DAP’s move to allegedly overlook several Indian leaders when unveiling its Penang candidates line-up for the state polls yesterday (July 25) may lead to some party members opting to contest as independents in two state seats, namely Perai and Bagan Dalam.
According to a party insider, several factions of Indian members are not pleased with the decision to drop Penang DAP deputy chairman Prof Dr Ramasamy Palanisamy, who is replaced by former Penang Eco World Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Seri S. Sundarajoo in the Perai state seat.
Incumbent Bagan Dalam assemblyman M. Sateesh, who is also a strong advocate of human rights as well as on socioeconomic issues of the community was also left out and replaced by Calvin K. Kumaran.
When asked to comment on the matter, Sundarajoo expressed hopes that as a junior candidate, senior leaders will be willing to advise and guide him to ensure the seats are retained.
Meanwhile, DAP women chief Chong Eng, who was also not renominated, posted a heartfelt farewell on her Facebook, sharing photos of herself with DAP candidates and members as well as thanking those who supported her.
“For those who supported me, don’t give up on DAP. Party is made up of men and women, we cannot expect everyone (to be) perfect. So, you can give up on individuals but do not give up on the party.
“To my supporters. Don’t give up on DAP. There are all kinds of people in the party, and no one is perfect. So (one) can give up the individual, don’t give up on DAP,” she said in a Facebook yesterday (July 25).
On the major shakeup of the candidates’ list where veterans like Ramasamy as well as state excos Chong and Phee Boon Poh were dropped, DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke stressed that the move is part of the party’s renewal and rejuvenation process in order to remain dynamic and relevant.
He said Ramasamy, who is also a former Batu Kawan MP, had already served for three terms, while Chong has served for six terms in total as both assemblyman and MP.
Loke also said it was time for the veterans to give way to new faces, conceding that he too would not make the cut sometime in the future.
The incumbent Chennah assemblyman also said there is no member in the party who is indispensable, pointing to how even long-serving Tan Sri Lim Kit Siang has retired from active politics.
In a ceremony to announce the list of DAP candidates for Kedah and Penang, Loke said all parties went through the same process.
“There will be some new faces, some former candidates will retire and some will be dropped, this is a normal process in any election,” he said.
The Seremban MP also stated that it was a decision that was finalised by the party leadership and he hoped everyone will accept it.
Loke also added that DAP has retained all 19 seats in Penang since 2008, and hoped that the party will continue to defend those seats in this state election.
DAP, PKR, Bersatu, and Amanah acquired 19 seats, 14 seats, 2 seats, and 2 seats, respectively, under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) flag during the 2018 state elections, which saw PH retaining the state where they won it in the 12th General Elections (GE12). – July 26, 2023
Main pic credit: Utusan Malaysia