70 and looking forward to more democratic breakthroughs (1)

Turned 70 yesterday. Humbled and overwhelmed by the avalanche of well wishes and greetings by Malaysians, from all parts of the country and abroad, whether in person as at the 70th birthday reception at the Equatorial Hotel Penang on Saturday (Feb. 19) organized by my family (happy to learn that many numbers-cognosenti made money as the winning numbers in yesterday’s 3D and 1+3D were 219 and 0219) or through sms, email, facebook, twitter, blogs or through the forums provided by online media like Malaysiakini, The Malaysian Insider, Malaysia Chronicle, Free Malaysia Today, etc.

Pleasantly surprised from the greetings that I share the same birthday with at least two others – firstly, with the hot online media columnist Mariam Moktar who said in her email:

Dear Mr. Lim.

Two people share the same birthday today…..

The first is you……THANK YOU for all your help in trying to make Malaysia a more just and fair country with a conscience.

You are a ‘good’ man. What more can I say…

The other is me……….hehehe……I am the devil in disguise though… as I cannot conform to the Ketuanan ideals and must be a disappointment to the extremists

Many happy returns of the day……..



The other is from my friend Sarajun Hoda who said in Malaysiakini:

Sarajun Hoda I share the same Birthday with Lim Kit Siang, my hero. May Gpd give health and longer life so that Malaysia could be continued to be led by this great man who walked this earth. We are so lucky to have this man amidst us. Never has any man given so much in his life for the people of Malaysia irrespective of race, religion or creed. He is more than all Tuns put together. He deserves much much more. For his contribution, he puts Mahathir to shame.

Who else share our birthday. You are invited to speak up!

I want to thank Mariam, Sarajun and all for their well wishes and greetings as it is not possible for me to respond individually.

I am particularly touched to receive the following email from Noelene Heyzer (Mrs Fan Yew Teng) and her twin daughters Lilianne and Pauline:

Our Dear Kit, This is to wish you a Very Happy 70th Birthday on the 20th.
Unfortunately we are not in the region. Lilianne is on her way to Haiti to complete her assignment; Pauline is in Oxford and I am in New York returning to BKK on the 23th. However, from all the different corners of our world, we want you to know that we have started thinking about you and sending you best wishes and all the blessings you so richly deserve. Fondest wishes from all three of us, Noeleen, Lilianne and Pauline.

Noelene, Lilianne and Pauline also graced the occasion, like Karpal and others, with delightful bouquets.

Undoubtedly, if Sdr. Fan Yew Teng had not unfortunately passed away in Bangkok last December, he would have been among the party stalwarts including all the old comrade-at-arms who had a rare re-union on Saturday – going back to the sixties with Dr. Chen Man Hin, Lee Kaw, Liew Ah Kim, Chian Heng Kai, Lau Dak Kee, Ngan Siong Hing, Madhavan Nair, Clement de Brito, Choong Quek Thiam, Tan Heng Swee; and seventies like Karpal Singh, Ngoi Thiam Woh, Dr. Kong Cheok Seng, Loke Swee Chin, Lip Tuck Chee, Pang Su Pin, R.K. Muthu and Chan Kok Wah.

A real pleasure of the 19th Feb gathering was the get-together of my old class and school mates in Batu Pahat High School, including Aminah from TIGS who came with her specialist husband and two specialist children!

Today is the birthday of Allan Goh, one of my two companions in our bicycle trip from Batu Pahat to Malacca during our secondary schooldays.

On behalf of the Class of 59 of Batu Pahat (our Form V year), Allan had composed the following:

A Salutation: Lim Kit Siang(Classmate Extraordinary)

To our most respected classmate,
The politico, ultimate;
Hail, the lad from Batu Pahat,
Who lives in the Malaysian heart.
In School, you were most decisive,
In politics, most perceptive.
Integrity is your shadow,
You strive for the best tomorrow.

Prisons could not break your spirit,
Nor deprivations, your principles rid.
With ideals, courage and passions,
You fight against exploitations.
You inspire the dream of a life,
Where real values thrive, without strife!
You truly abhor the racial sin,
You want it sent to History’s bin.

Intolerant of unfairness,
That cleaves the Nation’s consciousness;
Faced with unmitigated offence,
You reply with reasoned defence,
Seeking truth, nothing but the truth,
Exposing lies and traits uncouth.
In adversities, your spirit rules supreme,
Despite provocations, threats extreme.

Classmates salute and stand by you,
True Malaysians share your view,
Giving firm support as your due,
With confidence, follow your cue.
Let’s have eternal harmony
And a just common destiny!
Lest we forget: united we stand,
Divided we fall, strand by strand!!

Class of ‘59

Allan is not the only poet of the class. Dr. Michael Ong, who came back from Canberra specially for the birthday do, had a poem on the Australian National University Asia-:Pacific website, New Mandala, which Michael never told me until I stumbled on it today, viz:

Happy birthday, Lim Kit Siang MP
Long has been the struggle
In your just journey of Life
Moving ever so slowly but surely
Knowing that the elusive end
Is well worth every sacrifice
To achieve the ultimate aim of
Saving the nation’s soul from
Insidious intolerance
And leading it increasingly towards a
New national harmony
Graced by a Malaysian majority
May this materialise in your lifetime, so
Press on, press on, as you see the finish line!

(to be contd)

  1. #1 by lee wee tak_ on Monday, 21 February 2011 - 11:26 pm

    Dear Uncle Kit,

    although I am looking at my aging features with dismay, you were already defending Malaysians before I was born.

    some of the things you wrote in Malaysia In The Dangerous 1980’s were still relevant now – just shows how far sighted you are

    sincerely hope you can carry on indomitably and the significant work in progress now surely should be credited to you as you have been around since the beginning of the beginning.

    I bid you happy birthday, good health and greater success in days to come

  2. #2 by -e- on Monday, 21 February 2011 - 11:35 pm

    what was your birthday wish, yb?

  3. #3 by pulau_sibu on Monday, 21 February 2011 - 11:48 pm

    Uncle Lim, what was your favorite subject(s) during school days?

  4. #4 by tak tahan on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 - 12:49 am

    Who is your most few enlightened bloggers in your blog?You can say it indirectly your way and i think we are please to know if our views do compromise with yours.I’m wondering if we do have a chance to just meet up with you and shake hand.No photo or publicity please..even though i may long few publicity..hmm.,arr..in reality why not having photographed with Legend..since maybe we can become the shadow legend(tumpang publicity) eventhough we would not be as rich and as publicity figure like another elite mca sepet.My boss found out i am on the other side though he is not angry but seemigly he disapproved thru his manner.My buddy,you know…arr..

  5. #5 by monsterball on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 - 1:54 am

    First time I read LKS mentioning Lee Kaw’s name.
    He never forget old friends.
    This message is rare and nice to read.
    I am sure LKS will never forget his 70th birthday…as
    long as he live.

  6. #6 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 - 2:25 am

    Your old comrades Lee Lam Thye, Yap Pian Hon, Hee Yit Foong got attend your 70th birthday reception or no attend aah? They got or no aah wish U Happy Birthday?

  7. #7 by monsterball on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 - 2:41 am

    hhmmmm Batu Pahat High School…Head Master.. “Rawkcliff”???
    My class master was late Khaw Eng Chin…whose famous word was “NUTS”.
    The school was famous to have a crocodile too.
    Dr.Ang Ah Leng.. Quek Jin Fong..great PBHS products.
    And Lee Kaw studied in ACS Malacca few years…before going back to Kluang..to take over his dad’s business who suddenly died in an accident.Lee Kaw was an instant millionaire at age 17.
    He love to ride a “Norton” motor bike…and now operate a Shell Petrol Station…retiring from politics..living a simple life.

  8. #8 by limaho on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 - 6:30 am

    Belated but I, too, from Melbourne, Australia, would like to wish you a happy birthday. You have done so much for the country in trying to keep it free of corruption. It is a long struggle but you never give up. Like most Malaysians living in Melbourne, I keep abreast with developments in Malaysia by reading MT, Malaysiakini and blogs. Long live LKS!

  9. #9 by best4rakyat on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 - 9:07 am

    Syabas again my KIT for this ‘more democratic breakthroughs’ on right times for many young and future to learn….
    Learn to not only speak up but from heart right on to change and seeking righteous for truth.
    Read through Honorary Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and P.Ramakrishnan’s page on occasion of your 70 Birthday rightly thought and spoke from their heart now.It does not puzzle old me sharing this feeling but just never while looking back to do so few with limit of times when all sudden we were once young but old now.
    So here get this message through “for young today be brave and really speak up not only your thought but from the bootom of your heart.”
    We need you for a better Malaysia with another breakthrough,right my friend KIT.

    Yours Faithfully once again,

  10. #10 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 - 9:39 am

    Dedication fr your classmates n comrades:

  11. #11 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 - 9:43 am

    Yes, great 2 reminisce d good old days

  12. #12 by k1980 on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 - 10:17 am

    Hee Yit Foong got attend your 70th birthday reception or no attend aah?

    Nah, she’s too busy counting her millions obtained by leap-frogging

  13. #13 by DAP man on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 - 10:56 am

    All words that need be said about your greatness has been said. I have no more words but you must know this.
    My mother in law is 91 years old and she has never seen you but she “respects you as though you are a demigod”.
    Not a single UMNO leader is fit to stand alongside you.
    They enter politics to amass wealth which they cannot bring to hell. But you have integrity which will live with you till eternity in heaven.

  14. #14 by k1980 on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 - 1:25 pm

    As we set out for yet another rotation round the sun, remember—

    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
    Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
    A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.
    Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others WHENEVER they go.
    When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Brigade usually uses water.
    You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
    Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
    Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age, and start bragging about it.
    Old age is when former classmates are so gray and wrinkled and bald, they don’t recognize you.
    Long ago when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today, it’s called golf.
    One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.
    First you forget names, then you forget faces. Then you forget to pull up your zipper, then…Oh, goodness, you forgot to pull your zipper down

  15. #15 by best4rakyat on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 - 3:00 pm

    My comrade KIT,
    My mom are near 90 now.When I turn on d youtube by boh-liao song by Mary Hopkins “Those were the days,my friends” saw her smile and nod her head. She used to remember always a young man at old times standing on stage with white shirt and trouser.
    What a moment for this moment other than another song “My Way”.Me the son and her really cheer with tear for the moment down the old memory lane with other.

    Be blessed always KIT!

  16. #16 by chinkimwah on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 - 3:26 pm

    Dear Kit, may you continue to be blessed with good health and your indomitable sense of justice for a Malaysian Malaysia. Happy Birthday!!

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