Plot to oust Tony Pua in Selangor

Lee Chi Leong

Damansara MP Tony Pua campaigning in the Balakong by-election in Sg Chua, Kajang, in August. The state DAP chairman is accused of ignoring the grassroots as he is closer to the central leadership. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, November 23, 2018.

SELANGOR DAP grassroots leaders want to oust Tony Pua as the state chairman, claiming that he has lost touch with the ground, said party sources. 

Pua’s detractors alleged that under his leadership, the state chapter has moved away from its members.

Sources told The Malaysian Insight that the party’s Selangor grassroots want to replace Pua with Selangor executive councillor Ng Sze Han.

And they want more local leaders elected to the state’s committee in the coming state party elections.

But at the same time, there are fears of repercussion as Pua is seen to be close to the national leadership.

Damansara MP Pua is the special officer to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, the party’s secretary-general, and as such his foes do not want to act rashly.

So far, 45 individuals have been nominated in the state elections and the candidates have until November 26 to confirm their candidacy.

There is still time for backroom manoeuvring to foil any plot against Pua, said sources.

“We hope the elections this time will see more grassroots leaders elected. We don’t want any more dominance by a single faction.

“The grassroots have been feeling this way for some time. The central leadership is making decisions without consulting or considering members’ opinions at the state level,” said a source.

The dissatisfaction against Pua stems from, among others, the opaque selection of candidates during the 14th general election and the reduced appointment of councillors in local governments.

They said the grassroots were also unhappy over the way candidates were picked.

There are also fewer councillors after GE14, local leaders said.

“When there was still Pakatan Rakyat, the appointments were split three ways between DAP, PKR and PAS. Now under Pakatan Harapan, the appointments have to be split four ways with Amanah and Bersatu in the mix, leading to fewer appointments,” another source said.

Selangor exco Ng Sze Han has the backing of some local leaders to replace Tony Pua as state chairman. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, November 23, 2018.

While it is true that the quota for local councillors had been reduced for DAP in some Chinese-majority areas, it had also seen an increase in some Malay areas after the last general election. However, this did not appease the grassroots.

They are also not happy over the candidate selection for the Balakong by-election, which was triggered after the sudden death of its former assemblyman, Eddie Ng, in a car accident.

Former TV journalist Yunna Tan was first proposed for the seat, which upset many grassroots leaders who then took to the media to express their anger.

This escalated into a spat with Pua, who accused them of not respecting the party leadership.

The dispute was solved by a central party committee chaired by party elder Lim Kit Siang, which then picked former Subang Jaya councillor Wong Siew Ki to contest in Balakong.

“Tan’s candidacy was not Pua’s idea. It was the central leadership’s but grassroots leaders piled on the blame on the state chairman (Pua), and this had led people to misjudge him.”

Another issue is the fact that the current state leadership is mostly made up of assemblymen.

“The grassroots want to be part of the state leadership as well.

“The past party elections at the state level are clear cut, either you support the state chairman or you don’t, but now the situation is different, there are many different voices,” the source said.

A state leader aligned to Pua said he has heard about the plot to oust the chairman by those who feel sidelined.

These plotters, he said, are those who wanted to be councillors, assemblymen or parliamentarians but denied the chance.

“These are those who are dissatisfied, but this is normal. When I asked these people who do they want to replace Pua with, they can’t give me an answer either,” said the state leader.

When asked to judge the strength of the faction that wants to depose Pua, the source said: “You should first ask if Pua is contesting a state leadership position.”

The current state committee, which was elected in 2015, has 15 members. Except for Tiew Way Keng, who did not become an assemblyman, Hannah Yeoh, who is now Segambut MP and a deputy minister and Ng, the remaining 12 are all assemblymen.

Pua, however, denied that there was a spat between him and Selangor grassroots, and that Kit Siang was involved in any candidate selection for elections. – November 23, 2018.

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  • It looks like the Umno/BN mentality is in DAP too!

    Posted 5 years ago by Simple Sulaiman · Reply

  • The greed and power hunger by the lower level of DAP members is reflecting a non discipline and respect for hierachy system. One should bids ones own capabilities , deeds, magnitude of services , respect and popularity and not by influence and emotional outburst to challenge. All should be done in due time so that competent leaders are in place to put forth the rakyat concerns and welfare . Not the unstuffed and inexperience naive ambitious members who wants to be in the glitter of policy and decision making . Obviously with PH size the vacany position are less in the making as it has to be shared to ensure collective unity and grass members should realise that and not clamouring for more to satisfy self serving causes.

    Posted 5 years ago by Lee Lee · Reply

  • Power crazy! Very disappointed with DAP. It is obvious This faction is only looking after themselves. Self serving individuals. They have no place in our current politics. Need to get rid of these bad apples. Vote them out!

    Posted 5 years ago by Lily Cheong · Reply

  • Go ahead and strangle each other...useless lot

    Posted 5 years ago by Roti Paun · Reply

  • Idiots who have small and smelly brains couldn't understand the big picture and causing troubles for self serving interests. What significant contributions have they made?

    Posted 5 years ago by Concerned Citizen · Reply

  • Compare Ng Sze Han with Tony Pua I prefer Tony Pua as Ng doesn't have much leadership quality and intelligence. To lead State DAP is different from leading Branch DAP. So just don't rock the boat. Malaysians especially Malaysian Chinese need quality leaders not half past six leader.

    Posted 5 years ago by Jordan Lee · Reply

  • The driving force for being active in politics should be to serve the rakyat. Jostling for position is just greed.

    Posted 5 years ago by Anonymous 1234 · Reply

  • Ng Sze who?

    Posted 5 years ago by Roger 5201 · Reply