IPOH, June 23 — Perak DAP chairman Nga Kor Ming has failed to be appointed as federal minister or even deputy minister, even though his party won the most state seats out of Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the state.
A source suggested that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad may have rejected Nga for his apparently racist comments in the past.
Sources from Nga’s camp told Malay Mail that party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng broke the news to Nga yesterday before chairing the party’s emergency central executive committee meeting.
“He (Lim) was close to tears that he could not persuade the old man to appoint Nga as a minister,” said a source, referring to Dr Mahathir.
The source said the DAP did not deserve to be treated as such as it contributed many seats to enable PH to form federal government after the 14th general election.
In the May 9 elections, the DAP made a clean sweep of the 18 state seats it contested in Perak, compared to Parti Amanah Negara that won six seats, PKR four, and a single seat by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (PPBM).
On the federal level, the DAP contributed 42 seats, making it the second-biggest PH party in Parliament after PKR with 50 seats.
“The other side won,” said the source, referring to Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran who was appointed Human Resources Minister.
Perak DAP has been dogged by rumours of two camps over the years.
One camp is supposedly led by Kulasegaran and Kampar MP Thomas Su, with Nga and his cousin and Perak DAP adviser Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham spearheading the rival group.
Another party source confirmed Nga, who is also Teluk Intan MP, was not on the list of 15 additional Cabinet ministers that Dr Mahathir recently submitted to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“There were last-minute lobbying by his loyalists but the PM stood his ground,” said the source.
The source also said Dr Mahathir rejected Nga’s name for minister and deputy minister. He suggested Nga was rejected for his purported “ultraness”.
“His racially charged statements do not sit well with the PM who must have been told of the matter,” he added.
During campaigning in the 2018 election, Nga told voters that the DAP will use 92-year-old Dr Mahathir, who is PPBM and PH chairman, to defeat then-Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak before, Nga alluded, Dr Mahathir dies.
The source also said Nga was not the only big name to be left out from the Cabinet list, suggesting that a Sarawak DAP politician only received a deputy minister’s position.
During the 14th general election, Lim had told Teluk Intan voters that Nga would be made a minister if the latter won the seat and PH formed federal government.