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Rivalry from within

  • This whole drama not only exposes the ugly side of humanity, but could also turn many disillusioned voters away. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

Sin Chew Daily

The late Taiwanese writer Bo Yang once said the palace is the dirtiest place, as blood brothers can kill one another in order to have all the power to themselves.

Kim Jong-Nam's assassination in Malaysia has triggered speculations on the purging of dissidents under North Korea's Kim dynasty, opening the eyes of people across the world to how crazy a person could get to ensure he remains firmly and comfortably in power.

As a matter of fact, palace is not the only place where things can get really dirty. Politics is another!

To stay in power and "for the sake of the country", rivals can be turned allies and erstwhile comrades can now become sworn enemies.

As widely anticipated, after the resignation of Sim Tong Him and three others from Melaka DAP, they instantly came under the whip of the party's central leadership, being labeled as malignant tumors that betrayed the party for their own good.

As the clock ticks closer to the 14th general elections, the departure of these four people has indeed taken the party leadership by storm, while some questioned the motives behind their untimely move.

As flashback, Sim and Goh Leong San received letters suspending their party membership on the eve of 2016 Chinese New Year, which they dismissed jokingly as a big ang pao from the party. Lim Guan Eng should understand how they felt having to give his police statements on CNY eve this year.

Now that the suspension has expired, the duo have not received any form of notification on their reinstatement. If DAP had appreciated these two people, it shouldn't have overlooked the need for an official reinstatement.

In other words, DAP chose to let them off.

The incident has also highlighted a severe lack of communication between the two sides which could be due to their own characters and moral upbringing, but could also be a result of flawed party mechanisms.

After the resignation of the four, I went around asking several voters in Melaka: If Sim et al were to stand in the coming general elections as independent candidates against BN and DAP, how will you vote?

Some said, it depends on who will run in the election, but they didn't rule out the possibility of going for Sim.

Meanwhile, others asserted that it wouldn't matter any more now whomever they were going to vote.

Sim was at a point prepared to run for Kota Laksamana state seat as an independent in the 2013 general elections vis-à-vis DAP's candidate. Back then I asked some voters and were told by most of them that they would vote for the party, not individual candidates.

While this little poll by me could not speak for all voters, having gone through these few years of dramatic political evolution, the attitude of Malaysian voters has seen an obvious shift. DAP's leadership is well aware of the fact that they can no longer bask in the good time of yesteryear when anyone they fielded in a predominantly Chinese constituency would be an assured victor.

Sim accused DAP of deviating from the party's original political struggle for collaborating with PAS and later Mahathir. While the party loyals have been lashing out at these "traitors", they seem to have overlooked many other members who have remained largely silent but are very unhappy with the goings-on inside the party. Who knows all these might become time bombs awaiting to go off sometime in the near future?

Sim and the other three were once seen as political "good guys" who were apparently misplaced in the highly unpredictable Malaysian politics. Sim was devoted to the grooming of young aspiring leaders, including the current state chairman Tey Kok Tiew.

No one knows why Tey has later turned against his mentor, but in view of seniority, Sim should have been accorded more respectable treatment.

If the party can now sit alongside its former archrival Mahathir, there is no excuse Sim, once a faithful comrade who went through the thick and thin with the rest of the pack, should not be endured.

This whole drama not only exposes the ugly side of humanity, but could also turn many disillusioned voters away.

In fact, DAP should look seriously now into the question whether a tie-up with Mahathir is eventually a boon or bane. The departure of Sim et al should not be viewed as just a development in the on-going party infighting but should serve as a warning bell as well.


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