What an amazing coincidence!
At a Perak DAP state convention in Ipoh, both Sim Tong Him (from Malacca) and Jenice Lee (Selangor) were present to chair and observe the event respectively. Both faced disciplinary action for flouting party rules recently.
On nomination day (April 20), Sim who was selected to defend his Kota Melaka parliamentary seat, took it upon himself to be nominated as an independent candidate for a state seat at Kota Laksamana as well. It was shocking for someone of his experience as a lawmaker, to flout party rules on candidacy. His reason was supposed to be for the good of the party because he has no confidence in the candidate selected by party committee. But rules are rules which are supposed to be followed without exceptions. This called for disciplinary action which means he would be sacked as a result of this unbecoming behaviour.
Chairman, Karpal Singh gave him a chance to apologise within 24 hours. Sim then had a meeting with advisor, Lim Kit Siang, and thank goodness, he agreed to withdraw his nomination as an independent for Kota Laksamana. According to EC, his name will still appear on the ballot slip.
Had the party acted to sack Sim, DAP is likely to lose a winnable parliamentary candidate and we all know how important an MP is to Pakatan Rakyat, especially in this GE, when the main objective is to win at federal level.
P138 - KOTA MELAKA: Sim Tong Him (DAP) vs Yee Kok Wah (BN - MCA)
N20 - KOTA LAKSAMANA: Chiw Tiang Chai (BN - PPP) vs Lai Keun Ban (DAP) vs Sim Tong Him (IND)
In the case of Jenice Lee Ying Ha, because she was not selected by the party, she took the initiative to be nominated as an independent candidate in Selangor's Teratai, being the incumbent ADUN. Similar to Sim's offence, she faced disciplinary action and the sack. Her reason for doing so was that in her opinion, she is the most winnable candidate and not the one selected by the party. She said she had the support of her constituents and that she did not want to let them down. For a one-time ADUN, for her not to follow party rules gave us the impression that she could not take no for an answer as far as her candidacy is concerned. That she offered to rejoin the party if she won as an independent was certainly unacceptable and would make a mockery of party rules.
Even at state level, ADUNs are just as important to party and coalition, in terms of forming a government. There is no reason to believe party selection committee would select candidates who are not winnable. Just like any contest where more candidates are vying for limited seats, there will be failures and disappointment. If incumbents have to be invariably selected until they lost in an election, then there will not be infusion of new and better candidates. I believe it is unwise of her to take on the party even if she thinks she is right. Even someone who is of very high calibre cannot expect to be successful in such confrontation.
What are her chances as an independent candidate? We shall see soon enough. Most voters vote according to party symbols. Only ardent supporters vote for their independent candidates. Many voters believe others would not vote for independents and that their votes would thus be wasted on them. However, the more popular she is, the more damage her candidacy would affect DAP candidate's chance of winning. No matter how good her intentions, her party disciplinary committee would not accept such indiscipline. (Ex-MP for Johor Bahru, Shahrir Samad, stood out as one who won as an independent candidate with big majority.)
N 22 Teratai: DAP's Tiew Way Keng vs BN's Liew Pok Boon vs IND Lee Ying Ha vs IND Chin Kok Keong vs IND Lim Ah Chai