Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy has courted flak for ridiculing Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
According to Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Ong Kian Ming, his conduct was unbecoming of a state leader and former academic.
“Calling a minister in the (Pakatan) Harapan government (part of our government coalition) a 'baby boy' is very unbecoming of someone who is the deputy chief minister of Penang.
“This is what I would expect from a cybertrooper, not a former academic and state leader,” tweeted the DAP lawmaker this evening.
Responding to this, Ramasamy criticised Ong for indulging in the “politics of appeasement” and training his guns on comrades.
“If Ong had checked the background of the issue, he would know that I did not start the spat. It was Syed Saddiq who accused me of ' destabilising' Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“My conduct might have been unbecoming of a deputy chief minister and former academic.
But I do not indulge in the politics of appeasement. Why are some DAP leaders indulging in appeasement politics?” he told Malaysiakini.
Ramasamy also questioned if Ong had expressed disagreement when Syed Saddiq invited controversial Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik to his home for dinner or when he called for Minister in the Prime Minister's Department P Waythamoorthy's resignation.
“Perhaps he (Ong) considers me a soft target and does not have the guts to attack others outside the party.
“Even with a PhD, he can't differentiate between right amd wrong... I won't take advice from those who lack elementary political guts,” he added.
Ramasamy locked horns with Syed Saddiq after the latter accused the DAP assemblyperson and several other Harapan leaders of pressuring Mahathir to step down and making it difficult for him to administer the nation.
The minister also described them as “fervent supporters” of PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.
Apart from issuing a media statement telling the 27-year-old minister to “shut his gap”, Ramasamy, 70, also took to Twitter to vent his anger.
“I am no loyalist to anyone, Anwar or Mahathir, I am firm that the succession agreement must be respected and honoured. The baby boy simply doesn’t get it,” he said.
Responding to this, Syed Saddiq (photo) tweeted: “Baby boy? Ok Boomer.”
The phrase “Ok Boomer” is often used to dismiss or mock the attitude of the baby boomer generation – those born between 1946 and 1964.
Kit Siang: Leave details to presidential council
In a related development, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang said details regarding the transition of power should be left to the Harapan presidential council.
However, he said there is no need for a special meeting on the matter.
“Let us move away from the daily fixation and obsession with the transition of power and focus all our efforts on how to deliver our promises in the 2018 general election as 2020 is going to be a make-or-break year for Harapan.
“Undoubtedly, one of the most important Harapan promises is the successful and amicable transition of power from Mahathir to Anwar,” he added.
Earlier today, Anwar advised all quarters to refrain from discussing the transition issue in the open and to respect the consensus reached before the last general election in 2018.
Despite Mahathir and Anwar's repeated assurances that the transition would take place as promised, speculation is still rife over whether this would materialise due to the absence of a clear timeframe.
In an interview with Reuters last month, Mahathir said he would remain in office until the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) countries summit in Kuala Lumpur in November.
“I made a promise to hand over and I will, accepting that I thought that a change immediately before the Apec summit would be disruptive.
“As far as I am concerned, I am stepping down and I am handing the baton to him (Anwar). If people don't want him, that is their business, but I will do my part of the promise… irrespective of whatever allegation. I made my promise, I keep my promise,” he added.