Johor DAP caught between ambition and status quo

DAP Johor

Chen Shaua Fui,

Johor DAP is caught between ambition and status quo in a new political landscape post-GE13 (13th General Election).

The state election result last Sunday showed that the grassroots had a different views on the future direction of the state DAP, a party insider said.

The insider said the grassroots, mainly comprising senior members, had resisted the “parachuted” leaders from the central and wanted to keep former chairman Dr Boo Cheng Hau and other local leaders.

But, the election of Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong as the new chairman showed the end of Boo’s parochial politics which focus mainly on Chinese majority areas, the insider added.

“This was the most heated election for Johor DAP for almost 20 years. Many local leaders are uncomfortable that there was contest as they are worried that it would split the party,” he said.

However, the insider said, many young members had actually joined the party since last year but the branches could not be set up due to the investigation by the Registrar of Societies (ROS).

These new young members may have different views from the senior members on leadership choice, he added.

The election did not only manifest the power struggle between state and central leadership, it was also a contest between ambition and status quo.

Johor DAP has long been playing the role of an opposition in the BN stronghold and limited its presence in the Chinese majority areas.

Boo, who was the state chairman for three terms, was lauded as a vocal leader not only against its political rival in BN but also against the party’s central leadership.

When the central leadership finally set their eyes on this long neglected state in the GE13, Boo’s leadership seemed fall short in fulfilling DAP’s big ambition.

It was an open secret that Liew was supported by DAP senior leader Lim Kit Siang who had met with the delegates to lobby for him.

It was clear that the party central leadership had a big plan for Johor after it made some in-routes to the BN stronghold.

It won four parliamentary seats and 13 state seats as compared to one parliamentary seat and four state seats in 2008.