Parti Cinta Malaysia's vice-president is upset that his PKR friend's political future has been dicussed in a 'coffeeshop' talk.
BUKIT MERTAJAM: Embattled Machang Bubok assemblyman Tan Hock Leong has found an unlikely ally in Parti Cinta Malaysia vice-president Huan Cheng Guan after it was reported that PKR was considering dropping the former as a candidate in the next general election.
Huan had lashed out through the social media networks and online news portals at PKR for the manner which the party sought to sideline Tan.
According to Huan, party leaders should have discussed the possibility of replacing Tan at the top level and not through “coffeeshop” talk.
“Issues such as candidates should be discussed in utmost privacy out of respect to any party’s strategies and of the candidates.
“Why was Tan’s candidancy discussed way out in the open?” he asked.
Huan was referring to the supposed leak of a conversation that Penang PKR chairman Mansor Othman had with several other PKR leaders here in March.
Recorded at a coffeeshop, the discussions were interpreted as sensational; since among other things, the possibility of dropping Tan had emerged due to his alleged frail health, while Mansor had also allegedly described Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng as an arrogant and cocky leader.
Mansor also indicated in the transscript that Lim was a leader with a “tokong” (deity) status because many people here looked up to him.
A leak of the transcript was uploaded onto an anonymous blog site entitled “Gelagat Anwar” in June, before it was picked up by an online news portal last week.
Since then, Mansor found himself clarifying to the media while Tan had also gone public with his disgust over the matter.
It was reported that Tan was seeking an explanation from the PKR leadership over the alleged remark that he would be dropped.
Huan said Tan and him were friends with both having served together as Seberang Prai Municipal councillors when Tan was an MCA member and when the former was in Gerakan.
‘New face making the rounds’
Although Mansor was quoted as saying that the majority portions of the alleged conversations were inaccurate, Huan said he was informed that social activist Dr Toh Kin Woon was busy chaperoning around a new candidate in Machang Bubok of late.
Toh was the former Machang Bubok assemblyman for two terms when he was with Gerakan, and the former academician had since left the party to become a leading social activist and commentator here.
“Has Toh joined PKR? Why is he busy showing around a supposedly new candidate to replace Tan. This new chap is not a local leader. This shows there is truth in the leakage,” Huan said.
In another development, state PKR sources confirmed that such a meeting did take place, but it was mostly an informal gathering, held to appease certain quarters, who were lobbying for seats here.
There was nothing malicious about the pointers discussed, but there could be a hint of dramatising certain facets of the conversation, a top PKR leader, who preferred not to be named, said.
“It may not be a verbatim version of the informal gathering,” he added.
What about Malay candidates?
Despite Mansor’s clarification, Penang Malay Congress president Rahmad Isahak refused to allow the issue to rest, saying he had analysed the entire alleged leaked transcript and found worrying signs over the political future of the Malays here.
Rahmad said if one studies “word for word” about candidates, it was apparent that even PKR wanted to field Chinese candidates because of a belief that this community strongly supported Pakatan Rakyat.
“If both DAP and PKR are scrambing to field Chinese candidates, who will field Malay candidates in Penang. The Penang Chinese community is uncomfortable with PAS over their insistence of hudud,” he added.
Rahmad said he was also made to believe that PKR was even willing to contest against DAP in Chinese-dominant constituencies.
Something is wrong with Pakatan in Penang and unless there is an intervention, this “cancer” might spread all over, he said.