(Speech by DAP Acting National Chairman Tan Kok Wai at Kit Siang’s 75th birthday celebrations at Equatorial Hotel, Penang on 20th February 2016)
Let us salute Sdr Lim Kit Siang. Not just for his 50th birthday but for all the achievements and sacrifices he has made to make Malaysia a better country for all.
We are here to celebrate the birthday of a great Malaysian, a statesman, a legendary hero of the people, as DAP’s parliamentary leader.
And we are very happy to see that Sdr Kit Siang is still going strong.
In 2011, when we celebrated his 70th birthday , some were thinking that Sdr Lim was preparing for his retirement.
However, five years later, we celebrate his 75th birthday, Sdr Lim has decided to proceed with his journey to fight for the rights of all Malaysians, to continue the great job he has done for the last 50 years.
This dinner is of significant importance not only because today is the 13th day of the Chinese Lunar New Year but it is also in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the DAP.
It is also the 50th anniversary of Sdr Kit Siang’s party membership.
I trust that all right-thinking Malaysians elsewhere in the country, who are not able to join us here, would salute a great man like Sdr Lim because he had steadfastly stood, with unwavering conviction, through thick and thin all his life, not for himself but for the greater good of the nation and for the people.
Sdr Lim may be 75 now but as the emcee (Patrick Teoh) has correctly pointed out, his heart is at less than 57. Malaysia is at a crossroad, and the people are in need of Kit Siang’s sterling hands.
Malaysia is declining, worse than ever, our country is in multiple mega scandals and crisis.
People are frustrated and angry. Frustrated because criminals are in control of Putrajaya, whose days are numbered and will be finished off in the next general election. People are angry because the rats are looking after our kitchen!
To all of us in the DAP who are knowledgeable about the party’s history, we are very grateful to Sdr Lim for his enormous contributions to party-building, whose political courage and outstanding bravery have made DAP the party of choice for many Malaysians now and we are going forward without retreat, with Sdr Lim leading on to the battlefront.
My speech of appreciation is not sufficient and cannot do justice to Sdr Lim who has played a very distinguished role in the founding years of the party as well as in the times when DAP faced many challenges and difficulties.
The party has moved on and we have built up to the strength of today, and we owe so much to Sdr Lim.
We pray that Sdr Lim will be blessed with good health and strength to continue leading us in our struggle for a just and united Malaysia – a Malaysia where all citizens can live together as proud and equal Malaysians.
The greatness demonstrated by Sdr Lim for the country and for the party is a great source of inspiration for all of us.
I call this inspiration and this courage ‘Semangat Rocket’ – the semangat that will propel the party forward, the semangat that will be good for this country, for nation-building, the semangat that will enliven all Malaysians to be with the DAP to continue our fight for a country where all Malaysians can live in fairness, equality and prosperity.