DAP Splits Over Snap Election Poser in Penang


Malaysia Outlook

Speculation has been rife that Penang’s ruling party, the DAP, would dissolve the 40-man legislative assembly to pave way for a snap state election.

It’s learnt that the DAP central executive committee (CEC) had decided in a meeting on Monday to postpone the triennially held party poll, due for this year, for another 18 months as a shielding move for the snap election.

By postponing it, a source said a faction in the party, tagged as ‘Team A’, wanted to ensure that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng would continue as the party secretary-general until the next general election.

“By postponing the party CEC polls, Team A can get rid of all its enemies in the party’s candidature for the snap and general elections.

“This will ensure survival of the dynastic rule in DAP if Guan Eng goes to prison for corruption,” claimed the source.

DAP is counting on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to call for the general election next year rather than in 2018.

DAP’s grand plan to call for a snap state election however, has hit a snag.

PKR, its senior partner in the loose political marriage called Pakatan Harapan, has poured cold water on the hot plan following a party political bureau meeting on Tuesday.

After a lengthy deliberation during the meeting, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said that the party was unimpressed with the reasons given to hold a snap election.

“PKR political bureau has taken a stand that we were not convinced with the objectives and directions to hold an emergency election,” she said in a brief statement released on Tuesday night.

But she said PKR would continue to deliberate on the issue with other coalition partners, Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) included.

PKR and DAP top guns are said to have discussed the matter in an earlier meeting.

The DAP is split right in the middle now, thanks to the graft charges brought against Guan Eng.

While Team A wants a stand-alone snap poll, another faction, labelled ‘Team B’, is dead against it.

Team B wants to get rid of Guan Eng as the chief minister, and subsequently as the secretary-general.

An insider said a group of seven top Penang DAP leaders held a closed door meeting to discuss about the political situation immediately after Guan Eng was detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Wednesday June 29.

In the meeting, a consensus is said was reached after much deliberation that Guan Eng had to relinquish his position as chief minister once he was charged the next day.

However, the plan is said was foiled by the timely arrival of DAP supremo and Guan Eng’s father Kit Siang and DAP action national chairman Tan Kok Wai in Penang on that night of arrest.

“The local leaders were ‘advised’ by the party seniors not to rock the boat,” said a branch leader.