PETALING JAYA: A political analyst believes that DAP’s plan to “eliminate” MCA leaders has hit a speed bump as some senior leaders are reluctant to move from their current seats.
In recent weeks, speculation has been rife that DAP big guns will contest against their MCA counterparts, more so after DAP’s Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching reportedly issued a press statement that the party was on a mission to “terminate” MCA leaders.
DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang subsequently denied there was such a mission.
Speculation that DAP leaders will contest in parliamentary seats like Bentong (against MCA president Liow Tiong Lai), Raub (against MCA vice-president Chew Mei Fun), and Labis (against MCA vice-president Chua Tee Yong) has not been confirmed so far.
Only the battle for Ayer Hitam will see Johor DAP chief Liew Chin Tong take on MCA deputy president Wee Ka Siong, while in Teluk Intan, Perak DAP chief Nga Kor Ming will take on Gerakan president Mah Siew Keong.
James Chin of Asia Institute at the University of Tasmania told FMT he believed DAP still wanted to “politically eliminate” MCA leaders, but this strategy had hit a hurdle as some leaders refused to move from their current constituencies.
Recently, DAP veteran and Skudai assemblyman Dr Boo Cheng Hau turned down an offer to contest in Labis. It is understood that other DAP leaders, including Teo and Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, have also refused to contest there.
“I believe that this time around, DAP’s main goal isn’t to eliminate MCA leaders, but to defeat Barisan Nasional in Johor, the home of Umno and frontline for Felda,” he said, adding that it wasn’t easy to beat MCA’s top leaders as they occupied mixed seats.
“I think this is taking precedence because it will be symbolic if the opposition can win in Johor, which is one of the fastest growing economies among the states in Malaysia.”
Chin said this was why Liew was taking the lead in challenging Wee, while Yeo Bee Yin will be contesting the Bakri parliamentary seat in the state.
He said if Pakatan Harapan could win Johor, it would control three of the biggest economies in the country, including Penang and Selangor.
Meanwhile, Oh Ei Sun, principal adviser to the Pacific Research Centre, said if DAP was changing its strategy, it could be over concerns of a possible backlash from Chinese voters.
“There may be voters who feel DAP is going overboard in wanting to kill Chinese representation in BN.
“There could also be some reluctance on the part of those who would otherwise risk their political careers in uncertain seats.”
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