IPOH, March 15 — Despite a challenge mounted by Thomas Su and M. Kulasegaran, the results of the Perak DAP polls yesterday were not surprising.
The polls which were held in conjunction with the 19th State DAP Convention saw chairman Nga Kor Ming and advisor Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham retain their posts.
Nga’s team made a clean sweep after all 15 of them got more than 1,000 votes each.
Kampar MP Thomas Su and Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran only polled 550 and 540 votes respectively, despite chatter earlier that claimed their camp would be able to garner 40 per cent of the votes.
Here are three things we learned from the Perak DAP election held at the Ipoh Convention Centre:
1. Nga and Ngeh have an iron grip on Perak DAP: The duo have been in the state DAP leadership since 1998 and their influence seems to grow ever stronger.
At the last state election in 2018, Nga only ranked seventh with 701 votes and Ngeh was ranked 10th with 66.
Despite their ranking, the two were appointed as chairman and advisor by the elected committee members in a unanimous decision.
Several party lawmakers and members had recently questioned Nga’s leadership after the party lost three of the 18 seats in the state when Tronoh assemblyman Paul Yong Choo Kiong and Buntong assemblyman A. Sivasubramaniam quit the party last year to go independent. They have since joined Bersatu.
Then there was Malim Nawar’s Leong Cheok Keng who was sacked in January following his public criticism of the party leadership.
But this year, the duo managed to retain their posts with a much formidable majority; Nga, who is Teluk Intan MP and Aulong assemblyman, ranked first by garnering 1,228 votes while Ngeh who is Beruas MP, ranked sixth with 1,216 votes.
The election outcome clearly shows that Nga and Ngeh still have the support and confidence of the party’s members at the grassroots level.
2. The outcome of this election will determine the party’s line-up for the 15th general elections (GE15).
Nga, in his opening address at the state party convention, announced his ambitious plan to contest eight parliamentary seats and 20 state seats in the upcoming general elections.
With his team making a clean sweep of the party polls, it is most likely that they will be in the line-up.
The remaining five state seats are also likely to be given to the candidates in Nga’s camp.
With differing opinions and views coming from Su’s team, it is unlikely the three-term assemblyman would want to risk his dominion in the state.
Nga’s demand is likely to be met as it was reported yesterday that the Perak Pakatan Harapan (PH) component parties are willing to discuss the matter of seat allocation, including the possibility of DAP contesting more seats.
Currently, DAP holds the majority in the PH coalition of 23 seats, with Amanah having five and PKR three.
The Perak state assembly has a total of 59 seats.
In the last general elections, DAP won all the seven parliamentary seats and 18 state seats they contested.
3. It looks very likely that DAP will work with Umno during GE15.
Umno Perak’s relationship with PAS and Bersatu has soured after they ousted the former mentri besar who is from Bersatu and replaced him with Datuk Saraani Mohamad from Umno.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, in his speech at the Perak DAP Convention, openly said that both the DAP central executive committee (CEC) and DAP Perak unanimously endorse the removal of the former mentri besar.
“DAP is willing to co-operate on common issues that benefit the rakyat,” he said.
Umno and DAP could form an alliance in the next general election as neither side commands the majority.
The chances of DAP and Umno working together to form the government in Perak is high with Nga in the driver’s seat.
A long-standing DAP Perak delegate of at least four state party elections who requested anonymity told Malay Mail that Nga has built bridges with all parties including Umno.
“All major parties in the state have some experience of working with each other over the turbulent last decade and a half, and as such have grown to know the reliability and track record of each other.
“On both Umno’s and DAP’s side, both have seen and tasted rejuvenation of leadership forged towards progress. From mistakes that took place between 2008 and 2009 that brought on the 2009 power grab and, of course, the recent Perak move to remove the Bersatu mentri besar, it is clear that the current Umno and DAP leadership are the most refined and efficient.
“Both are led by the same players, but with markedly improved political finesse and professionalism that put Perakians’ interests first,” he said.
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