Party will head into the next general election as the “government-in-waiting”.
DAP strategist Liew Chin Tong was reappointed as the party’s Johor chapter chairman following the election at the Johor DAP Ordinary Convention 2021 today, retaining the post for a fourth consecutive term.
His appointment as Johor DAP chief was decided by the 15 newly elected state-level committee members after the election.
In the election itself, Liew received 561 votes from 1,024 delegates present involving 210 DAP branches throughout Johor.
His victory puts to rest the mounting leadership challenge from two other factions within Johor DAP.
The position of Johor DAP deputy chairman is also maintained by previous incumbent Teo Nie Ching, who is also the Kulai MP.
Meanwhile, his challenger, Skudai assemblyperson Tan Hong Pin, failed to make the cut after coming in just short in the 16th position. Tan had denied plotting against Liew.
Liew came in third place in the party polls, while Bakri MP Yeo Bee Yin secured the most votes.
Another of Liew’s rivals – Dr Boo Cheng Hau – was also re-elected to the state committee.
The elected Johor DAP committee members are:
- Yeo Bee Yin
- Teo Nie Ching
- Liew Chin Tong
- Chen Kah Eng
- Wong Shu Qi
- Liow Cai Tung
- Gan Peck Cheng
- Tee Boon Tsong
- Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali
- Ng Yak Howe
- Yeo Tung Siong
- Tan Chen Choon
- Lim Eng Guan
- Boo Cheng Hau
- Pang Hok Liong
The two Johor DAP vice-chairman posts were filled by the state’s Paloh assemblyman Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali and Bekok assemblyman S Ramakrishnan.
The party’s Stulang assemblyman Andrew Chen Kah Eng was appointed as the Johor DAP’s new secretary, while Penggaram assemblyman Gan Peck Cheng was appointed as the state chapter’s treasurer.
DAP’s Kluang MP Wong Shu Qi was appointed as the organisation secretary, while the party’s Johor Jaya assemblyman Liow Cai Tung was made the publicity secretary.
Earlier in his speech, Liew likened the DAP of old to a “grocery store” and said the party must now transition to a “big supermarket”.
He said the transition in terms of membership had already happened and now the way the party is managed must follow suit.
“As an example, Johor DAP had 87 branches during the 2018 party election, but it now has 210 branches eligible for today’s election.
“Now, we must scale and use the approach of managing a big supermarket to manage the party.
“We should not fear the reality that DAP is now a mainstream party. It is no longer a small opposition that only knew how to oppose.
“If Johor DAP can succeed in transforming from a grocery store to a big supermarket, then it can help with the transformation nationwide,” he said.
He said the party will head into the next general election as the “government-in-waiting”.
He said the next nationwide polls will see a fight between three “governments” — Pakatan Harapan, Perikatan Nasional and Barisan Nasional.
DAP is part of Pakatan Harapan.
Liew, who was the former deputy defence minister, said DAP would not see itself as an opposition party but as one that already had experience in governing.
“We are a government-in-waiting. We have a chance to win and govern as we come prepared with ideas, strategies and plans on how to implement them,” he said.
Viewing themselves as a government-in-waiting was among the strategies he outlined to “return the people’s mandate”.
DAP, he said, must not be pessimistic or give up easily, saying that while many were unhappy with the current situation, it was not impossible for change to happen.
“We proved it in 2018 and we will prove it again as the people will be with us in GE15,” he said, alluding to the last general election, which saw PH wrest Putrajaya from BN after it had been in power for 61 years.
Liew also said that DAP could not act alone in this fight by focusing solely on defending its seats.