MALACCA, Feb 14 – DAP’s change of political alignment, especially its cooperation currently with once sworn-enemy Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), will spell doom for the party. Sparks ignited when four of its elected representatives here, namely three assemblymen Lim Jak Wong (Bachang), Chin Choon Seong (Kesidang) and Goh Leong San (Duyong), and Kota Malacca Member of Parliament Sim Tong Him who all became disillusioned with the alignment, exited the party last Sunday.
They cited their loss in confidence in the leadership and DAP’s deviation from its original struggles as reasons to quit the party, and Chin also cited his concern over DAP’s dangerous approach in order to win Malay support. Former DAP vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim said the exit by the quartet came as no surprise due to their long-standing dissatisfaction with the top leadership, and the party’s alignment with Dr Mahathir’s PPBM was the final “nail in the coffin”.
“What happens to the (Malacca DAP) state leaders is not totally unexpected. It is something likely to develop into exodus of its grassroot leaders and party members. Dissatisfaction in DAP with its top leadership, especially with Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng has always been at a high, and the alignment between Kit Siang and (Dr) Mahathir has made matters worse,” he said when contacted by Bernama. Tunku Abdul Aziz said the recent development would have a ripple effect on DAP and besides the exodus, it would affect the support of non-members of the party.
“The DAP membership is small but the party’s strength lies in the support of the non-members and this could be seen when these supporters helped make a different fortune for DAP in the last general election. There may be a change now (to the support) when many in DAP are not what they made out to be … but really what we have seen recently in the party is just something to suit the personal needs of the ‘Lim Dynasty'”, he said.
With the actions of the four, the DAP in Malacca now has only three state seats held by Tey Kok Kiew (Bandar Hilir), Khoo Poay Tiong (Ayer Keroh) and Lai Keun Ban (Kota Laksamana), while there is no parliamentary seat left for them. Political analyst, Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, said DAP would certainly be impacted by the quit action of the four elected representatives who had for long been with the party.
“It’s not one but four party leaders, surely there’s an effect, in addition there are now two groups of DAP supporters; one which is still with the party or its leaders and the other, who might follow suit by quitting the party. We have to wait first and see the overall effects of the latest development on the party, as it is obvious that DAP has an internal crisis. So, we’ll see whether this will lead to a bigger problem.”
Sivamurugan, who is with Universiti Sains Malaysia’s School of Social Sciences, said it was clear now the conflict between two blocks of leaders in DAP, namely the supporters of the Lim Dynasty and their opponents. He said before the quit action of the four, no party leader had openly stated their opposition to the cooperation between DAP and PPBM, or it could have occurred behind closed doors.
“The four elected representatives’ opposition to the DAP-PPBM cooperation that made them quit the party could just be an excuse as they have for long been dissatisfied with the party’s leadership. It could also be their calculated move against the Lim Dynasty which is seen as trying to get back at Malacca DAP, where Guan Eng and his wife had before lost in the state party elections in early year 2000. Whatever it is, I believe there will be more interesting developments after this,” he said. — Bernama