Scholar quits party citing 'DAP is just like BN'

“I only wanted a better Malaysia when I joined DAP. But today, it turns out DAP’s mentality is becoming like BN.
GEORGE TOWN: Penang needs an independent opposition as the DAP-ruling government has turned into “another BN”, according to a former DAP grassroots member.

Roger Teoh, who had been very vocal against the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), said the lack of an independent check-and-balance system in the Penang government had made him resign from the Bagan DAP division recently.

He said: “I feel Penang needs an independent party, so that there is check and balance. After eight years of virtually no opposition at all, DAP has gotten ‘melampau’ (overboard).”

In criticising the PTMP, the Transport Studies scholar at the Imperial College in London forwarded alternative ideas. However, he said, the DAP government had not taken him seriously.

“I only wanted a better Malaysia when I joined DAP. But today, it turns out DAP’s mentality is becoming like BN.

“It has gone against my principles and hence my resignation from the party on Monday,” he told FMT in a phone interview from the UK today.

Teoh said it was funny that it had taken him six months to be inducted into the party in 2013 but that it had taken the DAP “less than 24 hours to confirm my resignation”.

Teoh said although there were parties playing a check-and-balance role to the DAP, they were not effective.

“We cannot rely on Gerakan or other BN parties either, as they are not a credible opposition in Penang.

“I have no ambitions to be in power, I just wanted them to formulate policies based on studies I have gathered,” he said.

Criticising the PTMP, he said a pure transport master plan was better for Penang. He based his views on studies on 100 cities around the world.

The PTMP is the Penang government’s attempt at alleviating traffic woes by introducing LRT lines and major highways. It will be funded by reclaiming three artificial islands south of the island.
Teoh said more highways were useless as this would not solve traffic congestion. More roads would only kill any future public transport initiatives, he had argued.

He told FMT he had previously presented his views internally through the DAP, the Penang government and its think-tank, Penang Institute.

He said his presentation, however, had fallen on deaf ears.

“All I got was rubbish replies. It appears they are not taking me seriously. My views are based on hard facts. In fact, I have got top marks for my dissertation on best policies for sustainable transport in cities at my college.

“The research findings of this thesis have since been embedded into the MSc Transport syllabus in Imperial College London & University College London,” Teoh added.





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