DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke Siew Fook has brushed off claims of a frosty relationship between Penang Chief Minister (CM) Chow Kon Yeow and his predecessor Lim Guan Eng.
“What cold relationship? I see that everything is okay (between Chow and Lim). They can sit down for coffee together. The only thing cold is the air conditioning,” New Straits Times quoted as saying.
The media has widely reported on a ‘rift’ that was brewing between the two leaders over a land deal. It started right after the Penang state elections in August and the rapid anointment of Chow for another term as CM.
The relationship between the two was tense to the point that in October, Lim urged Chow to furnish proof of any plot to topple him.
The Bagan MP added that Loke had then publicly dismissed allegations by Chow of a plot, both internally and externally, to topple him.
Again in October, Chow informed an audience during an event about potential internal and external efforts to oust him from the party. He urged his detractors to respect the decision of the DAP.
Responding to this, former state DAP state assemblyman Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy challenged Chow to identify the individuals involved in the alleged plot against him.
Prof Ramasamy expressed uncertainty about whether Chow genuinely believed in the attempt to remove him or if it was a tactic to divert attention from the ongoing land sale controversy faced by the state government.
To explain the perceived tense relationship, Loke pointed out that in any organisation, even within political parties, there were bound to be differences.
“That (differences in opinion) is normal. “But whatever the decision (made), that is not a personal decision. Rather, it is a collective decision. In this case, the party’s decision.
“We are here to work and bring betterment to the people,” he told the media after the launch of the state DAP convention.”
Some reports stated that Loke’s response came after a former state executive councillor and DAP assemblyman said that the party’s grassroots wanted political tensions in the state to ease. – Nov 19, 2023
Main photo credit: Utusan Malaysia