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PKR to drop 3 incumbents from Penang list

 | March 29, 2013

Insiders say newcomers will contest in Machang Bubok, Kebun Bunga and Batu Uban.

GEORGE TOWN: PKR is likely to drop three Penang state assemblymen from its line-up of candidates for the coming election.

They are Tan Hock Leong of Machang Bubok, Jason Ong Khan Lee of Kebun Bunga and S Raveentharan of Batu Uban, according to party insiders.

The sources, who are apparently supporters of the incumbents, said they would be replaced by newcomers close to political operatives stationed in the Bayan Baru area. One source referred to these operatives as “local party Napoleons”.

They said the new candidates would be Lee Khai Loon for Machang Bubok, Cheah Kah Peng for Kebun Bunga and T Jayabalan for Batu Uban.

Tan, Ong and Raveentharan shrugged off the speculation, saying they would leave it to PKR’s top brass to decide on their candidacies.

However, their speculated omission from PKR’s list came as no surprise to pundits who have been monitoring the work of journalists and bloggers said to be close to the Bayan Baru operatives. Their writings have frequently been critical of the incumbents, often in a mocking tone.

The insiders said these Napoleons were the same ones who masterminded last year’s leaking of an audio recording of Penang PKR chief Mansor Othman making disparaging remarks about Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

The leak has politically weakened Mansor, who is one of the Chief Minister’s two deputies. The insiders said he PKR might move him to a parliament seat, leaving his post as Lim’s deputy up for grabs.

Under Pakatan Rakyat’s candidate selection formula, PKR will contest 16 state and four parliament seats in Penang.

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