JOHOR BARU: In a tit-for-tat response, former Johor DAP chief Dr Boo Cheng Hau has hit back at Lim Guan Eng, at one point calling the party secretary-general a "yes man" to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Boo's comments came after Lim slammed him for his remarks over Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh's decision to don a headscarf while visiting a mosque.
In a statement on Facebook on Saturday (Dec 4), Dr Boo told Lim that "superficial gimmicks" would not last long.
"These gain only temporary political mileage.
"Over-appeasing any ethnic group would not have much long-term political impact," he said.
He added that Lim got "carried away" with the real substance of the internal discussion.
"Your (Lim's) question on commenting on women's dressing is also irrelevant.
"The precise point is that we should not use dressing (for) political mileage.
"If Senator Liew Chin Ting dresses like an ulama to go to a mosque to canvass for votes, I would think that it may be perceived to gain political mileage and may not bring any positive results for DAP," he said.
He noted that Johor DAP had helped religious schools in the state without wearing outfits to appease any groups.
"When the party was short of resources, Johor DAP and I donated our own money not only to SJKC and SJKT (Chinese and Tamil national type schools), but also Sekolah Agama (religious schools).
"I did not have to wear religious (attire) to appease anyone. I went only with a sincere heart to help each community (in) their social and education needs," he said.
He added that more support could be gained from helping others with sincerity.
"I believe one could win more support by helping others with sincerity, and helping all communities fairly.
"If one tries too hard to appease a particular ethnic group and neglect the needs of others, he would not only be despised by his own kind but also lose the respect of others," he said.
He added that Pakatan Harapan's losses in the Tanjung Piai by-election and Melaka state election were "alarming signs" for DAP and Pakatan.
He also claimed that the Chinese community was still upset at Lim for the choices he made during his stint as finance minister.
"My dear secretary-general, your good self still does not comprehend by now why the Chinese community still cannot accept your refusal to allocate funds to Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) when you were finance minister.
"The community has been upset with you for putting partisanship above education and for being a yes man to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad," he said.
Dr Boo had reportedly lashed out over Yeoh's attire at a mosque in her constituency.
In defending Yeoh, Lim said Dr Boo's remarks were no different from those made before by “extremist and primitive PAS leaders”.
Lim also said Dr Boo should focus on people-centric issues such as the significant increase in prices of basic necessities instead of "obsessing over what attire is worn by DAP women leaders when visiting mosques or places of worship".