The “rumour” has finally been confirmed. Out-going DAP Batu Gajah MP Fong Poh Kuan is not defending her seat.
She cited “the development of internal party events in the Perak DAP over the last few years as the reason for her decision” in her email to Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General circulated to the media. (theSun)
“It has become impossible for me to continue serving effectively, efficiently and wholeheartedly as a party leader as well as an elected representative of the people. Under such circumstances and in the best interest of all concerned, I have arrived at this unavoidable and difficult decision,” she said in the e-mail.
Fong’s decision is speculated as caused by her rift with secretary Nga Kor Ming, DAP Socialist Youth Chairman who is eying her seat, which has become safe for DAP after Fong’s two term. (Merdeka Review , in Chinese） She has recommended incumbent DAP’s Pasir Pinji assemblyman Thomas Su Keong Siong to succeed her.
DAP Perak Chairman Ngeh Koo Ham, who happens to be also Nga’s cousin claimed that “the party’s candidate selection committee had informed that she had been selected as the candidate for Batu Gajah.”
I am sure that the Parliament would be much different without Fong the “Chili Padi”. The greater question to me is: when will the problem of opposition politicians fighting over safe seats (or allegations thereof) end? We are also seeing DAP-PSM, DAP-PKR disagreement over seat allocation.
Will the best candidates emerge at the end after all the negotiation, lobbying and protest? In a time of pro-opposition mood, many people will vote strategically for the most winnable opposition candidate, whoever the person is. This makes party label extremely useful and party leaders who control party nomination extremely powerful.
What are the chances that the opposition top leadership will make their choices based on the winnability of the candidates? I don’t know, but I don’t see what can stop party leadership from practicing favouritism over other criteria. That means we need to pray hard that the party top leadership are political saints.
Why can’t we have some more intelligent ways of candidacy selection, either through balloting amongst party cadres, or through opinion poll in the constituencies? If we have some functional equivalent of American primaries, would we not have a better line-up of opposition candidates?