Nga Kor Ming’s influence in DAP on the rise

The Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election could serve as a launch pad for the Perak DAP strongman to further consolidate his influence.

(MalaysiaNow) – DAP vice-chairman Nga Kor Ming’s influence in the party has been on the rise since the last general election, with the controversial figure seen as representing the ethos of the party’s Chinese vote bank having an increasing say in national politics.

The recent decision to nominate his aide Pang Sock Tao for the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election appears to be just the tip of the iceberg for the strengthening of Nga’s power within DAP, which has traditionally managed to keep its political workings hidden from the public eye.

Should Pang succeed in retaining the seat for Pakatan Harapan (PH), it would only increase Nga’s sphere of influence within DAP.

Nga has always been the face of DAP in Perak, one of the party’s strongholds in the peninsula where it was the de facto state government for a brief period after the 2008 general election.

He is one of five DAP vice-chairmen in the Central Executive Committee (CEC), the party’s highest decision-making body.

In 2022, he received 1,252 votes, placing him 12th out of 30 members of the CEC.

Unlike many other political parties in Malaysia, DAP does not have specific positions up for election. Instead, the 30 members of the CEC are assigned positions by consensus.

Nga Kor Ming (left) and Anthony Loke (right) welcoming a Chinese official recently. The two men are in opposing camps within DAP.
Nga Kor Ming (left) and Anthony Loke (right) welcoming a Chinese official recently. The two men are in opposing camps within DAP.

This arrangement may not be good news for current secretary-general Anthony Loke Siew Fook, the Seremban MP who was appointed to lead the party for the 2022-2025 term after he was elected to the CEC with the third-largest vote.

Loke had big shoes to fill as the post was largely in the hands of the so-called “Lim dynasty” for the past five decades: Lim Kit Siang from 1970 to 1999 and his son Lim Guan Eng from 2004 to 2022.

Loke is seen as representing the interests of the Lims in the current coalition government, which is also reflected in the fact that Kit Siang’s daughter Lim Hui Ying was given the powerful post of deputy finance minister despite being an unknown in national politics.

As Nga’s influence continues to grow, Loke’s prospects for a second term are unclear, according to Liew Hui Churn, an assistant professor at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman.

“His rise to power will make it possible for him to challenge Loke in the next party elections,” he said.

Liew, a keen observer of DAP’s internal politics, said the party leadership was split into two camps: the one allied with Guan Eng or the Lims, and that of Nga.

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