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Tuesday October 1, 2013 MYT 10:30:00 AM
Tuesday October 1, 2013 MYT 10:34:18 AM
by rashvinjeet s. bedi
Liew Chin Tong.
PETALING JAYA: Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong’s surprise top-ranking in DAP’s recently concluded Central Executive Committee (CEC) polls was an acknowledgement of his role as a party strategist in the last general election.
He was also credited for DAP’s success in Johor, which is considered to be a Barisan Nasional stronghold.
“He doesn’t belong to any faction although he is largely seen as Lim Guan Eng’s boy. His move from Penang to Johor has helped him establish his own identity,” said independent political analyst Khoo Kay Peng.
In the May 5 elections, Liew, 36, defeated former Deputy Minister for Higher Education Dr Hou Kok Chung in Kluang. In the 12th general election, Liew stood successfully the Bukit Bendera parliamentary seat.
In Sunday’s CEC polls, Liew received 1438 votes while in last December’s CEC election, Liew was ranked 14th.
According to Political Science Professor James Chin, head of the School of Arts & Social Sciences at Monash University Malaysia, said many in DAP credit Liew for the opposition’s success in Johor.
“They were the best performing party in Pakatan. In Johor, they brought down their big guns to contest. People credit him for being one of the key strategists in the party,” he said.
“Personality wise, he is humble and people like it,” said Chin adding that when Liew started he was known as Lim Guan Eng’s right hand man.
In the bigger picture however, these rankings don’t really matter said Chin as they are just a snapshot of support at the central level and not the grassroots.
While Liew’s ranking was a surprise, status quo prevailed in the elections as all 20 elected candidates were
The re-election of the CEC followed a directive from the Registrar of Societies to hold fresh polls.
The re-election was held following an order from RoS director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman on July 30, demanding DAP hold new CEC elections as he was not satisfied with the “technical glitch” explanation provided.
There was controversy in the party's last CEC election when Lim's then-political secretary Zairil Khir Johari obtained 803 votes after a re-calculation, as opposed to 305 during the initial count.
Khoo said not much should be read into the rankings, as it wasn’t really a poll in the first place.
“It was a DAP reaction towards the ROS and don’t take it as party election seriously. They were responding to the top leadership's call to vote in the same line-up,” he said.
Khoo pointed out that the CEC line-up was predominantly controlled by the Lim and Karpal factions, the backbone of DAP.
“More importantly is how each faction still controls the party very tightly. The current leadership is dominant and the party is united at the core,” he said pointing out that even veteran Kepong MP Tan Seng Giaw didn’t make it to the top 20 list.
“Liew might have got the biggest score, but he would not make it as chairman,” he added.
Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming and the returning officer of the polls said the results validated last year’s polls.
When asked about the rankings, he said it was “part of the process of a healthy democracy.”
Tags / Keywords:
Liew Chin Tong, DAP, CEC, Politics
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