PENANG: A political storm is brewing in the Penang DAP following the resignation of Jadryn Loo Hooi Yee from all her seven posts which party insiders blamed on “jealous colleagues who feel threatened by the rising star.”
Touted as one of the brightest women leaders in the party, the 22-year-old former political researcher’s decision has put a dent in the party’s preparations for the coming general election.
Loo had been tipped to contest a state seat on Penang island although she had been with the party for only a year.
Loo, also a party executive council member, quit on Thursday, citing “people-to-people relationship” problems.
She, however, remains an ordinary party member.
She joined the DAP after a year’s stint as New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark’s political secretary in charge of Asian affairs.
It is learnt that Loo’s decision was prompted by, among others, criticisms by certain leaders who felt threatened by her outspoken and frank nature.
They were quick to jump on Loo when she spoke out against scantily-clad female dancers during the Phor Thor (Hungry Ghost Festival) stage shows in August.
“They were angry with her statements criticising the show organisers for fear of offending party sympathisers,” said one source.
Many leaders were envious that she was getting better media coverage than the senior ones, he said, adding “she is too brash and does not listen to advice.”
However, another party official defended Loo, saying she had spoken up on the issue based on moral principles.
He, however, admitted that some people did not like her frank and honest attitude to the extent that she had been branded as the “blue-eyed girl” of Penang DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow.
“But Jadryn is quite sensitive and she hates to fight back. She is a person who will call a spade, a spade,” he added.
Penang DAP Action Team deputy chief Tham Weng Fatt, however, said it was unfair to blame party members for Loo’s resignation, saying he had not heard of anyone plotting her exit.
“Only a poor workman would quarrel with his tools. I believe her decision is politically motivated, especially with the elections around the corner.
“I have worked closely with her, especially when we go to the ground to highlight people’s problems. Her presence has never been a threat to me,” he said.
DAP deputy secretary-general Chong Eng said Loo was very young and had lots of opportunities ahead of her.
“It will be good if she can gain more experience and learn from her experiences. Politics is a field where you must put up with pressure from all sides,” she said.
In a statement yesterday, Chow said the state party leadership had decided to accept Loo’s resignation from her posts during its monthly meeting on Monday.
He said the committee expressed regret that efforts to get Loo to reconsider her decision had been unsuccessful.
When contacted at her Teluk Intan family home, Loo said she would still be around to serve the people, “as they are close to my heart.”
“It is a sad decision for me but I believe it is the best. I will be going on a month’s vacation to New Zealand to relax my mind and think of what to do next,” she said.