Lim Kit Siang wins Gelang Patah seat

By Tracy Quek In Gelang Patah (johor)
The Straits Times

DAP veteran beats Johor Menteri Besar Abdul Ghani by 14,000 votes
Published on May 06, 2013

VETERAN opposition leader Lim Kit Siang beat outgoing Johor Menteri Besar Abdul Ghani Othman by a huge margin of more than 14,000 votes in the hotly contested Gelang Patah parliamentary seat.

It was as much a symbolic victory for the Democratic Action Party (DAP) in the Umno-led Barisan Nasional’s stronghold as it was a personal one for 72-year- old Mr Lim. He announced he would quit his nearly five-decade political career if he lost here.

“Now that I have been given a new lease of life, it is a heavy responsibility,” he said last night, adding that he was awed by the winning margin.

“But what we have pledged is that we offer the people of Malaysia hope for the future, a new vision, a Malaysian dream where all are united in a common objective to create a better, more just, democratic, prosperous and progressive Malaysia,” he added.

For Datuk Ghani, 66, the outcome marks the likely end of his storied 18-year career as Menteri Besar, during which he oversaw the development of the Iskandar region, a major dynamo of growth for southern Johor.

Mr Lim won 54,284 votes to Mr Ghani’s 39,522.

The constituency has 106,864 voters, 52 per cent of whom are Chinese; 34 per cent, Malay; and 12.5 per cent, Indian.

Gelang Patah was one of the election’s most closely watched contests as the two political heavyweights had moved from their safe seats to set up what was seen as a proxy battle for Malaysia.

Mr Lim left his Ipoh Timur constituency in Perak to contest here as part of the DAP’s strategy to leverage on the dissatisfaction of Chinese and urban voters, and trigger “a political tsunami” in the BN stronghold.

Last week, Prime Minister Najib Razak weighed in on the battle, saying it carried far deeper significance for Johor and the “Johor way” of all races working together for shared prosperity.

Last night, at the opposition’s media centre in Skudai, Dr Boo Cheng Hau, Johor DAP state chairman and candidate for the Skudai state seat, told supporters that the DAP had won the Gelang Patah seat but urged them to tell friends and family to stay off the streets and avoid trouble.

At a vote-counting centre less than 2km away, crowds swelled and the riot police were called in to head off a potential confrontation between the police and opposition supporters.

Speaking to The Straits Times about Mr Lim’s victory, Dr Boo said his win showed that “the party was accessible to all races, including Malay support”. He added that the party was confident from the start that Mr Lim would win.

One of the first tasks for the DAP in Gelang Patah, Dr Boo said, would be to solicit views and ideas from residents about the future development of the Iskandar region, which lies within Gelang Patah constituency. The region has attracted heavy investment from Singapore.

Earlier in the day, long lines formed at polling stations throughout Gelang Patah, with voters having to wait more than an hour to cast their votes. First-time voter and Gelang Patah resident Chua Yong Chen, 25, said he was happy Mr Lim won. “Since the DAP is new here, everyone should be careful about ties between the different races. We should all work to strengthen them.”

  1. #1 by vsp on Monday, 6 May 2013 - 5:02 pm

    DAP made a bold move by taking the battle into the lion’s den and slaughtered a number of its opulent and famous denizens there. The Goliath of the BN’s fixed deposit state, the former Mentri Besar Abdul Ghani Othman of Johore, was buried without the Star even realizing it. Up till 2 hours later after Malaysiakini reported the news, the Star was still having its head buried in the sand.

    With his proxy’s spectacular defeat, the greatest casualty is Chua Soil Leg, the porn-star extraordinaire. It’s certain he will also lose his presidency of MCA to his nemesis, Ong Tee Kiat, and concentrate on his porn business instead.

  2. #2 by sheriff singh on Monday, 6 May 2013 - 5:20 pm

    You did a gamble and you won but PR didn’t achieve its aim of sweeping South Johor. So you won a few Parliament seats there but overall, looking at the big picture, it was a big failure.

    Many adjacent seats were won by BN despite the many ‘mega ceramahs’ of tens of thousands e.g. Johor Baru, Tebrau, Pasir Gudang, Tanjong Piai, Pulai, Pontian to name just a few. PR just didn’t co-ordinate well. It could have been a dream outcome not just making a small dent.

    Anyways, 18 state seats is not bad, a big inroad for the future should there be available women and manpower left.

    • #3 by ChinNA on Tuesday, 7 May 2013 - 8:20 am

      I am disappointed too with the outcome, not with PR.

      One thing for sure: PR fought all out with whatever they know and have. I applaud that.

      And that was not good enough to remove BN as the ruling party.

      No giving up please. Find your mistakes now. Urban voted PR. Rural voted BN. You need to fix that to win.

  3. #4 by undertaker888 on Monday, 6 May 2013 - 5:29 pm


  4. #5 by boh-liao on Monday, 6 May 2013 - 5:53 pm

    Congratulations, LKS.
    MMK n pornoSnake wondered Y no racial riots n street fighting, demonstration 1, which they declared would happen if LKS won on 505

    PR better analyse d results n understand Y they got major share of popular vote BUT NOT d occupants of P’jaya

    Yes, PR won urban votes BUT lost rural votes n mosquito constituencies – BETTER come out with a better strategy 2 win hearts n minds of voters considered as fixed deposits of UmnoB/BN

    Start TODAY! Target: GE14

  5. #6 by good coolie on Monday, 6 May 2013 - 7:10 pm

    We used to refer to a certain La Sallian brother in Penang as “Lau Hor” (old tiger in Hokkien?). Well Kit Siang looks tired, but is really an old tiger. I doubt any other Pakatan candidate could have succeeded in Gelang Patah against BN’s illustrious candidate, our Abang Ghani.

  6. #7 by Winston on Monday, 6 May 2013 - 8:03 pm

    Well done LKS!
    Your massive win said it all!!!
    Who Dares, Wins!!!

  7. #8 by John Barleycorn on Monday, 6 May 2013 - 10:03 pm

    Sir, I think you know the way ahead is something that must happen before GE14. We all talked about having a two-party system. Was the GE13 really a two-party race? What happened was a fight of one party, BN, against a collection of three parties of different logos. That’s right. The way ahead is to form a proper party with PKR, DAP and PAS under one uniting banner that everyone in three parties can accept.

    • #9 by ChinNA on Tuesday, 7 May 2013 - 8:22 am

      PR applied 3 years ago to have a common coalition. That is a pre-requisite for a common logo. Application still pending approval, hence the 3 logos.

  8. #10 by john on Monday, 6 May 2013 - 11:19 pm

    Hi ! Is All leading to A Trilogy ! to end the rahman prophecy then. Take a good break and we, the RAKYAT shall, will march together into Putrajaya , again – another attempt again without fail.

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