Opposition partner PKR isn’t convinced with Mini Emperorissimo of Middle Malaysia Lim Guan Eng tactics especially when the latter has gone gone blue after getting panicky for his corruption case (now in criminal court play), manifested in bully nature when cornered as a trapped animal.
The Star story:
Tuesday, 19 July 2016 | MYT 11:14 PM
PKR ‘not convinced’ on snap polls
BY ROYCE TAN
PETALING JAYA: PKR says it is not convinced with the reasons and intentions given by DAP for holding snap elections in Penang.
Party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the party’s leadership, however, “is ready to discuss the matter with the Pakatan Harapan component parties.”
“The political bureau of Keadilan held its weekly meeting to discuss various issues including the snap elections in Penang.
“The bureau is of the opinion that we are not convinced by the aim of having snap elections.
“However, the Keadilan leadership is ready to continue discussions with other Pakatan Harapan component parties on the matter,” Dr Wan Azizah told reporters after the meeting at the party headquarters here.
DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng, earlier speculated that he would attend the meeting, did not show up.
PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said a meeting with Pakatan Harapan parties would be held in the “near future” but it would not be revealed to the media.
“We have discussed just now and one of the matters is there is a proposal to hold a snap election but we need explanations from the state government about it.
“This is a normal matter. We did not turn it down, we just want a clarification,” he said.
A decision to hold snap polls in the state was made at the DAP central executive committee (CEC) meeting Monday night, according to Pakatan Harapan sources from Selangor.
Details of the meeting are unavailable, but it is learnt that six DAP leaders went to present their case to Dr Wan Azizah at her Bukit Segambut home in Kuala Lumpur after the meeting.
Mini Emperorissimo Lim grossly over-reacted worse than a spoilt child after The Star senior political columnist Joceline Tan published her usual Sunday column.
Sunday, 17 July 2016
Snap election for Penang?
BY JOCELINE TAN
THE noise level over Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s corruption charges has yet to subside but talk is rife of a snap election in Penang.
Speculation of snap polls in the state has taken on a life of its own despite the deafening silence on the part of DAP’s top-most leaders. It is hard to tell whether the silence is a sign that something is brewing or that the leaders are not keen.
The move would make Penang the only state other than Sarawak to go it alone and the implications are immense.
The snap election idea, according to a DAP insider, was first floated during the DAP central executive committee (CEC) on the afternoon after Guan Eng was charged in court.
Emotions were still raw after a dramatic morning that saw Guan Eng facing two charges of abuse of power and businesswoman Phang Li Koon, from whom he purchased his Pinhorn Road bungalow, charged for abetment in the transaction.
Top on the meeting’s agenda was to discuss whether Guan Eng should take leave from his Chief Minister office. The question was quickly settled because the consensus was that he should stay put.
This party is famous for demanding that politicians resign for issues big and small but given the sense of siege in the party that day, it would not have been the done thing for any of the DAP leaders to suggest that Guan Eng go on leave. In fact, it would have been the death knell for anyone foolish enough to propose it.
After it was decided that Guan Eng would stay on as Chief Minister, a party veteran, described as “one of the most tame personalities”, mooted the idea of a snap state election.
It would show their opponents in Barisan Nasional who is the boss in Penang, the party would be able to ride on public sympathy and the people would get the chance to reaffirm their support.
Two of the younger leaders in the CEC liked the idea and joined in arguing for it. One of them was Selangor DAP chairman and Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua who put up a strong case.
But, said the above DAP insider, all three advocates of snap polls were not from Penang. The Penang-based CEC members, on the other hand, kept quiet and did not contribute to the proposal.
The most glaring thing was the silence on the part of the two powerful Lims. Neither the father nor son said anything on the proposal and no one could tell what they were thinking.
However, it is clear by now that the idea does not appeal to the Lims, especially the elder Lim. Kit Siang has been around since the 1960s, he has seen it all and he must have sensed how dangerous an early and stand-alone state election could be for his party and, more so, when his son is at his most vulnerable.
“It is an option but there are also misgivings that we are trying to disrupt the legal process. It would be seen as calling the people to judge the case,” said party insider.
DAP and its partner PKR have the numbers to dissolve the State Assembly. But the reality is that DAP is not in a position to face a snap election. It is not even ready to hold its much-postponed party election.
Calling for a state election now means that the party has to confront issues which it can ill-afford to do at this juncture.
DAP, said the insider, would have to deal with the thorny issue of candidates, of who to retire off and new faces to bring in. That is a problematic thing in every election and could derail an already unstable situation.
The norm in every party is to bring in about 30% new faces as part of the renewal process but it is doubtful Guan Eng would be able to do that without the risk of a breaking of ranks. At the same time, calling for fresh polls without significant changes in the line-up would be meaningless.
“No one can rock their grip on the Chinese vote. An election will divert attention from the trial and distract from any incriminating evidence. But what is the point of voting in a status quo line-up?” said a Penang lawyer.
It will also raise questions of costs and expenses. The Sarawak election cost tax payers RM181mil and a separate election for Penang will likely cost at least half of that.
“It will open a Pandora’s Box. Can Guan Eng get a mandate equivalent to that in 2013? Anything less, whether in seats or votes, will be deemed an erosion of support,” said a Penang lawyer.
Simmering issues like internal party problems, friction with PKR and the residual impact of expelling PAS will also bubble to the surface.
The party will also have to address the succession issue of who will take over after Guan Eng. All eyes are on senior state exco member Chow Kon Yeow whom some call the “CM presumptive”. But the boyish-faced politician has been playing it cool and trying not to open his mouth unnecessarily.
The last couple of years has also seen a dip in Guan Eng’s image. His habit of blaming Barisan for everything has started to wear thin.
The educated class has grown uncomfortable with his authoritarian style, be it his propensity for mega projects as well as his way of dealing with dissent in his party and coalition.
“The noise level has gone up,” said the DAP insider.
Penang’s civil society are starting to balk at all those mega projects which one NGO figure termed as “so Mahathir”.
On Wednesday, Penang Forum, a grouping of Penang NGOs, came up with an alternative transport master plan for Penang. It was presented as “better, cheaper and faster” than the mega-bucks plan favoured by Guan Eng’s government.
Their audacity is seen by some as a challenge to the state government’s grandiose plans and a sign that they are not holding back anymore.
The group’s new frontline face is the well-spoken Datuk Dr Sharom Ahmat who used to be the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Sains Malaysia.
For a number of years, these NGOs were enamoured with Guan Eng’s leadership. One of them used to describe the Chief Minister as “the most wonderful man”, another was awarded a Datukship while others were appointed to the boards of state GLCs.
But the love affair seems to be cooling off. The political tsunami is over and there is an opinion shift taking place especially among the intelligentsia.
The social media comeback on Guan Eng’s corruption charges was not as “hot” as some DAP leaders had expected it to be. There were many DAP diehards and right-wingers defending him but there were also many voices criticising him.
“You watch him say something today, another thing tomorrow, and after eight years, you get a better picture of what he is really like,” said the Penang lawyer.
Guan Eng’s position in his party is unshakable at the moment. His father will see to it that there will not be any moves to undermine his son.
His grip in the party will ensure that he holds on to his government post. It explained why the party moved so swiftly to endorse him on the very day that he was charged. It was to tell everyone that Guan Eng is staying put as DAP secretary-general and also Chief Minister.
“Moreover, the rebels in the party are no longer around. There is no one left to question his leadership,” said the lawyer.
Another deterrent to early polls is having to face the Barisan might. They saw the smooth operation of the Barisan machinery in the Sarawak state election. It was the same in the recent by-elections where Pakatan Harapan was hopelessly outflanked even in Selangor where it is the government and has full access to state facilities and resources.
They can see that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is on a strong footing and is now dictating the political momentum.
DAP is good at making noise on issues but their grassroots organisation and machinery is quite lacking. For instance, some DAP leaders were disappointed with the less than impressive turnout at the candlelight vigil for Guan Eng outside the MACC headquarters the night before his appearance in court.
The modest crowd chanting support outside the High Court the next day was even more embarrassing. It was like a dripping tap compared to the deluge of people who flooded the streets after Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sacking in 1998.
Some in DAP are also worried that Barisan may declare emergency rule, using its powers under the National Security Council Act and that would be disastrous for Penang.
Snap polls would be impactful if Selangor also comes along but Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali is not the suicidal sort. There are also issues in Selangor that Azmin would prefer not to tackle right now.
The silence from the two Lims and the leaders in Penang speaks volumes. They can see danger signs in the idea and they are not going anywhere near it.
Moreover, said the DAP insider, there are voices from beyond Penang who say that the party must come first. Going for a state election because of one man is not on for them.
Besides, they are not sure what will come out when the trial proper begins later this year.
Some of them are spooked by talk of new charges stemming from the controversial Taman Manggis land in George Town. Stories about a Penang-born fund manager based in Hong Kong and his links with Penang politicians have also begun to circulate in a way that seem to point to something big in the making.
Then there is talk that the authorities are investigating the manner by which the former Penang racecourse stretch of land was rezoned. All this has added to the unsettling times.
There are simply too many fires all over the place and a snap state election could be the biggest blaze of all.
Obviously Mini Emperorissimo Lim would be accorded his right to rebut after Miss Tan’s story was published in the nation’s largest English daily in circulation. However, he waived that privilege but instead summarily threatened The Star and Miss Tan for that piece.
The Malay Mail Online story:
Guan Eng threatens to sue The Star for ‘misleading report’
Sunday July 17, 2016
05:30 PM GMT+8
KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has directed his lawyers to send a notice of demand to The Star and its columnist Joceline Tan over an article he claimed to be defamatory.
Lim who is also DAP secretary-general said the piece titled “Snap Election for Penang?” published in the newspaper’s Sunday edition today which detailed an alleged discussion on snap polls in the northern state by his party’s central executive committee as recounted by an “insider” was a “false and misleading report”.
“I have instructed my lawyers to send a legal notice of demand for defamation against The Star and its columnist Joceline Tan for its false and misleading report today, ‘Snap election for Penang?’,” Lim said in a statement.
“Whilst there is nothing new with these repeated attempts to disrupt party unity and the Penang state government with serial lies, this column by Joceline Tan clearly ‘crossed the red line’ and was made in bad faith to smear my reputation and image with fresh and baseless allegations of impropriety,” he added.
However, the details of what Lim considered defamatory in Tan’s column were not mentioned.
Lim also stressed that it was not the first time he had been defamed by the daily and Tan, citing his past defamation suit against them in 2012 which was resolved with The Star publishing an apology.
– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/guan-eng-threatens-to-sue-the-star-for-misleading-report#sthash.zO2bYlBv.dpuf
This is gross abuse of freedom of media, which is one of the right which the Opposition supposedly championing, in their quest to unseat Barisan Nasional for power.
Miss Tan’s analysis is a fair comment by any count, considering the series of reaction pfMini Emperorissimo and his DAP CEC staunchest supporters.
All these could plotted, since the alleged corruption case of the 25 Jalan Pinhorn bungalow acquitsition was built up and tied to the Kg Manggis parcel rezoning and other development approvals.
This is nothing as compared to the criminal defamation Mini Emperorissimo Lim did to then Chief Minister of Melaka Tan Sri Abul Rahim Thamby Chik, where the former was convicted and incarcerated.
Imagine, this bully on highly respected political columnist Tan is without Mini Emperorissimo Lim and his DAP politburo have yet to assume power.
Tun Dr. Mahathir at arms with the Opposition, particularly his nemesis for 49 years Lim Kit Siang and DAP
Miss Tan’s analysis on DAP through her column especially on the Sunday Star through the years is obvious that she, as expected of a seasoned political journo, has her stream of moles even within DAP.
Her writings have proven to be a credible political analysis. It evidently clear that her column is very much awaited if not sought after by so many politicians, political observers and critics alike, for umpteenth years.
The case on in criminal court play is hurting DAP. Many amongst Penangistes, who are the success factor to ascend a Johor Bahru-born DAP leader to the CM-ship of Penang, have now been made disappointed for this blatant abuse of power for personal greed.
Their sentiments are being alleviated through some of the DAP CEC members.
The Malaysian Outlook story:
20th July 2016
Speculation has been rife that Penang’s ruling party, the DAP, would dissolved the 40-man legislative assembly to pave way for a snap state election.
It’s learnt that the DAP central executive committee (CEC) had decided in a meeting on Monday to postpone the triennially held party poll, due for this year, for another 18 months as a shielding move for the snap election.
By postponing it, a source said a faction in the party, tagged as ‘Team A’, wanted to ensure that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng would continue as the party secretary-general until the next general election.
“By postponing the party CEC polls, Team A can get rid of all its enemies in the party’s candidature for the snap and general elections.
“This will ensure survival of the dynastic rule in DAP if Guan Eng goes to prison for corruption,” claimed the source.
DAP is counting on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to call for the general election next year rather than in 2018.
DAP’s grand plan to call for a snap state election however, has hit a snag.
PKR, its senior partner in the loose political marriage called Pakatan Harapan, has poured cold water on the hot plan following a party political bureau meeting on Tuesday.
After a lengthy deliberation during the meeting, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said that the party was unimpressed with the reasons given to hold a snap election.
“PKR political bureau has taken a stand that we were not convinced with the objectives and directions to hold an emergency election,” she said in a brief statement released on Tuesday night.
But she said PKR would continue to deliberate on the issue with other coalition partners, Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) included.
PKR and DAP top guns are said to have discussed the matter in an earlier meeting.
The DAP is split right in the middle now, thanks to the graft charges brought against Guan Eng.
While Team A wants a stand-alone snap poll, another faction, labelled ‘Team B’, is dead against it.
Team B wants to get rid of Guan Eng as the chief minister, and subsequently as the secretary-general.
An insider said a group of seven top Penang DAP leaders held a closed door meeting to discuss about the political situation immediately after Guan Eng was detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Wednesday June 29.
In the meeting, a consensus is said was reached after much deliberation that Guan Eng had to relinquish his position as chief minister once he was charged the next day.
However, the plan is said was foiled by the timely arrival of DAP supremo and Guan Eng’s father Kit Siang and DAP action national chairman Tan Kok Wai in Penang on that night of arrest.
“The local leaders were ‘advised’ by the party seniors not to rock the boat,” said a branch leader.
The popular Chow Kon Yeow is being propelled by the Team B faction in DAP to become the next Penang Chief Minister.
The popular Chow Kon Yeow is being lobbied by the Team B faction in DAP to become the next Penang Chief Minister.
Team B wants the popular Penang DAP chairman and senior Executive Councillor Chow Kon Yeow to helm the DAP-led state government.
Of course Team A is against it, hence postponement of CEC election and the urgency to hold a snap state election.
A reliable source said Team A had outlined plans A and B to face a snap poll.
Plan A is to retain Guan Eng as the chief minister if DAP and its allies win the snap election as expected.
But, if Guan Eng was sent to jail over the corruption charges he faces now, Team A would appoint another person, not Chow, as the chief minister.
That Guan Eng’s successor will also be appointed as party secretary-general.
The name mooted here is DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke Siew Fook, the Seremban MP and Chennah assemblyman.
If this happens, Penang will have another outsider, this time from Negeri Sembilan, as the chief minister.
The state seat speculated to be presented to Anthony Loke is Tanjung Bungah, currently held by Teh Yee Cheu.
In March this year, Guan Eng had already appointed Anthony Loke, 39, as a director in Penang Hill Corporation (PHC), a state government-link company (GLC).
Tanjung Bungah is a state seat under the Bukit Bendera parliamentary constituency.
Team A is said to have toyed the idea in a secret meeting among its leaders after the CEC meeting on Monday.
DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke is speculated to take over as Penang Chief Minister.
DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke could take over as Penang Chief Minister.
Teh, alongside woman assemblymen Yap Soo Huey of Pulau Tikus and Lydia Ong Kok Fooi, are expected to be axed for the state election.
Also speculated to be dropped are current state executive councillors and assemblymen Phee Boon Poh of Sungai Puyu, Danny Law Heng Kiang of Batu Lanchang, Chong Eng of Padang Lalang and Lim Hock Seng of Bagan Jermal.
According to some internal survey, current public support for the DAP and Pakatan Harapan is favourably 52%, largely due to sympathy that Lim was a victim of selective persecution and prosecution, against 48% for Barisan Nasional (BN).
The DAP wants to capitalise on that public sentiment to regain Penang because the party believes support could erode if Guan Eng was imprisoned prior to the general election.
“If Guan Eng is jailed, the voters could be convinced that the DAP government may not be whiter than white as claimed by the party,” said an observer.
With PKR “unconvinced” and Team B rapidly canvassing grassroots backing for its plan, how Team A going to push for the snap election would be a beguiling political play.
Penangites are in for an exciting few weeks.
This is not withstanding the uneasiness even dismay of many DAP staunchest supporters and leaders alike on the ‘partnership’ with the Chinese Chauvinist party nemesis of five decades in the ultra-Malay former UMNO President and Prime Minister.
Nevermind the future of this apparent not well thought through ‘Unholy-marriage-of-(in)convenience-between-backstabbing-strange-bedfellows’.
This bully is a manifestation of the attitude of Mini Emperorissimo Lim and DAP to hard handedness, in their approach to deal with critics when they are facing crisis.
Malaysia’s own ‘Mr Justice Robert Jackson’ leading the charge. Just like in Nuremberg in 1946.
It is also reflective that the magnitude of the corruption case being brought down on him by Malaysia’s own ‘Mr Justice Robert Jackson’, is reaching worrying critical level.
If DAP is convincing enough that the case against their Secretary General as the Chief Minister of Penang is not at all criminal but politically motivated, then Miss Tan is right that a Snap State Election is ripe for the picking.
Half a century of nemesis now chumy-chumy: Let the Penang rakyat decide
Let the rakyat decide.
Then again, last night’s PKR’s stance is evidence that even their own spouse in the ‘Unholy-marriage-of-(in)convenience-between-backstabbing-strange-bedfellows’ for the past two electoral terms is not convinced, in different perspective of DAP’s strength and survivability in Penang.