Favoritism by Guan Eng on DAP ministers' choice

A senior party official says there is unhappiness about senior members being sidelined, and that nominations based on party heirarchy are not being followed.

A senior DAP politician says there is unhappiness within the party, particularly among some strongmen, about allies of party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng being appointed to the Cabinet.

The politician, who asked to remain anonymous, told FMT that the DAP’s leadership had previously stated that the party’s Cabinet nominations for consideration by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad would be based on positions held in the party hierarchy.

However, those who had been appointed, particularly in the second round of Cabinet appointees, were “clearly not high up in the hierarchy”, except for Teresa Kok, who is deputy secretary-general.

“What we see is that people who are in Guan Eng’s clique are getting the jobs as opposed to those in the hierarchy,” he said.

The party official said he did not foresee any serious threats to the party arising from the unhappiness. “But this is what you get when you make promises you can’t deliver,” he said.

Among the senior members of the party who were snubbed were DAP vice-chairman Chong Chieng Jen, head of Sarawak DAP; and deputy secretary-general Nga Kor Ming, head of Perak DAP; in favour of junior leaders such as Yeo Bee Yin, Steven Sim, and Hannah Yeoh.

(Yeo Bee Yin was made energy, green technology, science, climate change and environment minister, while Steven Sim and Hannah Yeoh were appointed as deputy ministers.)

“Chong and Nga are very senior in the party, yet Chong only got a deputy minister’s post and Nga didn’t make it at all.”

He questioned whether Mahathir had made his selection from a list submitted to him based on hierarchy.

“If he did so, the question is how did the likes of Yeo, Sim, and Yeoh get in?”

He said members wondered how the three could have been chosen, when they did not hold positions or were very low in the hierarchy. He noted that Yeo failed to be elected into the Selangor state committee and was only an appointed member.

“People are asking if members are being misled by the party leadership. Where is the party heading? Is it a grassroots party or is it a family-owned party where those close to the top are favoured?”

During the general election campaign two months ago, Lim had given an assurance that Nga would be made a minister should he defeat former minister Mah Siew Keong in the Teluk Intan constituency.

Criticism of the new Cabinet lineup was also raised by DAP Youth recently, which said Mahathir had failed to respect the proposals submitted by a coalition partner.

DAP Youth said that although all four parties in Pakatan Harapan had agreed that the prime minister had discretion in appointing ministers, the appointments should have been made from party lists of candidates, and party choices should have been respected. - fmt

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