PETALING JAYA: Cracks are appearing in Penang Gerakan as internal factions threaten to put the party in “self-destruct” mode, an insider said today.
The insider’s comments came after news of state Gerakan Chairman Teng Chang Yeow’s rumoured departure, which the insider said was “just the tip of the iceberg” in what was happening in the party.
The veteran party man said Teng’s strategic move of “arranging his minions” in the state leadership over the past two years had angered many party members.
“Party veterans despise the lopsided leadership, as nearly 90% of them are Teng’s men.
“With Teng’s minions on his side, the rest of the valuable, technocrat, true blue Gerakan leaders are left in cold storage,” said the insider.
Recently, Teng had fended off rumours of his resignation as state Gerakan chairman. However, he told several news portals he would “have to go one day” and refused to comment further.
He also said he would remain as state BN chief.
The insider said the lopsided leadership had led to a grouping of Team Teng and Team Baljit Singh, the latter named after the national Legal and Human Rights Bureau chairman.
“Baljit’s supporters want a mix of technocrats in the leadership.
“But today, rumours are rife that Teng’s men are out to kill Baljit’s political career by making him a party coordinator in Kebun Bunga.”
Recently, state Gerakan Wanita Chief Rowena Yam and a few other key leaders resigned from their posts in the party.
The insider said the sudden resignation was to show displeasure with Teng’s leadership. Rowena did not respond to queries for comments.
The insider said Teng’s impending resignation as state Gerakan chairman was not a rumour and “was certain” as he wanted to pursue his long-term goal of contesting the presidency of the national party leadership.
“By resigning as state chief now, he will absolve himself of any bad marks in his report card.
“That way, he has a clean, unblemished track record to propel himself as party president.”
In response, Teng denied all the rumours by the insider, calling him an “idiot” out to create a wedge between him and others in his party.
He said he had included those who were not his supporters in the leadership and had offered positions to those who had resigned.
Teng also denied the existence of feuding camps.
“The insider who put out such a story is out to create a wedge about what I am trying to do, or just an idiot. I would opt for the latter.
“There is no such thing as my people or other people.
“For the whole restructuring of the state leadership, I have invited Baljit and he has accepted the position as state Legal and Human Rights Bureau chief.
“I also offered Rowena to come back, but she did not reply. I am still open to her participation,” he told the FMT in a phone call from Singapore.
Meanwhile, Baljit, when contacted, refused to comment “as it involved the party’s internal matters”.