Kit Siang wants to keep it clean

Terence Fernandez, Malay Mail
8:22AM Apr 21, 2013

“Ghani has brought a lot of achievement for Johor in the 18 years that he has been MB.”

That is not the kind of endorsement one would expect from a political rival on nomination day, but that was one of the first things Lim Kit Siang said at his first press conference yesterday as the official DAP candidate for the Gelang Patah parliamentary seat.

But it also set the tone of his ‘gentleman’s’ campaign in the next 15 days.

“No personal attacks and no dirty politics based on race and money,” he told The Malay Mail later when met at his ops centre here.

Lim said he had invited Ghani to form an accord that they will stick to the facts and avoid gutter politics. He’s still waiting for Ghani’s response.

“We just want to thrash out the facts, and I meant what I said that (his challenger) Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman had brought much progress to Johor.

So how is he supposed to expect voters to pick him over a proven candidate?

“We do not want to stick to politics of the past. Ghani represents the politics of old.

“We could do much better but because he executes the policies of BN, we are still lagging behind other countries when we should be on par or even ahead of Taiwan, Hong Kong and yes … Singapore.”

Having said that, he confirmed that the issues of race cannot be ignored. As such, Ghani’s statement in 2006 that he does not believe in “Bangsa Malaysia” will be resurrected.

“You see, the fact that he said it shows that we cannot stick with old policies if we want to progress as a nation. We should campaign as Malaysians, not as Chinese or Malays or Indians,” he stressed.

“We represent politics of the future. They’ve been there for too long.”

But the same can be said of Lim who became DAP secretary-general in 1969.

“But I’m not in government!” was his immediate reply.

“And Umno stands on the shoulders of its other partners. In Pakatan Rakyat, we are all equals as Malaysians.”

Tough campaign

Admittedly, this is going to be a tough campaign, even with the 54 percent Chinese votes.

“I didn’t run away from Ipoh Timur, there are 33 percent Malays here, and that’s got to count for something. It is not going to be as easy,” he said, acknowledging that support from his friends in PAS and PKR, such as Salahuddin Ayub – the Nusajaya state seat candidate for PAS (which falls under the Gelang Patah parliamentary constituency) – will be crucial in drawing Malay votes from the rural and suburban areas.

The BN machinery which has the capacity to pass benefits directly to the people in the form of the BR1M handouts, Lim said would also account for something, as well as the fact this is BN-Umno heartland.

“But after 57 years, people are ready to vote independently. Whatever benefits and achievements were really felt by the Umnoputras, not the regular working class Malays,” he challenged, banking that the BR1M handouts will lose its appeal after a while.

The Iskandar Development Corridor too, he says, does not seem accessible to locals with many foreigners benefitting in both white and blue collar jobs.

At 72 and criss-crossing the nation to campaign for other candidates and putting young rebels in their place such as several dropped incumbents who stood as independents, Lim was not ready to say if this will be his last election.

“It’s too early to ask me that,” he said.

But being mindful of the stress of campaigning, this former ISA detainee has his cardiologist son Guan Choon close by.

A perhaps well-calculated move by this seasoned politician who has another son who is a senior civil servant in Penang, to ensure the longevity of the Lim political dynasty.

– Malay Mail

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Sunday, 21 April 2013 - 3:00 pm

    How 2 expect CLEAN fight fr UmnoB 1?
    Don’t b surprised a video may surface showing a naked LKS-look alike hving sex with a female or a male partner
    After all, M’sia is infamous 4 sex-hungry politicians

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