DESPITE being slapped with a suspension order, DAP Kota Melaka MP Sim Tong Him and former state chairman Goh Leong San remained steadfast with the party.
Their unwavering stand and loyalty saw them getting praises from grassroots members.
It is an open secret that there are two opposing camps in the state DAP, one led by Sim and the other by Khoo Poay Tiong, who is aligned to secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
That was a year ago.
Today, their simmering feud has come out in the open.
A bombshell was dropped yesterday when Sim, Goh and two other serving assemblymen – Lim Jak Wong and Chin Choon Seong – all quit the party.
Talks were rife since February 2016 – the date of the suspension – that Sim and Goh, the Duyong assemblyman, were mulling an exit.
Sim openly hit out at the party’s disciplinary board, saying the order to suspend them was “unprofessional and impartial”.
Goh, Lim and Chin were seen on numerous occasions having friendly chats with Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron and other Barisan Nasional lawmakers.
In one instance, Goh who was known as a “firebrand” in the state legislative assembly, started praising Idris for his “farsightedness” during one of the sittings.
And throughout last year’s session, Goh, Lim and Chin mellowed and were only seen to mingle with Barisan assemblymen.
They even appeared to have snubbed incumbent Malacca DAP chief Tey Kow Kiew, Kota Laksamana assemblyman Lai Kuen Ban and Khoo, who is the state DAP secretary.
During a recent interview, Goh insinuated that he was free from emotional leaders and absurd lawsuits since his suspension.
Goh also indicated that Lim and Chin might join him if no one from “the top” was willing to listen.
It was not long that Malaccans realised the three assemblymen were no longer interested to take part in fiery ceramah or condemn Barisan.
To make things worse, Goh openly acknowledged that he could no longer see “eye to eye” with the party leadership.
Later, Sim joined in the fray, airing his grievances, claiming interference from the headquarters after Tey took charge.
He decried the central leadership as wearing too many hats and having lost its direction.
Political pundits felt that what culminated with the decision for the four disillusioned state leaders to quit were “betrayal and egoism of the current leadership”.
They described the latest development as a “big blow” to the DAP.