All of Penang DAP’s backbenchers assert that they are not among the “trio” mentioned in an online news report about a plot to unseat Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
In a joint statement, they labelled the article as “malicious and unfair for not mentioning who the three assemblymen are, thereby putting all the 10 assemblymen (from DAP) under unnecessary public suspicion”.
That article, headlined “Internal DAP push to oust Chow, reinstall Lim as Penang CM”, was uploaded by Malaysiakini at about 1pm on Wednesday (May 3).
The report claimed the plotters, who comprised three assembly persons, had instead wanted DAP national chairman Lim Guan Eng back to lead the Penang government.
They claimed Chow had been ineffectual as a chief minister and was soft and sluggish in making decisions compared to Lim, who is seen as a stronger leader.
The 10 assemblymen who issued the joint statement three hours later are Lim Guan Eng, Lim Siew Khim, Jason H’ng, Heng Lee Lee, Joseph Ng, Ong Ah Teong, Daniel Gooi, Satees Muniandy, Syerleena Abdul Rashid and Chris Lee.
They are all DAP backbenchers who hold no government posts.
“We solemnly attest that we have not spoken to Malaysiakini in this article. To attribute the report to any of three assemblymen (from DAP) is untrue and false. Thus, we are unable to ascertain where this baseless information is from,” they wrote.
They said that they would “not be drawn into any attempt by irresponsible parties to divide and distract us from our objective of serving the people and ensuring Penang’s future”.
They voiced their commitment to winning the coming state election and strengthening political stability, as well as fortifying the unity government in Putrajaya.
According to the 10, candidature for seats and posts are decided by the party and they would respect the party’s decision.
Earlier today, Chow said he was unaware of any internal attempt within DAP to oust him as the chief minister after the upcoming state election.
Chow was also reportedly asked if Lim could still become Penang chief minister again if the latter won back his state seat in the election.
Chow said Penang had amended its state law in 2008 to limit the chief minister’s tenure to two terms.
Chow said his focus now was to lead the state Pakatan Harapan to victory before deciding on the next course of action.
As for the assemblymen involved, Chow said he had no idea who they were.
Meanwhile, DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke said the news report is mere hearsay.
He said he has not received any memorandum letters so far.