Penang DAP’s leadership spat shameful, says analyst

Azmi Hassan says the party should focus on securing more economic benefits for its people.

(FMT) – With the overwhelming support shown for DAP in Penang in the recent state election, questions are being asked whether its leaders have become arrogant and are taking voters for granted by engaging in an internal power struggle so soon after the polls.

Netizens are saying that a power tussle just two months after the election makes the party look like it is more focused on which personality leads the state government than working to resolve issues affecting the people.

Political analyst Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara said DAP should be ashamed of its internal bickering so soon after appointing the state’s chief minister.

He warned that this is not what its supporters expect after giving their overwhelming support to the party, adding that they may be put off by the leaders’ failure to focus on the people’s needs.

Recently, chief minister Chow Kon Yeow claimed that there were attempts to replace him before the August state election. However, the Penang DAP chairman later backtracked, saying he was merely speaking about how things were before the polls.

“DAP should be ashamed of itself for being embroiled in this power struggle. The party should take its cue from PAS, which has formed a caucus comprising the four states it heads for more economic benefits.

“There (have been) minor differences between PAS and Bersatu, but PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has put a stop to them by warning its partner not to disturb the status quo in the four states,” Azmi told FMT.

In September, the four PAS-led states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis formed a grouping called the “state government four”, or SG4, to strengthen their economies.

Azmi said the bickering among factions within DAP are bound to weaken the PH-led unity government at the federal level. He said the problem needs to be nipped in the bud before it spreads.

Political analyst Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya concurred with Azmi, saying DAP should remember what happened to Umno after reaching the pinnacle of power about 15 years ago.

He said its grassroots began moving away when party leaders started being arrogant and taking them for granted.

“If this unhealthy bickering continues among the DAP leaders, its grassroots may teach the party a lesson in the next election.

“The unnecessary leadership tussle can be construed as arrogance (in) power and the leaders not practising what they preach,” he said.

However, political analyst James Chin does not think DAP is being arrogant, but is actually listening to some supporters who feel that Chow is not as aggressive or outspoken as his predecessor, Lim Guan Eng.

“There is some truth in that Chow is very low-key compared to (Lim’s) 10 years as chief minister.

“Some are okay with him but others are not happy because DAP’s culture is about pushing the boundaries often. They just want a stronger chief minister,” he said.