Why Didn T They Ask Lim Kit Siang


 


If you want an honest appraisal of yourself, don't ask your friends or those who are similar to you, who share the same ideals and have the same social standing.
Friends will only say what you want to hear to please you and avoid arguments. So, if you want an honest opinion, try asking an adversary for his views. He may lie, but why should he? He has nothing to lose because he does not owe you anything.
There is one person, whose views on the current political imbroglio should be sought. He is Lim Kit Siang, a veteran politician who has served as many prime ministers as the Gua Musang MP, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, aka Ku Li.
On Oct 13, a few hours after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim returned from an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Ku Li was summoned by the king for his views on the current political situation in Malaysia.
The following day, Mohd Lokman Ghani, Ku Li's political secretary, told Bernama that the reasons for Ku Li's audience with the king were that he was the "most experienced and most matured leader in Malaysian politics" and had "served under all the Malaysian prime ministers". 
Is this Mohd Lokman's personal assessment of the meeting, Ku Li's view, or is this what the king actually said?
Ku Li may have been in politics for one year longer than Lim, but wouldn't it be better, for the king to also obtain his views on the current political impasse?
Lim has been at the receiving end of nationalist Malays and extremist Muslims and his party, the DAP, has been maligned by Umno Baru for decades. Lim carries no aspiration to be PM, he knows that a non-Malay PM is not possible in his lifetime, and has dedicated his life towards a just and equal society, free from corruption.
Lim's views would be revealing. He expects nothing from the Agong and would try his best to prove that his views are worthy of the king's attention. It would be the greatest reconciliation for the Malays to see that Lim and the Agong can work together to save Malaysia, based on mutual self-interest.
The king needs only to listen to Lim's version of the political impasse. He does not have to act on what Lim says.
Man of the people
Some members of the public think that Ku Li does not know how the common people live, think and feel. One person said, "Ku Li is a prince. He can never be considered one of us."

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (Ku Li)
On the other hand, many people think that Lim has greater interaction with the ordinary people and has the common touch, metaphorically and literally. Most people I have spoken to about Lim have said that he has no airs and is a humble and down-to-earth person.
Lim sat on the opposition benches except for the 22 months from May 2018 to February 2020. When Dr Mahathir Mohamad formed the Pakatan Harapan government, Lim declined an invitation to join Mahathir's cabinet. He wanted younger and talented DAP politicians to serve the New Malaysia.
Ku Li has served as cabinet minister twice; in finance and and in international trade and industry. In 2010, Ku Li said that when he was finance minister in the 1980s, the government was spending money like water and the defence minister would purchase Exocet missiles, at RM2 million each, to use for target practice. One cannot have confidence in a man who took several years to reveal exorbitant spending by the government.
Lim is not afraid to make the government accountable for its actions, and under Mahathir, he was detained and jailed under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA).
Ku Li is a poor judge of character. In March 2016, Mahathir revealed that Ku Li and some Umno Baru leaders had secretly plotted to oust the felon Najib Abdul Razak with a no-confidence vote, but they were unable to secure the numbers.
Having failed, Ku Li, along with other state Umno Baru/BN representatives, then signed the Kelantan declaration to express unwavering support for Najib in the face of growing calls for Najib to step down because of 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion 'donation' scandal. Why swear allegiance to the man he wanted to topple? What does that say about Ku Li?
Persistence and consistency
The DAP was formed in 1966 and Lim has stayed loyal to the party, whereas Ku Li left Umno Baru and formed Semangat 46 in 1988 when he disagreed with Mahathir. He tried to wrest the Umno presidency from Mahathir, triggered the constitutional crisis of 1988, which prompted Mahathir to form Umno Baru.
Semangat 46 lacked spirit (semangat) and in 1996, Ku Li returned to the Umno Baru fold, and from then on kept reminding us that he would try and reform Umno Baru from the inside. We are still waiting!
Lim is known for his persistence, his consistency and his energy. Having served the DAP for over 50 years, he has never wavered from his Malaysian Malaysia vision, and has never called for the abolition of Islam as the official religion.
Umno has managed to brainwash many Malays into believing the line that DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam. Their disinformation may take a few generations to eradicate.
Politicians like Ku Li are opportunists at heart. It must be difficult for the Agong to experience what must be one of the most contentious periods of Malaysian history.
For five decades, Malaysia has slowly and systematically been led to ruin - politically, morally and financially - and the ones who are responsible are the political class, mostly from Umno Baru.
Sometimes, we cannot put all our trust in those whom we call our friends.


MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO). Blog, Twitter. - Mkini
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of MMKtT.


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