Penang DAP and PKR are looking set for a major shake-up, with three quarters of the former state executive council line-up possibly being dropped as candidates for the upcoming state election.
Sources familiar with the matter told the New Straits Times that at least three former state executive councillors each from DAP and PKR would be axed, with another insider predicting that up to five former DAP executive councillors would be shown the door.
The three big names from DAP are caretaker Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy, DAP Wanita chief Chong Eng and Phee Boon Poh.
The source, however ,claimed that there was resistance at Ramasamy and Chong’s end on the possibility of being dropped.
“I am told caretaker Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow is fighting to keep the three party veterans.
“It sure looks like someone from within DAP wants to push for his men to replace the trio,” the source claimed.
Rumour is also rife that two more former executive councillors from DAP — Yeoh Soon Hin and Soon Lip Chee — may also be dropped.
Yeoh is the former state tourism, arts and culture committee chairman, while Soon is the former state youth and sports committee chairman.
The “purge’, said the source, could also see two former DAP assemblymen replaced.
Observers believed that while Penang was regarded as a Pakatan Harapan stronghold and is in little danger of being overcome by Perikatan Nasional in the state election, the “changing of the guard” was to rejuvenate the party.
Sources said a similar shift was also taking place in Penang PKR, with caretaker Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman, Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain and Dr Norlela Ariffin possibly sidelined.
PKR, said the source, could also see another five former assemblymen replaced, and Parti Amanah Negara might see at least one of their former assemblymen replaced.
The source said intense lobbying and negotiations were taking place within the two parties, including among party veterans as the top leadership of both parties decide on the candidates’ list.
“All this, however, is subject to last-minute juggling and lobbying. What I have heard is intense lobbying and begging are happening from both DAP and PKR, including party veterans.
“So, be prepared for upsets.”
The Penang DAP candidates’ list is now with party secretary-general Anthony Loke, pending a final decision, and PKR was expected to announce its candidates to contest in the state elections tomorrow.
Besides Penang, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu will also go to the polls on Aug 12.
Another source told the NST that at least 50 per cent of PKR candidates for the state election would comprise fresh and young faces.
“Former Permatang Pauh member of parliament Nurul Izzah Anwar is not on the list of candidates though. I don’t know if at the 11th hour, prior to nomination day on July 29, her name will be included. For now, her name is not on the list.
“After all, Nurul Izzah has other responsibilities,” the source said.
The source also said that PKR members understood the need for a rejuvenation and that there were no conflicts over the decision. – NST ONLINE