Saturday, December 16, 2017

Political Mavericks

Malaysiakini - Maverick DAP rep asks why party impatient to get rid of him (extracts):

Teh Yee Cheu

Maverick DAP Tanjung Bungah assemblyperson Teh Yee Cheu broke his silence and questioned why his party was apparently impatient to get rid of him by barring him from being involved in flood aid in his state constituency.

Teh said he has not joined another political party and is still a DAP member and assemblyperson. [...]

Teh expressed disappointment that a senior DAP leader ran him down in the state newsletter Buletin Mutiara.

"Now you condemn me and say bad things about me. Aren't you just playing politics?" he asked.

"You say I might be a risk. What kind of risk do I pose? You mean I can sabotage the whole thing? How can I do that?

"If I want to sabotage (DAP), I do not need to announce in advance that I want to leave the party."

On Dec 14, DAP Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari revealed that Teh was barred from approving the registration of flood victims which will entitle them the state's RM700 in financial aid. [...]

On why the two-term elected representative was barred, Zairil said this was due to Teh issuing a few negative statements to the press.

"He had publicly announced that he’s leaving DAP and that also means he's leaving the Pakatan Harapan state government. So, when there's uncertainty, do you take the risk?" Zairil was quoted as saying in Buletin Mutiara.

Political parties do not like go-it-alone mavericks, no matter how good or people-oriented these mavericks might be. So Zairil Khir has not been wrong in describing Teh as a possible 'risk' to the DAP.

And that's the specific and not just a general rule, but with one sole exception. Wakakaka, as in everything, there is always an exception (and sometimes disparagingly called a 'freak' or an aberration).

That exception is one where that maverick is so popular with the voters the party would be foolish to expel or marginalise him or her, or even allow him/her to leave the party. Examples would be Lim Chong Eu, Anwar Ibrahim and not-so-much-as-a-maverick as someone who didn't get along with the party's state top leaders, Fong Po Kuan, MP for Batu Gajah from 1999 to 2013.

Many do not realise that Lim Chong Eu was once the President of MCA. He left on his own accord after having a dispute with Tunku (UMNO) on MCA's fair allocation of federal seats for an election. He was succeeded by Tan Siew Sin as MCA President.

Wikipedia tells us: In the March 1958 Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) party elections, he challenged Tun Tan Cheng Lock and won the presidency with a majority of 22 votes.

kt note: Tan Cheng Lock was the father of Tan Siew Sin

During the one-year period when the MCA was under Lim, the party came under tremendous pressure from within and outside. After his victory, he called an extraordinary general meeting to amend the Constitution to consolidate the power of the Central Committee. This was met with strong resistance by Tun Tan Siew Sin and his supporters. Although the proposal was passed with a single-vote majority, the move left the Party split.

At the same time, the MCA under Lim also had severe political differences with the then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman. The crisis worsened on the eve of the 1959 general elections when Lim demanded 40 parliamentary seats and also wanted to make Chinese an official language. The Tunku increased the seats allocated to MCA from 28 to 31 but this was rejected and their relationship worsened.

Tunku Abdul Rahman rejected Lim's demands, prompting Lim to resign as president of MCA ...

Eventually Chong Eu took his 'popularity' back to his hometown Penang where he started humbly but rather significantly with his own new party the United Democratic Party (UDP) which became one of the several parties and NGOs that formed the once-powerful Gerakan Party.

Gerakan (in a loose front with DAP and another once-great PPP) won so convincingly in 1969 that many including Malays thought it would be the next ruling party in the following election.

Firstly, the May 13 riots, secondly the formation of Barisan Nasional (BN) which included Gerakan Party, and thirdly the divide-&-rule-within-BN strategy of Tun Razak prevented the further rise of Gerakan Party, denying its place as possibly Malaysia's dominant multiracial party.

Tun Razak's strategy saw Gerakan Party besieged from within BN by its old foe MCA, whilst it had to contend with its former ally, DAP, from without.

Thus, the Gerakan Party today is a pale shadow of its once popularity and potential greatness.

But Chong Eu did become CM of Penang for 21 years. In 1990 he was defeated by Lim Kit Siang of DAP during a period which saw internecine war between Gerakan and MCA in Penang.

If MCA did not replace Chong Eu or had held him back after his tiff with Tunku, the political landscape could have been different, but that's for the alternative history of 'what if'.

As for Anwar Ibrahim, I leave it to UMNO (including PKR die-hards) to also reflect on 'what if'.

More interesting would be Fong Po Kuan who was MP for Batu Gajah from 1999 to 2013. Nicknamed 'cili padi' for her sterling take-no-shit performance in federal parliament, the tri-lingual sweetheart was the youngest MP in 1999.

This should surprise many of you, that Po Kuan was a law graduate of the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM).

In some ways she was a wee bit like Teh Yee Cheu in not getting along well with the DAP Perak state leaders but unlike Teh she didn't air her differences with her party leaders in public.

Due to differences with the party leaders in Perak, she did not want to defend her seat in the 2008 general elections but her popularity with her electorate was so immense that Lim Kit Siang had to persuade her to stand for Batu Gajah again.

She agreed and won 72.78% of the votes with a staggering resultant majority of 24,627 votes. But she did not re-contest in 2013, surrendering her place to her colleague V Sivakumar.

She is still in the DAP.

Teh Yee Cheu is a good bloke but he has to understand that being a member of a party requires discipline and at times sacrifices in one's personal stand. Fong Po Kuan had been an example of such discipline and sacrifice.

Teh in taking his disagreements with his party into the public arena, no matter how sincere he has been, shows his inability to be a disciplined member of a party.

He can still serve the people of Tanjung Bungah as an independent, though as a member of another party may yet see him facing/experiencing the same maverick problem. In essence he is not a party bloke.

Pity. But I wish Teh all the best in his future career.


  1. Teh Yee Cheu has been a passionate proponent of environmental protection in Penang.

    That makes him way out of line with very seriously pro-developer DAP Penang.
    The straw which broke the camel's back was the landslide tragedy in Tanjung Bungah, Penang , which DAP leaders instantly dismissed as of no relevance to hillslope development and environmental degradation. The developer has not received ANY legal sanctions over the incident.

    1. since you know so much about Teh's motive to leave dap, you should NOT conceal the FACT that Teh said one principal factor that made him to leave dap has been mahathir joining pakatan

    2. kt argument imply that those who stay wellcome mahathir.

    3. Stop talking cock Ktemoc.

      Teh publicly stated principal reasons for leaving DAP

      Among others, these matters related to transgender issues, the two-term limit for the chief minister, hill development, non-compliance to the state structure plan and lack of a local plan for town planning.

      Teh said since his views were not in line with those of the party, it was best for him to leave.

    4. No Monsterball, you are DELIBERATELY avoiding saying what Teh himself said and reported by the press - that one reason he is leaving DAP is because he cannot accept working with Mahathir. I know you are a devout Mahathir disciple (or makan-er dedak) but do not unscrupulously cover up facts

    5. Monsterball read this and weep, you Mahathir's lapdog

    6. So ? Teh threw in Mahathir's name 2 weeks AFTER he had already announced his quitting DAP, citing other principal reasons.
      Sounds like an afterthought to me.

    7. wah, so devoted to Mahathri, still trying desperately to keep his reputation clean, wakakaka. Your dedak fro0m mhim must be generous

    8. Far less than your devotion to Najib's agenda, with 200+ posts attacking anybody who criticizes Najib's conduct and policies.

    9. but none so clear as your incessant defence of mahathir, wakakaka, whereas you reckless suspicions of me have been based purely by my refusal to write what you have demanded, of Najib's misdemeanours

    10. That's true KT, so are you confirming my 'Suspicion'? So what is your 'numbers'? Wakakaka......

    11. damning or convicting someone on mere suspicions makes me wonder whether you or your side should rule? wakakaka

      evidence lah

    12. "Najib's misdemeanours"...wakakaka...Ktemoc still being a Najib apologist and whitewasher even as he denies being one...

      A misdemeanour is a minor chatting on a mobile phone while driving, or throwing discarded tissue on the road..

      Conspiring to have Rm 4.2 Billion of public funds diverted into your personal bank account is a Felony of 1st class magnitude.


    14. Monsterball.. jangan tunggu lama lama, jangan tunggu lama lama, nanti kalah perang.. ha ha


  2. Side issue...

    4 perpetrators stabbed man in front of his wife, deliberately rammed him down with their car and then very deliberately reversed their car over him...

    Case like this...if the perpetrators are ever caught...death penalty by hanging is the appropriate brainer...bleeding heart liberals should shut the fuck up...

    1. people like you don't and won't understand about abolishment of capital punishment. You think society should punish criminals kau kau when you should be thinking of what society you want to be part of, a civilised one which does NOT execute anyone, but merely put them away in safe custody. It's called a civilised society not a frontier type of 'an eye for an eye' low class bunch of mob.

    2. The video has gone viral....horrifying footage of the car deliberately driven over the man twice. Unlikely that this is just a case of simple robbery or carjacking.

  3. Let us be is NOT because of your "refusal to write what we demanded of you" that made us turned against you !

    It is because of your uncharacteristic behavior of defending corruption of the worst kind, of your defense of such grand theft, what Jeff Session the current head of DOJ called 'the worst case of kleptocracy in the world', of your ease in condoning this ripping the public off in such an open and unashamed manner, which inevitably leave us for generations to pay back all the debts incurred and brought such sufferings now.

    We have been following your blog for years now and we know if someone has turned uncharacteristically "dumb"...and keep on insisting there's not enough "evidence lah". From you who are always quick on the uptake and could connect the dots almost instantaneously, who apparently could not bear injustice and could instantly sniff out anything less than integrity.... this sudden play dumb by laughing off such serious crime as " naughtiness" and "misdemeanor" are truly ridiculous, almost bordering to some sort of dementia. But we all know you are certainly not afflicted with madness and dementia, so it is not surprising at all if people start speculating on your motivation.

    The reasons we are all needling you with such persistence are quite obvious for all to see. We are indeed curious to see how far you would go on with your pretend indignance.

    So let's be clear. Cease and desist in your repeated " just because I don't write what you demanded of me that you are now angry with me ".
    That was a lie ! We don't demand how you should write or dictate what you should be writing....we are only concerned for the direction that the country is heading towards to and when the worst case of massive plundering happened right in front of our eyes, we cannot close both eyes, become stupid and simply brush it off as mere "naughtiness" and " misdemeanor".

  4. Wah glad to see my story on Teh generate so much interest. Wakakakaka!!

    1. hello darling long time no hear, wakakaka

      how's mum, lil' sweetie and you? Cheers