JOHOR BARU: The state DAP’s party elections on Saturday is expected to be a heated one as two camps will be vying to control the state leadership.
Seen as a “clash of the titans”, one camp is aligned to current state chairman Dr Boo Cheng Hau while the other to secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and his father and party stalwart Lim Kit Siang.
The Lims are rooting for Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong to be the next chairman but Dr Boo will be in his way as he seeks to defend his position. Dr Boo, who earlier indicated he will make way for new leaders, made an about turn, saying that it was in line with the wishes of the party’s grassroots in Johor.
He said that he made his decision based on the feedback that he received from members who wanted a local leader to lead the state until Pakatan Rakyat forms the next state government.
“I leave it to the 500 over delegates to make their decision as I need to be elected as one of the 15 members before there is a secret ballot to decide on the positions,” said Dr Boo, adding that 23 people are vying for the positions after nominations closed on Dec 27.
Asked about Liew, Dr Boo just said that he too could be a future leader if he continues to stay here for a few years.
Selangor-born Liew, who was based in Penang as Bukit Bendera MP between 2008 and 2013, only moved to Johor to contest the Kluang constituency during the general election in May last year.
It is learnt that the other team has released a wish list for the state with Liew as chairman and Kulaijaya MP Teo Nie Ching as the deputy.
It is understood that some local DAP leaders felt that Dr Boo was taking “too many risks” politically by staying on, as he has already helped build and lead the party towards victory in the previous general election.
Meanwhile, current deputy chairman Norman Fernandez, who was also nominated, said that he would leave it to the delegates to decide as he had been in the state committee since 1997.