Lim Guan Eng finally names, without a note of irony, the man whose legitimacy he robbed when appointing himself as head of Penang government.
It has come eventually, but, by George, it sure took a long time coming.
The blatant power grab by the party’s secretary-general in March 2008 that was acted out in a gaudy and somewhat seedy Penang hotel the night the DAP won a stunning, electrifying election victory.
A set piece palace coup by any measure, was nothing if not an example of political opportunism that made Machiavelli look like a rank amateur.
Others, who are less charitable than I, would have preferred a word that more aptly describes the murky event – treachery.
According to an insider account, all party victorious election candidates had been corralled, as soon as voting was over, into a “sanitised” area and detained for fear of anyone jumping off the DAP rocket into the Barisan Nasional (BN) camp.
As the official results came through, they knew Penang had become their prized trophy, much to their utter disbelief.
When they had overcome their initial shock of finding themselves the new government of Penang, reality quickly set in, and someone less intoxicated by the fortune of war, gingerly asked who was going to be chief minister?
The self-serving politically nimble Guan Eng, quick as lightning, jumped on a chair and barely able to contain himself, breathlessly screamed that as secretary-general, he was going to be the chief minister.
In shocked silence, they forgot to ask a vitally important question.
The question that should have been asked was should they not proceed to elect one of them as Penang’s new chief minister.
Chow Kon Yeow, DAP veteran and state chief, by practice and convention, should have automatically assumed the position of chief minister of Penang, but the poor man had not factored in Guan Eng’s over-sized ambitions for unfettered power.
Mercifully Chow’s forbearance is paying off.
The stolen, glittering political trophy will finally be returned to its rightful owner.
For ‘the pretender to the throne’, nothing more concentrates the mind than the prospect of a sojourn in His Majesty’s correctional establishment.
It has a calming effect, so I am told.
As a former colleague, I wish Chow Kon Yeow the best of good fortune in the next phase of his political life.
He will be right as rain if he doesn’t ape Guan Eng, who is about to become a footnote in the history of Penang.