GEORGE TOWN: Penang DAP saw some upsets Sunday with veteran DAP leader and state assemblyman Phee Boon Poh among six incumbents, including three assemblymen, losing their committee seats in the Penang DAP election here.
Phee, 60, was the sole DAP assemblyman in Penang after the 2004 general election, winning in the Sungai Puyu state seat but he was voted out this year.
Earlier, Phee seemed to sense that he would lose, saying that he was busy with his state executive councillor duties and had lost touch with the grassroots.
Others who lost were state party treasurer Tan Hun Wooi, Bagan Dalam assemblyman A. Tanasekharan, Padang Lalang assemblyman Tan Cheong Heng, Pengkalan Kota assemblyman Lau Keng Ee, state DAP Youth head and Paya Terubong assemblyman Yeoh Soon Hin.
Phee, in an immediate reaction through a short messaging system (SMS) reply, apologised for losing.
“Sorry I lost. Too naive to survive in this cruel world of politics.”
Later, Phee said: “I am a soldier and I would die in the battlefield with my boots on. When the delegates make such a decision, it shows that I am not good enough for them. This inspires me to work harder.”
The two incumbent vice-presidents Datuk Keramat assemblyman Jagdeep Singh and Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s younger sister Lim Hui Ying, both won handsomely.
The top placing candidates were Jagdeep, Batu Lanchang assemblyman Danny Law Heng Kiang, the incumbent state chairman Chow Kon Yeow, Bukit Mertajam MP Chong Eng, party veteran Lim Hock Seng, Komtar assemblyman Ng Wei Aik, Air Itam assemblyman Wong Hon Wai, Pulau Tikus assemblyman Koay Teng Hai, Hui Ling, Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy, Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu, local councillor Harvindar Singh, Seri Delima assemblyman R.S.N. Rayer, Gooi Seong Kin, a former personal assistant to Guan Eng and a new face is Kepala Batas DAP chief Lay Hock Peng.
Two veterans - Chong Eng and Law are making a comeback after losing in the previous state election held in 2008.
Chow is expected to retain his chairmanship of Penang DAP as all state leaders including Guan Eng have come out strongly in support of him.
After the results were announced, Dr Ramasamy said he was happy to be chosen and promised to work as a team.
Chong Eng thanked the delegates for having faith in her.
Chow is expected to be reappointed as the state DAP chairman when the 15-winners meet to discuss which positions they should hold.
Jagdeep said that the fact that he got the highest votes showed that DAP was not a Chinese chauvinist party.
Former DAP leader the late Ahmad Nor’s son Zulkifli Mohd Noor said this was a democratic process and the losers had to accept the results.
“For the party to attract more Malays support, we must ensure more representation in the party and state government. Malays account for 46% of the population in Penang,” he said in reference to the fact that there was no Malay in the state committee line-up.
A total of 496 (93%) out of 694 eligible candidates voted in the election, which was part of the state’s annual convention held at Komtar Sunday.