Chow-Guan Eng’s ‘strained’ relations may dent DAP, PH’s reputations, says analyst

But it is unlikely to result in the party and coalition losing support, says Oh Ei Sun.

(FMT) – The perceived strain in relations between Chow Kon Yeow and Lim Guan Eng may dent the reputations of DAP and Pakatan Harapan but is unlikely to cause them to lose support, an analyst said.

“These days people vote for PH not because they support the coalition, but because they fear Perikatan Nasional,” said Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.

He also told FMT the dispute between Penang’s present chief minister and his predecessor is unlikely to have any bearing on Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s leadership, adding that PKR has faced similar issues previously.

Talk that all was not well between the duo surfaced last week after Lim responded to Chow’s claim that there was a plot to topple him by demanding that Chow furnish proof of his allegation.

Chow had made the claim after controversy erupted over an intended sale of state land to a developer.

Chow, who was handpicked by Lim as his successor, subsequently backtracked on his comments.

Meanwhile, University of Tasmania’s James Chin said that while the spat between Lim’s and Chow’s camps may yet escalate, it would likely culminate in a “gentlemen’s agreement” between their supporters to stop any infighting.

He said although the matter has the makings of a “serious fight in Penang”, it would not lead to the downfall of DAP or Chow’s administration.

“But some sort of accommodation (or) peace plan would be implemented,” he said.

Chin said spats between a former leader and his “anointed successor” are “typical” of politics due to their differing leadership styles.

He cited Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s fault-finding with those who succeeded him in office as an example.

“There’s something about Malaysian politics. You step down (as leader), you choose a person who you think can follow your path, but in the end, it ends in tears, because the said successor wants to walk his own path,” he said.

Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Azeem Fazwan Farouk expects Penang voters to forget this episode by the time the next general election, due only by 2027, comes around.

However, he said, there may be a need to recognise the existence of “forces” that may want a change in the state leadership.

“Or, they want a different policy to be adopted,” he said.