Thursday, 14 February 2013 23:07
LOOSE CANNON Boo, the stumbling block to PR's Putrajaya dream?Written by Victor Lim
JOHOR is set to remain as Barisan Nasional (BN)’s fortress and possibly save it from being booted out of Putrajaya in the 13th General Election (GE13).
The cause of this is Johor DAP chief Boo Cheng Hau’s irrational and stubborn demand for seats, especially in South Johor.
It is believed that Johor Pakatan Rakyat (PR) chiefs have yet to reach a consensus on seat allocations. Some 10% of the 26 Parliamentary and 56 state seats are yet to be settled.
The bulk of the tussle for seats are between PKR and DAP for constituencies having sizeable or significant Chinese voters.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak can call for national polls anytime and this can only spell disaster to PR’s ambition to win the mandate for both state and federal rule.
If the PR Top Three – PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang and PAS’ Hadi Awang – fail to swiftly resolve the seat disputes in the state, Johor is set to remain as BN’s political bastion.
Johor DAP campaigning against PAS & PKR
In 2008, DAP was the only Opposition party to win a parliamentary seat in Johor. Ironically, that seat was P.145 Bakri – a seat Chua successfully defended for BN-MCA for five successive terms until then MCA president Ong Ka Ting dropped Chua as the candidate in March 2008.
Chua had defended Bakri with widening majorities at every national poll – the last with a 19,000-vote majority in 2004.
In 2008, DAP’s Er Teck Hwa polled 21,051 votes for a narrow 722-vote majority victory against MCA’s Tay Puay Chuan who received 20,329 ballots.
BN not only lost Bakri. It also lost two of Bakri’s three state seats – N.12 Bentayan to the DAP and N.13 Sungai Abong to PAS. BN also lost a neighbouring N.15 Maharani to PAS in P.146 Muar.
It is learnt that Boo has been campaigning against PKR and PAS, especially in South Johor, on seat allocations and Islamic issues respectively. The seat disputes have now been referred to PR’s Top Three.
Now, he wants Gelang Patah too
However, Boo continues to publicly criticise PKR for refusing to make way for DAP to contest in P.162 Gelang Patah. This is irrational because Gelang Patah (104,496 registered voters, 33.9% Malays, 52.9% Chinese, 12.4% Indians 0.8% others) is a seat traditionally contested by PKR in 2004 and 2008.
It is believed that PKR is likely to field Chua in Gelang Patah in the coming general election, barring a last-minute seat swap.
Najib is expected to call for elections before the automatic dissolution of the first state assembly - Negri Sembilan – on March 23, 2013.
Boo is now akin to a PR “renegade”, waging an electoral battle with both PKR and PAS over seat allocations in Johor.
For the past four months, Boo and his party faction had failed to attend any of the PR events and ceramah in Johor, despite being invited.
Is there really a future for and with PR with the fierce tussle for seats in Johor?
DAP must rein in such kamikaze mavericks
State PKR and PAS leaders have also noticed that DAP leaders have also not invited them to DAP events, particularly in South Johor.
It is learnt that state PKR and PAS leaders have, since last December, decided to stop inviting DAP to their political events in Johor.
The consequence for Boo and Johor DAP is that they risk losing substantial Malay votes and, also Indian votes due to the sacking of an Indian DAP leader in Gelang Patah.
Boo’s lackey, Norman Fernandez, used his blog to attack PAS over Islamic issues and was also quoted by the Chinese newspapers calling on the Chinese community not to support PAS in GE13.
Boo played his role by repeatedly discussing seat negotiations which is against PR’s rule or for that matter, a common stand for all political parties.
Feedback from DAP insiders also revealed that Boo had called on his party faction not to cooperate with PKR and DAP.
With such open and bold arrogance against his party’s coalition parties, is Boo loyal to PR or BN? He certainly has no fear of disciplinary action from his party or PR leaderships. That makes him a possible BN Trojan Horse or a political frog.
Selfish leadership has also caused factional fights within DAP Johor
Johor DAP is also embroiled in factional fights after Boo had Bentayan assemblyman Gwee Tong Hiang suspended.
After the suspension, Boo tried to stop Gwee from attending DAP functions in Muar.
It is indeed baffling why the PR leadership, and especially the DAP led by secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and his father Kit Siang, is unable to control this wild card or loose cannon in Johor, allowing Boo to freely jeopardise PR’s unity in the state.
The Boo-led Johor DAP obviously has its own agenda and it’s all about greed and irrational behavior to demand for seats. Boo and his party supporters are even asking PAS to make way for them in certain seats traditionally contested by PAS.
What is certain is that it is not Boo who will decide who gets to contest in which seat or which party gets to contest which seat under the PR platform.
It is the PR’s Top Three who will ultimately negotiate and decide on the deadlock seats. And it will do well for Anwar, Kit Siang and Hadi to check the rot in Johor fast or lose GE13 through disunity.