Does Guan Eng fancy himself the next Prime Minister of Malaysia? (Photo by Hussein Shaharuddin/The Mole)
Slip or no slip, it looks like the cat is out of the bag.
It is now an open secret that the DAP wants its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng to be Prime Minister, with a widespread rumour going round that the father may end up as the Deputy PM.
As much as Guan Eng may try to stop the matter from being revealed, it looks like Karpal Singh has announced it and no amount of denying by the Penang chief minister can hide that there is probable intent.
An English daily which carried the news called it a slip of the tongue by Karpal while another said the `gaffe` by the party chairman has put Guan Eng in a tight spot.
The news was, however, completely kept out by website news portals which have always bent over backwards to protect Guan Eng from any news which may put him in a spot.
The `Prime Minister-in-waiting` went to great lengths to cut off Karpal when the party veteran started talking on the reality of Guan Eng becoming PM at a function in Penang on Monday.
Karpal explained that "there is nothing in the Federal Constitution which says that non-Malays cannot be the prime minister."
"I have read the Constitution. Guan Eng may well be prime minister one day and nothing would be a bigger privilege than for me to address him when he does become one," Karpal was reported to have said in his speech at a function in his Bukit Gelugor Parliamentary Constituency.
Guan Eng may have immediately retorted that he had no intention of helming the country.
However, that does not mean that the DAP will not push for his candidacy, especially now that the predominantly Chinese party is so confident of taking Putrajaya with the help of Pas and PKR.
The issue has now become the talk of town and Penangites are now asking whether that is why the DAP has made an exception to its `one man, one seat` policy in the coming general elections for Guan Eng.
Does he want to remain as the chief minister of Penang or is he planning to move on to bigger things?
Guan Eng must come clean on this before the general elections. After all, it was the DAP which went round condemning Gerakan when Barisan Nasional failed to reveal who would lead Penang if the coalition won the 2008 general election.
That, coming from within the DAP leadership in Penang, reflects how Karpal's so-called gaffe has set tongues wagging on Guan Eng's political future in the state.
Those familiar with what happened prior to the 2008 general elections would recall how the DAP gave BN a tough time following the coalition's reluctance to announce its post-election candidate for the CM's post.
The issue of the prized position of the Chief Ministership - and who had been designated for it, became a major campaign topic, with the DAP candidates working the crowd, saying that they deserved to know who would lead the island state so that they could vote accordingly.
Penang DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow was then quoted as saying that `Penang people should know what direction Penang is taking and who will be leading the state.`
The DAP now finds itself in the same predicament and the party, along with its partners in Pakatan, are being queried on their so-called shadow cabinet.
Just recently, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was urged to name his shadow cabinet by this month, ahead of the general election.
Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin said the opposition leader should practice what he preaches and be transparent.
Awang Adek, who is also Kelantan Umno liaison deputy chief, said the people would need to know who would be deputy prime minister as it was rumoured that DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang would be given the position.
With the father as DPM and son PM, it looks like Pas would be left looking for scraps just as what happened in Penang after the DAP formed the state government!
Hush Hush is our Mole in Penang.