GEORGE TOWN: Will Penang witness the swearing-in of a new Chief Minister by next week after Pakatan Harapan successfully secured 37 of the 40 states seats?
Talks on the ground are rife that state DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow may succeed Lim Guan Eng, who may possibly move to the Federal level, after PH forms the new Federal government.
However, all is quiet on PH’s front, on the matter.
A source told the NSTP that the coalition’s focus was on Putrajaya first.
Another source said: “Should be (Chow as the chief minister) as Lim becomes a Federal minister).
Both Lim and Chow are in Kuala Lumpur today.
According to the State Secretary, Datuk Seri Farizan Darus, no date has been fixed for the formation of the Penang government as yet.
“We will inform the media by Saturday on when the swearing-in of the new chief minister will take place,” he said.
In the just-concluded 14th General Election (GE14), Barisan Nasional only managed to win two state seats from the previous 10 it held last term. It also managed to hold on to two of the three parliamentary seats. Another state seat was won by Pas.
PH, which comprise DAP, PKR, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) and Parti Amanah Negara (PAN), won 37 state and 11 parliamentary seats.
Universiti Sains Malaysia political analyst Dr P. Sivamurugan attributed Penang PH’s almost clean sweep to the strong ‘dissent’ towards BN.
“Although the level of acceptance for BN has improved since 2013, the sentiment on the ground is still very strong... ‘anything but BN’,” he said.
For voters, many are unhappy with the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and well as the escalating cost of living.
Even state BN chairman Teng Chang Yeow pointed out that it was a nationwide sentiment, a Malaysian tsunami, as the reason behind their loss.
Conceding defeat, he said: “We accepted the people’s decision with an open heart.”
Following the state BN’s dismal showing, Teng has decided to call it quits from politics.
“I decided to retire from politics. I will step down once the party (Gerakan) election is over, to be held sometime in July.
“My political career has come to an end,” he said.
Lim has been the chief minister for two terms after the then Pakatan Rakyat came into power in the 12th general election in 2008.
Since then, many quarters had argued that Chow, being the most senior DAP leader in Penang, should have been the chief minister then.
Even Parti Cinta Malaysia deputy president Datuk Huan Cheng Guan had endorsed Chow as the chief minister, saying that the latter was already the state DAP chairman even before the opposition first won the state in 2008, and could not understand why Lim, a non Penangite, was appointed the chief minister then.
Lim had indicated on numerous occasions in the past that Chow would be his replacement if the former was convicted of corruption charges, which he is currently standing trial for.
When DAP announced its candidate line-up prior to GE14, Lim had said that the decision to field Chow in both the Tanjong parliamentary seat and Padang Kota state seat was part of a succession plan.
“I have announced before that Chow will succeed me, so this is part of a succession plan.
“Also, he was the previous Tanjong MP,” he had said then.