Hannah Yeoh And Yeo Bee Yin Pay Tribute To Tony Pua After DAP Ouster

"In the last decade, I never had to second-guess his integrity!"

Cover image via Hannah Yeoh on Facebook/Yeo Bee Yin on Facebook (edited by SAYS)

At the Selangor DAP Ordinary Convention 2018 yesterday, 9 December, it was reported that Damansara MP Tony Pua was ousted in the party's state elections

Pua, who is the outgoing Selangor DAP chairman, will be replaced by Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo.

New Selangor DAP chairman Gobind Singh Deo.

Image via Firdaus Latif/Malay Mail

At 292 votes, Pua placed 19th in the overall election, which means he also failed to clinch a spot in the state's 15-member committee.  

"Of course, I'm a little disappointed. It would be odd not to be. But I accept the results," Pua told New Straits Times.

"I am disappointed because I wasn't voted (as one of the 15 committee members). I didn't want to continue as state chairman but that doesn't mean I didn't want to be part of the committee. I wanted to be (in the committee) to support the new state chairman (Gobind)," he added.

Following the announcement, Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh paid a simple tribute to Pua, saying he paid the price "for taking risk in people"

"Tony Pua did not make it to the top 15 and everyone's asking why. I believe this is partly caused by the selection of DAP Selangor candidates in the last general elections. Seven out of 15 seats had fresh faces being chosen," she wrote in a Facebook post the same day.

She went on to explain that he did the same for her and Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching in 2007, and again for Bakri MP Yeo Bee Yin and Bangi MP Dr Ong Kian Ming in 2013.

"Today all four of us are serving as Minister and Deputy Ministers."

"Opening of Damansara service centre back in 2007 before the big change in 2008," Yeoh wrote on Facebook.

Image via Hannah Yeoh/Facebook

"If not for his diligence in pursuing 1MDB, Impian projects and publicity materials for the DAP, we would not have won so handsomely. And in the last decade, I never had to second-guess his integrity!" she continued.

The Women, Family, and Community Development deputy minister also explained that grassroots politics is not easy and that it "requires spending time with members in various branches and multiple locations".

"If you are spending time planning and strategising for national issues and DAP at the national level, something would have to give at the local level. I guess this is it."

Meanwhile, Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin said her "heart sank" when she found out about Pua's loss

"Of course, we need to respect the choice of the party members in Selangor but please allow me to tell you the Tony that I know," Yeo wrote in the Facebook post, where she outlined some of Pua's achievements since he joined the party in 2007.

Naming him as "one of the most, if not the most, effective voice[s] in raising [the] 1MDB scandal", Yeo said he spent many sleepless nights and sacrificed many holidays - including Chinese New Year - to go through the thick documents and accounts to speak out effectively on the issue.

"He didn't only have the intelligence in raising the issue but also the boldness. Remember Tony was the first MP in Malaysian history to get sued by the PM?" she wrote, adding that he had many other court cases because of "his boldness to speak out against a corrupt regime for the people of Malaysia".

Tony Pua at the Federal Court in Putrajaya June 20, 2018.

Image via Azinuddin Ghazali/Malay Mail

On a lesser-known side of him, Yeo said Pua is an introvert, "politics and 'gam cheng' with people is really not his nature".

"To him, silence is gold and he places more importance in actions and effectiveness of actions. Such nature is often misunderstood by people. And worse still, he doesn't like to explain himself even when he is misunderstood."

Most importantly, she will always remember that it was Pua who persuaded her to join politics six years ago.

"[He] brought me around for forums when I still had stage fright and scared of public speaking, taught me how to write Dewan questions and media statements, and gave me good advice whenever I don't know what to decide in my journey from being an ADUN, to MP, to minister," she added.

"Tony Pua is an upright and intelligent man with few words. Today, even with disappointing state party election results, I just want to say this - Tony, I am and will always be proud when I tell people Tony Pua is my boss," ended Yeo.

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