Kon Yeow-Guan Eng feud spills into the open

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The simmering feud between Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow and his predecessor Lim Guan Eng has finally spilled into the open.

Zhafaran Nasib/The Star

DAP national chairman Lim slammed Penang state chairman Chow for painting what he calls a “false picture” of a plot to remove him as chief minister.

Lim, who is also Bagan MP and Air Putih assemblyman, said DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke has provided a clear explanation and publicly dismissed any plot, both internally and externally, to oust Chow.

“Loke has put to rest wild speculation that began with Chow’s sudden and surprising allegations of a plot to topple him,” Lim said in a statement yesterday.

He added that to date, Chow has not been able to furnish any proof of such a scheme.

It is the first time that Lim has issued a statement on the matter, coming a few days after Chow had alluded to the plot at the Heng Ee Alumni Association’s anniversary dinner in George Town last weekend.

Chow even exhorted those people to respect the decision by the party to appoint him as chief minister.

Meanwhile, a state party leader, who wished to remain anonymous, criticised both Lim and Chow for washing their dirty linen in public.

“There are proper channels to address this matter, and that is internally,” he said.

He added that the bad blood between them had arisen in July and that things deteriorated just before nomination day for the six state elections.

“Since then, both sides and their supporters have not seen eye to eye on several matters including a workers’ dormitory project,” he claimed.

Just before the Aug 12 state polls, the chief ministership had been a hot topic with talk that Chow would not get a shot at a second term. But the speculation was curbed when the party continued to back Chow to lead the state.

Barely two months after taking his oath as the chief minister for a second term, Chow came under fire over the land sale deal in Batu Kawan involving the Penang Development Corporation (PDC), which he chairs.

On Monday, the PDC board announced that it decided to terminate the joint-venture agreement with UMECH Land following calls to suspend the controversial sale of the PDC-owned land in Byram in Seberang Prai Selatan on the mainland.

Another senior DAP leader, a respected figure in the inner circle of the party, has called on both politicians to keep a cool head and let things cool down.

“As the saying goes, ‘If you let muddied water settle, it will become clearer, and you will see the bottom’.

“Both of them should take a step back and give each other some space. Then only can they see the bigger picture.

“The economy and welfare of the rakyat are more important issues that we need to resolve,” he said.

Another party insider conceded that there was a plot to oust Chow, adding that the move was “slowly destroying” the party.

“There are two teams now; those who are with Chow and the more senior leaders who are backing Lim,” he said.

Real Estate and Housing Developers Association (Rehda) Penang immediate past president Datuk Seri Jerry Chan said that under the leadership of Chow, the state has stood out, with the government and community working hand in hand to help the community as well as the poor and the needy.

“We are proud of the Penang brand which encompasses not only the industry and tourism but also our peaceful and multicultural society.

“That is why over the years so many people have come here to set down roots,” he said.

Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Malaysia’s immediate past president Datuk Seri Gobalakrishnan Narayanasamy also commended Chow for bringing development and progress to the state.

“There has been a major development in Little India, with Chow taking a personal interest in the issues faced by the community.” – The Star