Calls to replace Santiago renew debate on ethnic, dynastic politics in DAP
Questions are raised about calls to replace the three-term Klang MP with Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah.
(MalaysiaNow) – A silent campaign within DAP to stop three-term Klang MP Charles Santiago from contesting the seat again at the next general election has renewed a long-held view on the dominance of the so-called “Lim dynasty”, a reference to Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng, the father-and-son team who for decades have symbolised the top leadership in the party.
MalaysiaNow, who spoke to senior DAP sources, has also been able to confirm a recent news report speculating that Selangor DAP branches were keen to replace Santiago with Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah.
Santiago has never directly addressed the claims, merely saying that he has no plans to vacate the parliamentary seat which he has held since 2008, when Barisan Nasional was ejected from Selangor by a three-party coalition comprising PKR, DAP and PAS.
One party source said the call to field Ean Yong had created unease within a section of Selangor DAP leaders who were “not in the good books of Lim”.
It cited a flurry of messages, mostly anonymous, from party members who questioned Ean Yong’s track record as an assemblyman.
“It is unacceptable to have one that held high office for more than 10 years but without any proven track record compete here,” read one message written in Mandarin.
When contacted, Ean Yong said he had no comment on speculation about his candidacy.
Some also felt that Santiago was targeted due to his race, based on a familiar claim that DAP had sidelined its ethnic Indian leaders despite its claim to multiracialism.
Santiago himself was quick to dismiss such allegations.
“DAP is a social democratic party that promotes justice, fairness and equality. And I strongly believe that there is no place for racism in the party,” he told MalaysiaNow.