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Wikileak: How to beat the DAP at elections

Sat 2011-Aug-20 @ +08 10:39:16 am

A US diplomat was told in 2006 of the Gerakan’s views about how to compete against the DAP in a general election in Penang — hope that the DAP “would continue to run dish-washers and truck drivers” as candidates for state or parliamentary seats.

According to a leaked US Embassy cable published at Malaysia Today through WikiLeaks, the remark came in a conversation between its political officer Mark Clark and the Gerakan’s deputy secretary-general, Lee Kah Choon.

Lee admitted that, like MCA, Gerakan too would face a strong political challenge in the next general election, as they have not been able to overcome the perception that the Chinese community is continually discriminated against by the Malay majority government.

Lee’s only hope was that DAP “would continue to run dish-washers and truck drivers” for state and federal parliamentary seats, and thus would remain uncompetitive in the general elections in Penang.
Leaked US diplomatic cable KUALA LUMPUR 001975

Lee Kah Choon’s remark was echoed by a Penang DAP leader, Chow Kon Yeow, the MP for Tanjong, in a separate conversation with Mark Clark.

Chow admitted to Clark that the DAP traditionally has had very little success in recruiting high calibre candidates for parliamentary seats. “Such past failures have influenced the party’s motivation to recruit more viable and electable candidates,” the cable said.

The DAP also often struggled with supporting Chinese community issues, such as vernacular schools, and “at times seems to alienate itself from its natural voting base”.

Chow indicated that DAP’s current plan was to continue to run young party activists who had previously contested elections in Penang and hope that discontent with BN policies would draw voters to vote merely for the party rather than the quality of the candidate. He foresaw better electoral results in Penang and other urban areas because long-serving MPs were not seeking re-election.

• In the 2008 general election, Penang voters dismissed MCA and Gerakan politicians, giving the DAP a sweeping victory. The party formed the state government in partnership with Parti Keadilan Nasional and PAS.
• Lee Kah Choon, who lost in the struggle to replace Koh Tsu Koon as leader of the Penang Gerakan, accepted a post in a state government agency under the DAP-led adminstration. He later resigned from Gerakan when criticised for doing so
• Chow Kon Yeow is DAP leader for Penang and a senior state executive councillor.

The leaked US Embassy cable in full…
» MALAYSIA’S CHINESE MINORITY: THE POLITICS OF MARGINALIZATION

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3 Comments
  1. charlie chan permalink
    Sat 2011-Aug-20 @ +08 13:03:26 pm 13:03

    lousy candidates were chosen before 2008 but now the scenario changed, Pakatan has brilliant candidates now n BN will find the going tough with massive corruption scandals in their closets< GE 13 promises to be the most interesting contest in malaysia political history

  2. Penang Voter permalink
    Sat 2011-Aug-20 @ +08 13:34:28 pm 13:34

    Filling a taxi with credible untainted candidates from BN is almost an impossible task.

    As for Pakatan Rakyat, a tour bus is not enough to hold credible candidates.

    That is the difference !!!

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