Pakatan and Kit Siang Take the Offensive

by Kee Thuan Chye
from Yahoo! Malaysia

It looks like Pakatan Rakyat is driving the 13th general election. As this most crucial of Malaysian elections draws near, the Opposition coalition is the more gung-ho in leading the way into battle. It is initiating the charge, taking the offensive, scoring the psychological points.

While the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition is led by a leader who has been tardy in calling for the general election partly because he has been humming and hawing about wanting the rakyat to feel the effects of his transformation programmes first, Pakatan has already shown its preparedness by coming out with its manifesto a few weeks ago, way ahead of BN.

In football terms, this is like the away team, despite its disadvantageous position, taking the play to the home team and attacking its goalmouth. Sometimes, this can end in a victory for the outsiders.

DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang’s decision to stand in Gelang Patah – in BN’s impregnable state, Johor – is another courageous offensive. It is a risky move by the DAP veteran who has never fought shy of engaging in difficult battles.

In the most famous of his encounters, he took on Lim Chong Eu, the Chief Minister of Penang then, at Padang Kota in 1990 and won. Nonetheless, it was a huge gamble for Kit Siang, who has not always been victorious. He lost when he came out of his comfortable position as Kubu state assemblyman in 1982 to try and capture Bandar Hilir, and again when he took on the risky seat of Tanjung Bungah in 1995 against yet another chief minister, Koh Tsu Koon. In fact, throughout his political career, Kit Siang has lost five times.

More than its just being another manifestation of his penchant for rushing into areas where angels fear to tread, Kit Siang’s current foray into Gelang Patah is a forceful demonstration of psychological one-upmanship. It is sending out the signal that Pakatan is not afraid of BN. It is a demonstration of sheer confidence.

Granted, the voter composition of Gelang Patah is 54 per cent Chinese, but it also has a sizable Malay electorate at 33 per cent, many of whom are either staunch BN supporters for the sake of Umno or racially inclined ones who might vote for an Opposition candidate if he or she were Malay. The 2008 election result for that constituency indicates this. The PKR candidate then, Zaliha Mustafa, managed to secure 27,779 votes against incumbent Tan Ah Eng’s haul of 33,630. Contrast that with the landslide 41,001 votes won by Tan in 2004 when the Opposition candidate was Chinese and managed to get only 9,335 votes.

In 2013, even if 85 per cent of the Chinese voted for Kit Siang, there is no guarantee that he can romp home the winner. And getting that many is not going to be easy as Gelang Patah is known to be an ultra-safe seat for the MCA, which has been serving the people there diligently for nearly two decades. Furthermore, BN has been running a campaign instilling in Malays the idea that the DAP is poison to them, so Kit Siang might not be able to count on their support to carry the day. And the other 12 per cent of Indian voters could either be split between the two candidates or lean more towards BN.

In response to Kit Siang’s move, MCA President Chua Soi Lek has come out to call Kit Siang a “touch and go” politician. And this, he says, is the rude way of putting it, as compared to the polite one of “hit and run” politician.

Soi Lek is one to talk. He hasn’t even stated where he is going to stand. Will he even stand?

He said, “Serving the people is never in Lim Kit Siang’s dictionary.” But in saying that, he must be deliberately trying to appear ignorant. Throughout his career, Kit Siang has been consistent – indeed even one-track – in championing the cause of justice and democracy for Malaysia. Any Malaysian who is educated enough about Malaysian politics knows that.

For his untiring efforts, he has been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) twice – in 1969 for 18 months, and in 1987 for 17 months. And in 1979, he was convicted under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) for exposing the Government’s purchase of four navy vessels.

Indeed, instead of disparaging Kit Siang, Soi Lek should stand against him in Gelang Patah. This would be a real test of whether the Chinese have high regard for him as MCA president.

Even one of MCA’s division chiefs is calling for that. Tan Cher Puk of Pasir Gudang said recently, “So far nobody knows whether the president will contest in the coming general election or not. The MCA (members) in some areas are experiencing low morale.” Well, if Chua decided to take on Lim, he would show that the MCA was not afraid, and that would certainly boost party morale.

As it is, the person touted to be MCA’s candidate is Teoh Sew Hock whom observers feel is too lightweight for Kit Siang. So it makes sense for the MCA to field a more worthy opponent.

There will be a real clash of titans if Soi Lek should go for it instead, even if it is viewed as such only because Soi Lek is MCA chief, and not much more. It will be one of the great highlights of the 13th general election that will be talked about long after the voting is over and done with.

The big question, however, is, would Soi Lek be brave enough to take on the man he so bravely belittles verbally? Or would he delegate it to someone else and opt for a safe seat himself?

  1. #1 by monsterball on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 1:55 pm

    Chua Soi Lek is all talk….no action man.
    The author of the post have described Lim Kit Siang well.
    LKS is a living legend. Who is Chua Soi Lek compared to him?
    If Chua has no guts to stand against Lim Kit Siang at Gelang Patah…he should shut up.
    So far CSL is silent over the suggestion..even suggested by his own party member.
    A racist and an Umno b puppet he is.

  2. #2 by Loh on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 3:18 pm

    ///Najib Razak says a reduced parliamentary majority can weaken his drive to curb budget deficit and raise investment, and even cost him his job.///–Malaysiakini

    Najib will keep his job as the head of opposition if he loses the election. Nobody in UMNO will want to work when he has no power to appropriate funds. But if he retains Putrajaya he will lose his job since others want to have a last chance.

  3. #3 by ahkmlog on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 4:05 pm

    CSL has been blabbing away on MCA’s newspaper is about PR and in particular DAP. The only thing he has NOT done so far is to offer himself as a candidate in Gelang Patah but instead he’s hiding behing the UMNO skirt. I think he should switch his profession from a politician to an actor.

  4. #4 by Bunch of Suckers on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 4:51 pm

    Quated, “Soi Lek is one to talk. He hasn’t even stated where he is going to stand. Will he even stand?

    He said, “Serving the people is never in Lim Kit Siang’s dictionary.” “

    Nope! He only knee down and never stand in front of his master UMNO.

    “Chua SOLD LEK”, don’t be a fool of yourself. Please LKS’s constituencies he had represented before… Oh! You must be just come out of another 5-Star hotel after finishing your sucking goodies!

    Shame on you, sucker “Chua SOLD LEK”!!!

  5. #5 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 5:41 pm

    Kit’s strategy is right. Those who act first are strongest (先下手为强).

  6. #6 by Loh on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 5:50 pm

    We now know that Najib’s transformation programme is throwing money to government servants, statutory workers and handouts to low income people. That is vote buying. As the vast majority of the employees who benefit from Najib’s handouts are Malays, Najib was actually chasing after Malay votes. But the younger voters know that if corruption has not been legally institutionalized, income disparity among the Malays would not be that glaring, and they have now got sick of feeling proud for the billionaire Malays. Indeed most of those billionaires do not look like them.

    Najib will not give up the remaining days to give out more handouts to buy votes. He will say that since the parliament has been automatically resolved, he needs to be elected to make more handouts after the election. But voters know that the new PR government will continue paying what has been promised, and they will get a clean government too.

  7. #7 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 5:57 pm

    I have a weird question. Every day now we see and hear PR ceramahs all over the internet. What I see is only Najib & Muhiyiddin doing speeches on TV.. Whatever happened to the rest of UMNO/BN??? At one time, you had teams after team including highly dubious ones like the frogs running around all over the country especially in Selangor. Now they are all quiet??? How come?

  8. #8 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 9:02 pm

    Dear Chui Soi Lek, we don’t pay Kit to look after clogged drains and cracked condominiums. We want Kit to transform Malaysia into a modern, lively democracy which is able to stand tall in the eyes of the world. When the country is governed by the right people with its system and institutions in tip-top condition, clogged drains and traffic congestion will become the things of the past.

  9. #9 by good coolie on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 9:41 pm

    Yes, yhsiew is right! An UMNO parliamentary member once pointed out that MPs should not be petition writers! Theirs is a higher call in life.
    Kit Siang is a virtuous politician, a person to be emulated.

  10. #10 by Winston on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 10:28 pm

    DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang’s decision to stand in Gelang Patah – in BN’s impregnable state, Johor – is another courageous offensive. It is a risky move by the DAP veteran who has never fought shy of engaging in difficult battles. – End of quote

    WHO DARES, WINS!!!!!!!!

  11. #11 by tak tahan on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 10:29 pm

    LKS,to me you’re the most respected Yang Berhormat MP as well as the best servant to the rakyat.No pun intended cause nobody comes close to you in the fight for all(Nation n rakyat).My hats off to you for your great and long contribution to Malaysia.All the best…

  12. #12 by sheriff singh on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 11:05 pm

    Soi Lek is all lick and all talk cock. He can’t stand erect if you know what I mean. He is not his own man. He’s somebody’s else’s tool.

  13. #13 by danny ong on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - 11:48 pm

    When you vote for LKS, the great leader into power, you must not expect him to stay at your constituency to fix the potholes, to apply hawker license or to clean your clogged drains. He is like a gifted child that all of us need him for a much bigger pictures. He is desperately needed by all Malaysian to solve national and not your neighborhood issues.

    So all the Gelang Patah’s folks, the whole nation well being is in your hand now. Senior Lim is needed by all Malaysian to continue his crusade against the current dark forces. His leadership and his sacrifice to the nation is second to none !

  14. #14 by Noble House on Thursday, 28 March 2013 - 2:37 am

    CSL may not survive till GE13 if UMNO supports the direct candidacy of OTK in Pandan. Let’s see if he will resign at all as claimed. To compare him with Kit it is too disparaging to speak of even though the word ’embarrassment’ has no meaning to him.

  15. #15 by Sallang on Thursday, 28 March 2013 - 8:46 am

    In Billy Lim’s book, ‘Dare to Fail”.
    In Lim Kit Siang’s fighting spirit,’Dare to be different’.

    by danny ong: ‘His leadership and his sacrifice to the nation is second to none !’

    I cannot agree more. At his age of 72, people like Tunku Aziz would have stayed at home, carrying grand children.
    On the night of 26th Mar, uncle Lim gave a speech at a DAP ceramah, at Dun Temiang, Seremban. His speech ended at 11.00 pm, yet he hit the road to Segamat, to attend another function the next day.
    That night, the crowd donated RM25,000.

  16. #16 by Sallang on Thursday, 28 March 2013 - 9:15 am

    Out of topic a bit.
    I attended many ceramahs, both BN and Pakatan, and I think Pakatan should show some unity here.
    Although 3 party flags were flown during that DAP ceramah on 26th Mar, no speaker from PAS and PKR were invited.
    I think it will further strengthen the coalition in the eyes of the public, if PAS’s Mat Sabu were invited to speak in a DAP ceramah.

    All the best, and All the way to Putrajaya.
    Lets make it happen!

  17. #17 by chengho on Friday, 29 March 2013 - 5:45 am

    so many people in the dream , learn your mathematics ; BN will win 2/3 majority

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