Hope seems to be evaporating for Phee Boon Poh and other senior DAP leaders in Penang.
THE brouhaha surrounding allegations that DAP state exco member Phee Boon Poh and his family are holders of Permanent Resident (PR) status in New Zealand has created a buzz in Penang.
Phee has suddenly come under the spotlight and the veteran politician is fuming that he and his family have been dragged into what he has described as `scandalous allegations`.
The state Health, Welfare, Environment and Caring Society committee chairman has vehemently denied being a New Zealand PR and demanded that blogs which made the allegations immediately retract their postings.
“If they do not clarify within a week, I will consider taking the necessary action. They have to prove it. They are either liars or too lazy to check their facts,” he was quoted as saying.
While Phee has denied being a PR in Kiwiland, it is an open secret that he owns many properties there.
This was reported as far back as in January after Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and exco members made a public declaration of their assets and it was revealed that Phee had eight properties - including jointly-owned land and houses, as well as shares in 23 companies in
The issue concerning Phee's PR status is not new as it had been raised as far back as in May last year when Sungai Dua assemblyman Datuk Jasmin Mohamed posed the question in the state assembly.
However, instead of giving a clear answer, Phee demanded that Jasmin retract the statement and challenged the Barisan Nasional assemblyman to repeat it outside the state legislative assembly.
The threat sounds all too familiar - looks like it has become the modus operandi of DAP lawmakers to resort to such challenges and threats whenever they are posed with difficult questions.
However, such shenanigans aside, what has set tongues a wagging in the political circles in Penang is whether Phee's days as a DAP politician are numbered.
Talk is fast gaining traction of so-called hidden hands which are at play plotting Phee's downfall and his eventual exit from the corridors of power in Komtar.
Phee himself is said to be aware of such a plot and had been thinking hard about it since he was unceremoniously kicked out of the state DAP committee following the Penang DAP elections in 2010.
The hardworking and affable 62-year old politician only managed to finish 16th in the contest for the 15-seat committee.
This was despite the fact that he was the sole DAP assemblyman in Penang after the 2004 general elections and had been instrumental in acting as the party's torch bearer during its `down` times in the state.
It was therefore not surprising that Phee was infuriated and bitter when he lost in 2010, just two years after party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng parachuted to power here.
It has become an open secret that Lim is trying real hard to consolidate his power base in Penang to avoid suffering a similar fate he and his wife suffered in Malacca when they were both booted of the state committee there.
The two incumbent vice-presidents - Datuk Keramat assemblyman Jagdeep Singh and not surprisingly, Guan Eng’s younger sister, Lim Hui Ying, both won handsomely in 2010.
Phee has not forgiven the delegates for forgetting his contributions to the party and those in his inner circles have openly been talking about who was behind the plot to get rid of him.
"Remember even Phee grudgingly admitted that he was too naive to `survive in this cruel world of politics` immediately after he lost.
"He knows the hidden hands behind his defeat and has not forgotten or forgiven them. Now, just when everyone thought the dust had settled, someone has reignited an old story concerning Phee's PR status and he is not going to take this quietly," a DAP source told The Mole.
It is learnt that those plotting Phee's downfall had better be prepared for `some dirt of their own` to be exposed soon.
This could be expected as delegates gear up for the state DAP elections which are just round the corner.
Hush Hush is our MOLE in Penang.