Malaysiakini’s news headlines Tee Beng quits PKR reported:
Nibong Tebal MP Tan Tee Beng today formally announced his resignation from PKR and is now an Independent.
However, he refused to confirm if he will be an ally to Barisan Nasional.
But he appealed to the federal government to release federal development allocations for his constituency, so that he can do his job in serving the people.
Asked how he would respond if BN expects his support in Parliament in return for the federal allocations, Tan said "these are two very different things which should not be linked".
I draw out two items from the above report:
Firstly, by appealing to the federal government to release federal development allocations for his constituency, he has finally admitted that allocations to MPs (as different from Penang ADUNs) should be from the Federal government and not the Penang State government.
In other words, he has by default also admitted that his accusatory attacks against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng for allegedly refusing to provide financial allocations for his Nibong Tebal federal constituency had been a mongrel misdirected malicious attack all along, that was, attacking Lim Guan Eng for no other reason than he wanted to attack Lim Guan Eng.
It probably was because Lim is DAP.
Secondly, note he hasn’t rejected the idea of joining BN or becoming a so-called ‘BN-friendly’ MP, like Hee is in the Perak State Assembly. But this post is not about Tan becoming a frog. If he does that, it won’t surprise me. After all, his family roots are in Gerakan-BN. His father Tan Ghim Hwa was the former Gerakan State Chairman, and known as the sworn enemy of the DAP.
Lim Kit Siang had in 1991 described Tan Ghim Hwa as a political vulture in a matter where phone threats were made against Lim, allegedly by some Gerakan Party members.
This post is more about Tan Junior's attack against CM Lim GE in particular and the DAP in general.
We can of course speculate that his background could have been a possible factor in his latent hostility towards the DAP and the son of Lim Kit Siang, and eventually brought to the boil after some disagreement with CM Lim. But let us not forget that he came from the Chinese section of PKR, led by (its de facto section leader wakakaka) Tian Chua.
In the lead up to March 2008, Tian Chua had realised that while the Malay (ex UMNO) bloc of PKR would electorally contest against UMNO, his Chinese section would have difficulty staking out ‘green pastures’ as the DAP had already been grazing on those plots for eons.
So it wasn’t strange that Tian Chua targeted the DAP rather than the MCA (or Gerakan) in the earlier days when Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang were talking about PKR and DAP (and PAS) forming a loose pact to defeat the BN. Then PKR’s idea of so-called ‘negotiations’ with DAP had been to make press releases without DAP even knowing about (or agreeing to) the negotiations. Azmin Ali had been a notorious culprit in such media pre-emptive strikes against the DAP.
Given these two factors, I suppose one shouldn’t blame Tan Tee Beng for possessing such an invincible bias against the DAP and the Lim family. But one wonders at his political moral values for leaping out of PKR just after two years as an MP elected under the party's banner.
My uncle knows his father quite well. In the days when Dr Lim Chong Eu was wandering (like Moses) in the political wilderness, between the time of his resignation as MCA President to his co-founding of Gerakan Party with people like Professor Syed Hussein Alatas, Veerapan, Dr Wang and Tan Sri Dr Tan Chee Khoon, he formed his pre-Gerakan party called UDP (United Democratic Party) in Penang.
Then Tan Ghim Hwa joined him as a young UDP politician. Tan Senior's political baptism of fire was in a state by-election in my village Ayer Itam but he was defeated by MCA's Lim Kean Siew (formerly of Labour Party).
Tan Ghim Hwa was then a greenhorn pollie, and known as Mr Clean. My uncle was shocked when 25 to 30 years later Lim Kit Siang brought out the issue of alleged phone threats to his (Lim’s) safety, and Lim’s description of Tan Ghim Hwa as a ‘political vulture’.
Remember Tan Ghim Hwa's political allegiance metamorphosed as a member of a Gerakan Party against BN's predecessor (Perikatan or Alliance) to being a member of a Gerakan Party within BN.
Is this going to be a sad case of ‘like father, like son’?
But more importantly, the lessons from the actions of PKR people like Tan, Zahrain, Firaus, etc suggest that both federal and state seats in Penang should go to a party whose candidates will be least likely to jump the Pakatan ship.