On Sunday, Free Malaysia Today (FMT) posted a piece under the title “DAP’s Nga out of Cabinet” which prompted me to express my opinion here.
I have been supporting, both physically and financially, each of the coalition’s four political parties. As a result, the former attorney-general branded me persona non grata, froze my current bank account and withdrew all my RM40 million margin facilities for share investment. Almost immediately after Pakatan Harapan (PH) won control of the government, Ong Kian Meng, assistant to our finance minister, rang to tell me that all my banking facilities had been restored.
I know Nga Kor Ming very well. In the last general election, I went to nine places in Perak to campaign for PH, especially for DAP candidates. In fact, I went to Teluk Intan to campaign for Nga in his fight against millionaire Gerakan president Mah Siew Keong, the former Barisan Nasional (BN) minister for primary industries and plantations. Nga won by 12,000 votes.
I was told that DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng promised Nga that he would strongly recommend him as a full minister if he could kick out the BN minister, Mah, who had won the seat several times in previous general elections.
I am surprised to read FMT’s article that Nga will not be appointed as a minister.
According to media reports, Dr Mahathir Mohamad wishes to have 28 ministries.
PKR has 47 MPs and will be awarded nine ministers. DAP has 42 MPs and will be awarded six ministers. Amanah has 11 MPs and will be awarded five ministers. Warisan will be awarded two ministers. PPBM has 13 MPs and will be awarded six ministers, including the prime minister.
If you look at the above figures carefully, you can see that the award of minister posts for each coalition party is utterly out of proportion and unfair.
Currently, four of DAP’s MPs have been appointed as ministers.
Nga, the Perak DAP leader, won all 18 allotted state seats in the last few general elections. This is his fifth term as state assemblyman since 1999, and his third as MP since 2008. He is the deputy secretary-general of DAP.
In 2008, he defeated PPP president M Kayveas in Taiping. In short, he has defeated two BN component parties’ presidents who were ministers. That is why I say he deserves to be a minister.
DAP’s top leadership had recommended him as a minister. Based on Nga’s amazing track record, especially his ability to kick out two of BN’s ministers, he deserves to be a minister.
Moreover, Nga is one of the best orators in the country. His powerful command of Bahasa Melayu, English, Chinese and a bit of Tamil never fails to amaze people. Over the past 22 years, he travelled to almost every town and village to campaign for the opposition coalition parties against the corrupt BN government. He campaigned in more than 2,000 ceramahs and helped PH finally win control of the government.
How can anybody blame him for his fiery speeches? He might have made some crude remarks, but who has not done so during his or her decades of political career?
I trust that Mahathir, as a senior statesman, will forgive Nga for his small mistakes and appoint him as a minister. I strongly believe Nga will be a valuable asset in the PH government.
Koon Yew Yin is a retired chartered civil engineer and one of the founders of IJM Corporation Bhd and Gamuda Bhd.
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.