I was just about to start writing about the Dr Boo-Chua Jui Meng fight when I received this email on the matter from my dear friend Purple Cat who is in the thick of things in JB. Since I'm far from Johor now and quite busy at the university these past and coming few days, I think it's more appropriate to post her perspective of the issue rather than mine. For the record I have to say that I totally agree with her on this one.
Purple Cat's email to me :
Salam BigCat, hope you are doing OK. Just to let you know that I have a different perspective on the recent flare-up and now gagged up Dr Boo vs Datuk Chua incident.
It is interesting to note how that very public but highly charged PKR-DAP spat in Johor was built-up over the last couple of weeks and now is being played up by the pro-opposition media, both the mainstream and the alternative. My take is, the fight was never really between the purported protagonists, but rather a show of hand by the Johor DAP, in this case Dr Boo, against the DAP ruling elites, with support from the DAP Chairman.
Based on the gag order from Komtar, I do believe the reason for the good doctor's flare-up in the media was because DAP Johor, in this case himself as head of DAP Johor, has been sidelined in the seat negotiations, probably in other things too.
Surely you have noted Dr Boo's absence in a number of DAP events held in Kulai last year, and the "coolness" between him and the Penang CM is an open secret. There is also the matter of DAP Johor's minimal representation in the DAP CEC despite Johor being declared a frontline state for the Pact. The Johoreans may not be able to get on the CEC through merit, but representation through appointment is a reasonable expectation considering the importance of Johor as a Pakatan frontline state.
More telling is the setting up of the new Pakatan Rakyat Bureau, with members comprising of Anthony Loke, Teresa Kok, Liew Chin Tong, Gobind Singh Deo, Tony Pua and led by Teng Chang Khim (this article in MySinChew referred). It is only fair to assume that seats negotiations would fall under the jurisdiction of the newly set-up bureau. Considering that DAP is facing a delicate situation in Johor, one which the Pact aims to achieve 20 parliamentary seats in the coming GE, it is indeed strange that this team is largely a Selangor and Penang affair. Shouldn't Boo, as Johor Chief, be part of the team plotting the downfall of BN in 20 out of 26 parliamentary seats of BN's Fortress Johor?
Also interesting to note, the same MySinChew report stated that the new DAP National Political Education Director is Liew Chin Tong, while the Political Education Assistant Director is Dr Boo Cheng Hau. In the present scheme of things, the Head of Johor DAP can't even head the National Political Education Bureau, sorts of fitting that Dr Boo named Liew as the most suitable candidate for Gelang Patah, eh?
Instead, it would be interesting to know who from the DAP's Pakatan Rakyat Bureau line-up actually make the strategic and tactical decisions for Johor. My bet is Teng as the most senior member who is also Johorean by birth, together with the rising "star" Loke and the corporate "genius" Pua. I am quite sure the star and the genius will be working hard to prove who is worthier of Dynastic commendations. I wonder why Teo Nie Ching, the Batu Pahat girl of the DAP tudung brigade, is not in that team too, but maybe she's too junior a member? But I digress.
The point is, my reading of the situation says that there is no real negotiation between DAP Johor and PKR Johor to speak of. Note that Boo's statement said that DAP Johor can no longer cooperate with Chua, not that he is no longer interested to negotiate with Chua. He was just making that statement in anticipation of Gelang Patah being contested by PKR.
The realities on the ground is, the opposition pact will not be able to wrest Kota Iskandar from BN in the coming election. I think Boo realises that the likelihood of the Pact winning Putrajaya is greater than their chance of winning Nusajaya. Besides, DAP Johor will not be a sufficient vehicle to catapult him onto national politics, especially since many of the national issues in Johor are being carried by Chua's minions or Lim's inner circle.
He can't be the MB even in the unlikely event the Pact wins Johor in the coming election, he is not getting respect from PKR nor from his own party, his work in building up Gelang Patah to be a DAP stronghold is going to benefit someone else, his portfolio in the CEC as Assistant Director to Liew in the non-glamorous political education bureau means he is subject to Liew's decision-making. Poor Baby Boo. Message to Dr Boo - You go, doc, tell them that you won' play ball if Gelang Patah is taken away from you. Better nobody wins than only you loses, right?
Additional note : I had included this in my blog roll - Johor Sector. It is good especially for those interested in Johor issues