Monday, June 05, 2017

Lim Kit Siang - whatever it takes?

Thirteen years ago, that was in 2004, my Uncle wrote a letter to Lim Kit Siang via Malaysiakini. He has given me permission to share it with my visitors.

Brief reminder: in the 2004 general elections, PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi won by a landslide, securing nearly 64% of the total votes and occupying 198 federal parliamentary seats

[that was before he was subsequently undermined by Mahathir which saw the BN lost its 2/3 majority in 2008].

The DAP won 12 seats while PAS won only 7 out of its previous (1999's) 27 seats.

The only federal parliamentary seat for PKR was won by Dr Wan Azizah in Permatang Pauh (after 2 recounts).



Dear Mr Lim Kit Siang,

Congratulations on Karpal Singh’s and your victorious return to Parliament. Congratulations on your party’s performance. But you have to be realistic that it is only a minor improvement on your pre-election standing, but nonetheless an achievement that will keep you party alive for another 5 years.

You also need to understand that you are on probation. Your past association with PAS and Keadilan has deeply troubled your supporters, but they have decided to give you a second chance. Yes, they need you just as you need them, though not as much as you do them.

You would be aware that their support is not without condition, as you realized painfully in 1999. You would agree that it's no fun, and pretty useless being outside Parliament.

How would you then serve the public?

Your supporters now view with great alarm your invitation to Keadilan for a merger with the DAP, as they had with your previous association with PAS. 

You seem not to have read very much into the people’s rejection of Keadilan for its association with PAS. 

In Keadilan’s case, the association had been far too intimate, between that of a PAS master and a Keadilan vassal. That closeness is too strong and recent for the voters to neither forget nor forgive Keadilan.

I wrote in a letter to Malaysiakini some weeks ago, an appeal to Keadilan to reject PAS as its ally before the election, advising that it could suffer collateral damage in the public’s intention to vote against PAS and its frightening hardline Islamist agenda. But one could obtain the feeling that Keadilan has been, and still is totally unrepentant of its alliance with PAS.

The rest, as one would say, is very recent history.

You must take the feelings of your supporters and their utter dislike of PAS and Keadilan into very careful account if you still want to retain their
loyalty. Remember what I said about you and the DAP being on probation.

The DAP’ vision is a ‘Malaysian Malaysia’, but from this vision, what is your party’s selected campaign aim for the next election? I did also write a letter to Malaysiakini querying this of your party sometime ago.

To put it bluntly, your supporters have been and still are concerned with your obsession about denying the BN its two-thirds majority in Parliament. They perceived that it had been due to this unrealistic obsession that you had foolishly teamed up with PAS and Keadilan to form the BA.

East is East and West is West, and a secular DAP should never mix with a hardline theocratic party like PAS.

The value of the BA had been useless and made worse for the DAP by PAS intransigent stand for its own divisive agenda. PAS was not prepared to take on board the concerns of a multiracial multi-religious Malaysian society, and in that ruthless arrogant attitude, was hardly worthy of being a true DAP partner.

PAS had been only using the DAP for its own benefit. You had a lose-lose situation. Fortunate it has been for the DAP that you manage to wake up JUST in time for the general election. Look at what had been the election outcome for Keadilan in its insistent alliance with PAS. That could have been the fate of the DAP.

Keadilan is now too tainted in many ways – firstly, through its unrepentant relationship with PAS and secondly, through the existence of many UMNO-putras in its midst, who still harbour UMNO ideology.

Do not be surprised if (rather, WHEN) some of them switch back to UMNO. Should you ally the DAP with such people? 

If you insist on rekindling the disastrous and shameful BA association, then I would with a very heavy heart predict the loss of support from your now very cautious and discriminating supporters, as you had experienced in 1999.

Don't take their loyalty for granted. Please keep well clear of Keadilan.

This is of course different from attracting a good man like Dr Syed Husin Ali and his PRM people to come over to the DAP. Consider also the good people of PSM.

Further, do consider reconciliation with the MDP and their return to the DAP. However, I advise again, keep well clear of PAS and Keadilan!

Be realistic in your campaign objective, and take small bites rather than obsessively big ones, and chew very carefully. This way, you are less likely to choke as you did in 1999.

Make your objective modest and achievable, by the DAP itself. The DAP fights best when it fights alone on its own ideology.

Perhaps start off with the aim of winning in the next general elections 25 to 30 parliamentary seats, of which 5 to 8 shall be from constituencies that each has 40% Malay voters. Similarly, work out something equally modest for the State seats.

The DAP must be visibly involved with the Malays, to highlight its multi-ethnic character. The DAP must also modify its traditional reliance on only Chinese-majority constituencies. The Rocket has to be a symbol of trust for the Malay, Iban, Kadazan, Murut, Eurasian (etc) Malaysians and not only for Indian and Chinese Malaysians.

But start off with a modest target. The planning for the future of the DAP by default of its present limitations should be strategic rather than an impatient tactical approach.

Once an aim has been selected, maintain it.

As I mentioned in my previous letter, an election campaign is just like a war. Military leaders through the centuries have known the importance of observing the principals of war if victory is to be achieved.

‘Selection & Maintenance of Aim’ is not only the FIRST principal of war, but THE PRIMARY principal, for without this being carefully analysed, determined and adopted, the war will be lost before the campaign has even started.

The Malay translation of this principal is even more succinct for it says ‘Memileh dan MEMEGANG TEGUH kepada Tujuan’.

Once the aim is selected, do not keep changing it for every political expediency or fantasy that falls across the DAP’s path in its campaign for the next election.

Without maintaining the selected aim steadfastly, one would be fighting without direction, expending forces uselessly.

I stress this point not to insult your intelligence or experience, but let us call a spade a spade - your
previous flirtations with unsavoury parties have left your supporters with frustration, deep disappointment and indeed anger.

They feel they have the right to 'remind' you, especially YOU with your obsession about denying the BN its 2/3 majority. Leave that alone for it will come about by itself when you are more successful and consolidated, rather than through some useless and poisonous alliance.

In that obsession, you would have noted your selection of an unrealistic, unworkable, unachievable and therefore incorrect aim.

That's why in 1999 the outcome of your incorrect selection manifested rather painfully for you and Karpal Singh.

Your supporters know the DAP is multiracial, but most Malay voters don’t. The DAP needs to work towards this in the next 5 years. Explain to them with care and clarity what is a ‘Malaysian Malaysia’, and how it will impact on their ‘privileges’ as Malays?

Give good and sincere reasons why they should support you, but be realistic and not talk down to them on abstract issues (eg. That 2/3 obsession!). They need to understand the DAP vision why it would be good for them in real terms. They need to know that the DAP will work for them.

The DAP must expose more prominently and regularly candidates like Zulkifli Mohd Noor. Don’t present him and other Malay candidates to the electorate on the eve of an election. Don't hog the public limelight for yourself and Karpal Singh. Now is the time to present to the Malaysian public your next generation of leaders and candidates.

Time and tide wait for no one, particularly for the DAP. 5 years will pass very swiftly.

Bukit Bendara had been a DAP stronghold, and there is still much sympathy and goodwill for your party. You did the right thing to nominate a Malay candidate in a (supposedly) winnable seat. However, you forgot one rather significant factor. You can’t drop someone fairly unknown onto the voters to compete against an incumbent who has worked towards consolidating his position in the local community for the last 5 years.

In other words, while the people of Bukit Bendara do like the DAP, don’t take their support for the Rocket for granted. And don’t think the BN members are stupid too. Some of them are real hard workers so do treat your opponents with some respect.

Some months ago I quoted (amended with apologies) a poem by Julia A. F. Carney in a letter to Malaysiakini on PAS. I like to state this poem again (this time in its original form by Julia Carney) as a motivating reminder to the DAP in its steady but GRADUAL drive towards a democratic Malaysia.

Little drops of water
Little grains of sand
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land

Slow and steady wins the race. The DAP will get there to the pleasant democratic land if it holds true to its cause, if it stops being unrealistically obsessed about breaking the magic 2/3, and if it selects and maintains the correct aim, an aim that should be fairly modest and for the STRATEGIC growth and strength of the DAP.

Perhaps you and Karpal Singh may not personally enjoy or even see this ultimate achievement, but you will know that you two would have laid down solid foundations for a robustly democratic Malaysia.


I reckon Lim Kit Siang has not changed in his selfish political obsession. He is far worse than he used to be in the absence of Karpal Singh, whose children, alas, are far too junior in age and party seniority to put a curbing hand on this power-crazed man.

Today you see LKS in unholy partnership with Mahathir, a man he had so virulently condemned as a draconian profligate constitution-mutilating dictator for more than 2 decades and who he excoriated for making the 929 & 617 Declarations, namely, that Malaysia is a fundamentalist Islamic State.

He has even shamefully supported the MACC just a mere year after he accused that organization of Teoh Beng Hock's strange death.

“The saddest thing about selling out is just how cheaply most of us do it for.”

James Bernard Frost

What a terrifying immoral volte-face!

Basically there is nothing immoral, shameful or disgusting Lim Kit Siang is not prepared to do just to feed his personal political obsession.

Our family has always supported the DAP since its inception in 1965. We still do though we have given up on Lim Kit Siang who we believe is a pitiful but painful blight on the party.

Alas, it seems my Uncle wasted his efforts in writing that letter to him via Malaysiakini in 2004.

whatever it takes? 


  1. The 2004 BN landslide was primarily because the electorate was rejoicing at seeing what they thought was the last of Mahathir. They were caught up with Badawi's promise of "Work with me, Don't work for me".
    Even the Chinese were caught up in Pao Kong fervour.
    They thought spring had arrived....

    Fast forward, and we had Hisham and Khairy Jamaluddin waving their Kerises in their face...and Khairy "I will never apoologise for defending my race".

    The backlash was as strong...nay stronger than the landslide a few years earlier.
    No party is an island.

    Little drops of water will remain little drops of water
    Little grains of sand will remain just little grains of sand.

    You want to make a mighty won't come by itself, you have to build alliances...or maybe it will come by itself but it will take 80 years...

  2. without pkr n pas support, u think lge can own a bangalooo kah?