DAP-PKR squabble widens


(The Star) – More state and grassroots leaders from both sides have waded into the widening spat between Johor’s DAP chairman Dr Boo Cheng Hau and the state’s PKR chief Datuk Chua Jui Meng.

Kedah DAP committee member S. Neelamekan has criticised PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail for her hasty defence of Chua, who he claimed had sabotaged Pakatan Rakyat.

In defending Dr Boo’s stand for the Gelang Patah and Bakri parliamentary seats to be given to DAP, Neelamekan who is also the party’s Lunas branch chairman, even went to the extent of running down PKR, saying it was not as popular as before and had lost in many by-elections it had contested in.

He said since a victory was more important to Pakatan than which party was chosen to contest, the seats should be given to DAP as it was a better performer compared to PKR which had suffered many defections over the past five years.

In fact, he said, since DAP was the best performer in the last general election, it should be allowed to contest in more seats as it has a bigger number of young talents, professionals, veterans and party loyalists.

Stressing that PKR’s popularity was on the wane, Neelamekan said DAP would be a better bet to win the seats.

“PKR contested in 49 seats in the Sarawak state election but only won three,” he said.

Dr Wan Azizah on Thursday said PKR would continue to place its confidence in Chua who had done much for the party in Johor.

Her statement came a day after Chua publicly accused DAP chairman Karpal Singh of destroying the relationship within Pakatan for saying that his (Chua’s) credibility was “suspect” as he is a former MCA leader.

Meanwhile, PKR Jerai division vice chief M. Palaniappan has called on Karpal to apologise for his uncalled for remarks against Chua.

“Karpal should also apologise for calling Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim a sodomiser in Parliament in October 1997. Karpal has no moral decency to be in politics,” he said.

He said PKR deputy chief minister Mansor Othman had apologised last year for calling Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng a tokong although it was the truth.

In a related development, a former DAP grassroots leader and a PKR branch leader have criticised both DAP and PKR’s national leaders for interfering in state matters that could be resolved internally.

“By interfering, the party leaders are only making things worse,” said former Pantai Sepang DAP branch chairman R. Vellasamy yesterday.

Vellasamy, who was sacked from the party last year, said Chua and Dr Boo should be allowed to resolve their problems through discussions.

Former PKR Sepang Selatan branch leader Mahful Wahid, meanwhile, criticised Anwar for remaining silent over the issue.

He added that the endless disagreements within the PAS, DAP and PKR showed that the Pakatan Rakyat coalition was not strong.

“If they can’t even solve their own problems, how are they going to solve the people’s problems?” asked Mahful who is now an Umno member.