OPEN PROTEST: DAP branches defy Perak DAP chairman over holding of dinner
IPOH: MORE cracks are appearing in Perak DAP, with some branches once aligned to state party strongman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham now openly against him.
The latest fallout appeared in Ngeh's Lumut division over a fundraising dinner organised by the Lumut, Desa Manjung and Kampung Acheh Baru branches on Aug 4.
Ngeh had referred all three branch chairmen to the party's disciplinary committee after they refused to follow the state committee's instructions to call off the function.
The committee, chaired by Cheras member of parliament Tan Kok Wai, set next week for the hearing.
A national DAP leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the decision by the branch chairmen to go ahead with the dinner despite strong objections from the state committee was a protest against Ngeh.
"The branches used to be staunch supporters of Ngeh but got turned off by his dictatorial ways," he said, adding all three branch chairmen used to campaign for Ngeh's Sitiawan state seat during elections.
The DAP leader pointed out that this was not the first time branches were openly going against Ngeh since he assumed the state chairmanship in 2010.
"The most recent example was a similar fundraising dinner organised by the Teluk Intan branches. Their plan was also shot down by the state committee," he said.
When asked whether the actions of the three had undermined his authority, Ngeh said: "They were going against the party."
He added the three were disgruntled and renegade members who lost in the party elections.
The decision by the Perak DAP committee not to approve the Lumut, Desa Manjung and Kampung Acheh Baru's dinner had also raised the ire of some Perak Parti Keadilan Rakyat leaders.
A state PKR leader, who also requested anonymity, said the party leadership had advised Ngeh to contain the party's internal problems.
"We do not want DAP's internal problems to jeopardise Pakatan Rakyat's odds in the general election," he said.
Meanwhile, Lumut branch chairman Kong Ying Hwa and Kampung Acheh Baru chairman Loh Eng Soon yesterday said they were unaware if they had been referred to the party's disciplinary committee.
"In the event I am summoned, I am ready to cooperate and I believe the party will make the right decision," Loh said.
Desa Manjung branch chairman Solaiman O.P. Syed Ibrahim could not be reached for comments.