, even after he steps down as sec-gen.
Guan Eng was still dominant in the party, and it is too early to say (what will happen after he steps down), said Bridget Welsh, Associate Professor in Political Science at Singapore Management University.
Welsh believes the real test to the party would come in next few years. Wong Chin Huat, a fellow of the Penang Institute under Penang government, concurred as Guan Eng was only 52 this year and is very popular as the Penang Chief Minister. There was no reason for him to retire so soon.
“And as long as he has not retired, he will play an important role in whatever position. After stepping down as Sec-Gen, he may just assume the position of DAP’s Parliament Chief,” he toldfz.com.
Using the British tradition as an example, Wong said that the party chair was but the head of the party machinery while the real leader of the party was the one accepted by the majority of its parliamentarians.
“While some new guy will take over his sec-gen position, I don’t think there are leaders of his generation or junior than him can have enough clout to assume the position of DAP’s most senior federal cabinet minister (should they take over the federal government). With the new sec-gen three years down the road, what you will see is two leaders from different generations running the party together.”
Deputy chairman Tan Kok Wai, Vice-chairman Teresa Kok and M Kulasegaran, Pakatan Rakyat bureau chairman Datuk Teng Chang Khim, deputy secretary general Chong Eng  are leaders of the same generation as Guan Eng.
Party election paves way for power tussle
Although Guan Eng is unlikely to retire (from party politics) soon, the CEC election results has laid the groundwork for an intense power tussle in the next party election.
A party insider told fz.com that the election result reflected that the delegates voted according to their alignment with certain leaders or factions in the party.