Guan Eng-Chow feud will test DAP supporters’ tolerance, says analyst

The growing spat between DAP national chairman Lim Guan Eng and Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow may eventually test the tolerance level of the party’s supporters, an analyst said.

(FMT) – Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs said DAP supporters have thus far turned a blind eye to the feud as most still see the party as a bulwark against PAS and Perikatan Nasional.

However, he said, there are bound to be limits to their tolerance.

“If the increasingly overt clash continues, it could eventually wear out the supporters’ patience, such that they might (become) disgusted and not enthusiastic about coming to vote for DAP in (future) elections,” he said.

Universiti Sains Malaysia political scientist Azmil Tayeb said the public bickering is unlikely to affect DAP’s dominance of Penang politics in the near term.

However, he said, Lim’s “consistent attacks” on the Penang government were not a “productive” use of his time.

“It doesn’t look good for his public image,” Azmil said.

The apparent feud, which first surfaced in the middle of last year, revived recently when Lim accused Chow of protecting the contractors and civil servants involved in a project to develop Gurney Drive’s foreshore after structural issues and damage to equipment were observed as soon as the initial phase was opened to the public.

Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara said while internal bickering in political parties was inevitable, Lim and Chow must not allow their squabble to spill out into the public domain.

“They should strengthen Penang as a DAP government, and DAP’s stance within the federal government. The internal bickering does not help DAP’s place within the coalition (unity government),” he said.

Azmi said Lim, the state’s former chief minister, should not openly criticise Chow, his successor.

“It is unbecoming of Lim. He should let go of the state administration and give Chow more of a free hand.

“Yes, Lim is very influential in DAP, but his time in Penang’s politics is kind of over. He should concentrate on the national level,” he said.