Teh Yee Cheu: Why I am contesting under PSM in Sungai Pinang


Tanjung Bungah state assembly member Teh Yee Cheu who yesterday announced he was quitting the DAP created another ripple today with the news that he would be contesting the state seat of Sungai Pinang under the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM).

It marks PSM’s debut in Penang’s electoral politics. Sungai Pinang is a fairly mixed lower-middle class area in Penang Island, dotted with low-income flats and settlements housing about 24,000 voters, where the DAP won comfortably with a 4,707-vote majority in 2013.

Yeu Cheu’s re-entry into the fray is likely to put him in the media spotlight, given the history of how he was gradually ostracised by his former party – despite many residents in Tanjung Bungah and elsewhere in Penang appreciating his efforts in confronting a development model that at times seemed to favour Big Business over the interests of ordinary people.

File photo: Carolyn Khor

Yee Cheu is at pains to say that he still hopes for a two-coalition system at the federal level. But what exactly does he hope to achieve in Sungai Pinang?

“No doubt we had a change in the state government in 2008,” he acknowledges, when contacted. “But after two terms, while we are hoping for change at the national level, we would like to see Reformasi 2.0 at the state level.”

Yee Cheu hopes to see a greater diversity of voices in the Penang state assembly, so that there can be a real check-and-balance and a genuine separation of powers in the state government of the day.

This is something that was perhaps lacking in Penang over the last decade, and those who voiced dissenting views were invariably “slammed”, he claims.

“To have a third choice to represent the suara rakyat (people’s voice) would make the Dewan (Penang state assembly) more lively and hopefully more meaningful,” he says. The idea is to avoid a rubber-stamp model of one-sided decision-making in the state assembly.

“This is a very simple message. That is why I have been given the chance to contest under PSM.”

But Yee Cheu is realistic about his goal. “We are not even trying to change the state government.” That is probably an understatement as Pakatan Rakyat is likely to coast in Penang in the coming general election.

His plan instead is to solicit other opinions on policies that are not in favour of the rakyat such as cases of “affordable housing” beyond the reach of lower-income groups and the displacement of people from their traditional kampongs and settlements on the island to areas in southern Penang Island and mainland Penang.

But why contest in Sungai Pinang and not Tanjung Bungah?

Yee Cheu has four ready reasons.

“I had already stood for two terms in Tanjung Bungah. So I am putting into practice what I asked for – a two-term limit for chief ministers and MBs – even though for Aduns, I believe such a limit should only be optional.”

Secondly, he says, “I don’t want the politics of hatred to continue. I don’t want accusations that I used my previous party’s resources to build up my base in Tanjung Bungah to be used against me (if I was to contest there).

The diverse demographic make-up of Sungai Pinang also appeals to him: “Sungai Pinang is the most mixed area in Daerah Timur Laut (Penang Island North East District). So I look at it as a challenge to work on issue-based politics in solving problems in a harmonious way, using the experience I gained in Tanjung Bungah.

Finally, Yee Cheu notes that PSM is a socialist-based party; so “I hope I can share resources with a wide-range of rakyat in the low-to-middle class of society. I hope I can work together with the people to resolve housing, environmental and traffic concerns that affect them.”

Personally, I look at Yee Cheu’s contest as an outlet for all those disgruntled with the prevailing model of development in Penang – and it doesn’t hurt the BN-Pakatan contest at the federal level in any way.

Instead, though Yee Cheu didn’t say so explicitly, it gives people an opportunity to signal their concern over the worrying neoliberal inclinations of the Pakatan government in Penang.

The Penang government, if re-elected to power, may once again – and, in my view, mistakenly – regard a fresh mandate from the people as endorsement of its mega projects such as the controversial tunnel, the ‘three-islands’ project, high-end development on Pulau Jerejak and its RM46bn transport infrastructure shopping list, formulated by Big Business.

While Yee Cheu’s entry into the fray might seem meaningless in the context of Big Power politics in the coming general election, his move is a far-sighted one for the future: the setting up of a base in Penang to counter any state and local-level policies that are not in the best interests of the people – and the environment. This is also crucial given that Pakatan Rakyat has not mentioned anything about local council elections in its manifesto.

And so, the Sungai Pinang contest nicely sets up the state for more issue-based – and even ideological – contests in the 2022-2023 general election. Never a dull moment in Penang politics.

Please help to support this blog if you can.

Read the commenting guidlelines for this blog.
Notify of

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Teh Yee Cheu – socialist politician + environmentalist warrior + fearless ADUN with a conscience.
Where can you find another Teh besides Michael Jeyakumar?
Esp in these time & age of money throwing to change receivers’ perception & fostering blind respect, regardless!


Wait till after the election. See if he is true warrior and fight to last breath or simple give up? Ah pek is better but unfortuately not ADUN. Ah pek can join cowhead party.

ooi beng hooi

I think this guy deserves a chance to serve the people


He has been serving 2 terms oredi. Not enough? Will he run in sg pinang for 2 terms? Hd said hd will solve traffic problems? First question is how? More car parking? Bigger roads and remove hawkers? Then he can be PM of Siam. Even Taksin exPM of Siam cant solve Bangkok traffic,


DAP has dropped Kepong’s ‘Mr. Bean’ who is famous for shooting friendly fire as PAC Vice Chairman.



76 and how many times as mp? Not enough? Remember 5 years ago, he could have droppec out but no. We need fresh blood, new ideas and vigor with dynamic energy


Lim Kit Siang, 77, and how many times as MP? Not enough ka? … Remember 5 years ago, he cheated so many Chinese voters, telling them to support PAS and now what happened? We need fresh blood, not orang tua … punya unker like Kit Siang, someone with new ideas, vigor….


Dummo cheated mAke chinese angry and gilakan by supporting pas to make more religious with huduh laws. Engineer trying to spin snd cheat 5 years ago, nik the mb of kelantan was still there. Awang as new leader can change the direction. Your std is voting a mp want to watch tv and ignore the budget and to implement huduh laws for the poor but another set of laws for the rich like dummo


Lim Gone Eng has been serving 2 terms as a Cheap Minister of Penang, ADUN for Air Putih and MP for Bagan. Not enough ka? Sulah mau masuk penjara oh and still want to stand for 3rd term(?)


Sudah jailed or lock up for 2 terms so enginner wants to limit the no of terms to 2? Or course engineer karma can catch you up. Remind you country has religion and many houses of prayers havd been constructed. The karma will catch you for deceitful and spinning with tongues

Joo Guan

He is not a politician but always act in the interest of the people.


He mentioned enviromental and traffic concerns. They are for lower middle class upwards after all the stomach are filled. What mentality? The poor or lower are more concern about bread n butter. He has no plans for that. Housing? He only checkmate State gomen easy to bully but do scared of dummo. How much Dummo build public housing? Why not ask Dummo to instruct Rapid under central gomen to increase buses and reduce fares?


Teh can champion clean rivers in Penang (Sungai Pinang).


Champion clean ruvers dont required politicians. Be like suzuki. Or becone a minister with jibby. People need to be educated. Rivers are not sewer. Dummo has klang railwAy gate keeper. Pg sungei keeper?


Both coalitions have decided that climate change is not an issue. Out of sight, out of mind.

Ref. the illustration of islands above, recently there was some controversy over sand exports to India. However, when a sand dredging ship from China capsized (off Muar?), no one at any level raised the obvious question – what was it doing there? Also, have the China navy vessels off Sabah (stationary for a long time) left?

Raj 777

Teh should come up with a concrete plan to solve Sg Pinang traffic woes, like what his former party is addressing now :



Easy solution just no and cannot. So easy for adun just to say no and cannot


Meanwhile former TV personality Wardina Safiyyah (watch her on ‘Spanar Jaya’ repeat 7.30pm weekdays on NTV7) has openly declared that she will not be supporting BN in the 14th general election.


You go girl!

Mah HS

Sorry Teh. Many may admire your courage but our votes still go to Pakatan Harapan in GE14 for the sake of ousting BN. Every vote counts.


PSM seeking a niche position to appeal to Indian voters as there is no prominent Indian politician today?


PH.make it 2 days public holidays if they win the election. Then all outstation will apply 1 day holiday and 4 days off! not EC then they are suppose to encourage large turn out and give rakyat a say? See how Dummo treat rakyat. We are eating all the leftovers

Ho Wan Lai

Anil may want to join Teh’s team at Sungai Pinang for political learning curves to become one PSM nominee for Bayan Bath in GE15?

Ma jiji

No matter how sincere and up right you are, there is no room for you in politics if you are alone. Very soon 人走茶凉 out of sight, out of mind lah !
Anyway, some good Penangites will still remember you.


Well similarly, Lim Gone Eng is going to be out of sight soon… !!! However most people will clap hands and forget about him.


Engineer dedak. Rocket does not depend on one man. Engineer is trying to be pee wee. Macce and court is just another blue saga seed to haunt the opposition. What happen to the engineer and tan sri case. Engineer to engineer dedak to fake news? Dont forget karma will catch you. Remember the irrelevant judge


Your paymaster is one man show but rocket has 2nd gen leaders and third gen leaders. Once your paymaster lost, no source of income.


Rocket is not one man show. Of course Dummo does not want someone who can stand up to Dummo. Look, Paymaster was in pg recently, all dummo only and Gilakan and make chinese angry has no say


There is zero chance for him to win, probably will lose his deposit too. If he wants to make a statement, he has other platform. Contesting for the state seat is a hopeless effort, wasting time, energy and money. No way he is going to win, it is a major waste of resources. Green man? Teh is just a delusional man.


They might need his vote to form the government .


You very happy if he vote with dummo to form new gomen?

Awang Selamat Ori

I bet this guy is wasting his time, he will probably lose his deposit. Right now the most important issue in the country is a change of Government, whatever you personally champion is secondary Teh. PSM, at this point of time can be a traitor to the country or secretly working with BN to split the oppositions votes. No doubt, they have the best Parliamentarian in the country, in Doctor Jeyakumar, but the time is not right to champion the party”s agenda. Doctor Jeyakumar may even loses his deposit if he is to contest under the PSM banner, thus, soiling… Read more »


Also pray for striking the first prize

Yb loh

If dont stand for election, where to get his monthly income? Only pension is not enough.

Shafiq Ishmael

Nobody want me and I don’t hv party , now someone offer n finance I contest lah , I hv nothing to loose , I made a bit of dedak enough lah kihkihkihkih


This is what happen educated by Dummo. Might as well say go and particpate in the world games? Who wants to put up a losing horse?