GEORGE TOWN – Penang Barisan Nasional chairman Teng Chang Yeow today said that Malaysians must re-evaluate their trust and support for DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang after five decades.
Teng, who is also state Gerakan chairman, said if there was any post graduate degree on “twists and U-turns”, he had no doubt that Lim would earn double distinctions.
Both Gerakan and Lim had been engaged in a very lively and very public exchange after the latter challenged Teng to contest in the DAP stronghold of Sungai Pinang or Batu Lancang state seat in the next general election.
Lim’s challenge was published in the local Chinese dailies.
“I accepted his challenge to contest in a DAP stronghold and to face him.
“Yesterday, he challenged me again and wanted me to return to the Padang Kota state seat. Again, I accepted his challenge to contest in any of the seats he mentioned, as long as he openly announces that he is coming back to Penang to contest.
“However, he finds it so difficult to answer with a simple ‘yes or no’,” Teng said.
Speculation is rife that the DAP adviser may be contesting in Penang again in the coming 14th general election.
This follows the circulation of a screen grab of what is alleged to be the Gelang Patah MP’s voter details, showing that Lim’s electoral address now falls under the Komtar state and Tanjung parliamentary seats.
Political pundits are predicting that Lim is preparing to take over from his son, Guan Eng, who is currently awaiting trial on two corruption charges over the purchase of his controversial Jalan Pinhorn bungalow.
Meanwhile, Teng said it was also not him, who had beaten his chest, and showed how brave he was in politics, as alleged by Lim.
“I am no match to him in this aspect, even if I want to do so. It was Lim, who had beaten his chest hard in his political career.
“In 1982, he challenged the then MCA president Datuk Lee San Choon to contest in a DAP stronghold against him. When Lee decided on the Seremban parliamentary seat, Lim chickened out and ran off to Melaka with the lame excuse of settling an old score with his once protégé Chan Teck Chan in the Kota Melaka parliamentary seat.
“In 1995, he challenged Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon in the Tanjung Bunga state seat and lost, but he dare not return to face him again in the 1999 general election. Instead, Lim chose to take on Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan in the then Kebun Bunga state seat and Bukit Bendera parliamentary seat against Datuk Seri Chia Kwang Chye. Both Gerakan leaders were then not considered leaders of Lim’s stature. He lost to both and dared not return to face them but ran off to Ipoh Timur in the 2004 general election.
Teng noted that he was also too junior to advise Lim to be humble, but reminded him that he was the one who should have picked up humility.
He also asserted that he did not think the people of Penang had ever forgotten Lim’s arrogance, when publicising himself as “chief minister with power and as a Robocop” in his Tanjong 3 campaign in the 1995 general election.
“Such arrogance has now become a hallmark of the DAP state government, where non-governmental organisations (NGO) are often ticked off by remarks from DAP leaders such as ‘not your father’s land’ over the annual Jade Emperor’s ceremony at Chew Jetty.
“There were also name calling of a well-respected consumer rights activist. None of the Gerakan leaders, present or past, will behave in such an arrogant manner in politics,” he said.
Teng pointed out Lim’s ‘holier than thou’ attitude in his 52 years’ political career is unbecoming as he has abandoned all principles and betrayed the people who had supported him, by making the ‘Super U-turn of the Century’, embracing Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad after condemning him for over 40 years.
Teng stressed that his acceptance of Lim’s challenge was not cheap political publicity as claimed. He is also grateful to party president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong for backing him up in accepting Lim’s challenge.
“With Lim’s 52 years of political experience, he would have smelled it from miles away if it is a cheap political publicity to seek attention. He would have not bothered to reply if it is cheap political publicity.
He added that Gerakan has had Lim cornered.
“(Although he plans) to return to Penang to contest in the next general election, (he is) still being sneaky about his plan. That prompted his outburst to our statements,” Teng noted.