The full political circle of Dr. Lim Chong Eu

Speech by DAP Secretary-General, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, when speaking to party members in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 20th Feb. 1972 at 8 p.m.

The full political circle of Dr. Lim Chong Eu

The Year of the Rat marks the completion of another full cycle of the Chinese calendar. It also marks the completion of a full circle in the political career of Dr. Lim Chong Eu of Penang.

Thirteen years ago, in 1959, Dr. Lim Chong Eu resigned as President of MCA, spurned an offer to be the Chief Minister of Penang, purportedly over a set of political beliefs and principles.

Today, in 1972, Dr. Lim has publicly sacrificed the little that is left of his political reputation and standing – having earlier jettisoned his political beliefs and principles – to cling to a position which he had spurned with contempt 13 years ago.

Dr. Lim has made a full political circle, and has gone back to where he started. It is now clear that when Dr. Lim resigned and left the MCA, it was not over any set of political beliefs or principles, but over a political struggle for power. And in that struggle, he lost out to Tun Tan Siew Sin, in the scramble for Ministerial appointment and political power.

Dr. Lim is now as good as back to the Alliance fold. It would be difficult to find in Malaysian political history another politician to match Dr. Lim’s utter lack of political principles, his shameless lust for power, and his inconstancy and inconsistency.

For ten years from 1959 and 1969, Tun Tan Siew Sin was Dr. Lim’s chief hate-object. Now he is prepared to swallow all the denunciations and condemnations he had hurled against Tun Tan and accept order from Tun Tan – just to remain Penang Chief Minister.

In the 1969 General Elections, Dr. Lim promised the Penang electorate that the Gerakan would introduce a new type of government, completely different from the first ten years of Alliance misrule, mismanagement and corruption.

This new form of government promised by the Gerakan never materialized. Today, it is Dr. Lim Chong Eu who is instrumental in causing a restoration of the Alliance Government, which the people of Penang overwhelmingly repudiated in the 1969 General Elections.

What is most ridiculous is that through statements and comments by not only Alliance and Gerakan officials, but by some public commentators, the public are being asked to believe that this coalition was as act of ‘statesmanship’, in the interest of the nation and people.

In other words, the people are being asked to believe that by committing the greatest political sell-out of the people’s interests in Malaysian politics, Dr. Lim has become a ‘statesman’ and has developed political maturity.

The people of Malaysia are not all that simple-minded.

Dr. Lim and the Alliance had entered into this unholy alliance in Penang, not because of ‘national interest’, but for diverse political reasons.

For Dr. Lim, the coalition was his last desperate chance to cling to the office of Chief Minister of Penang, as he has a most unstable and unreliable one-man majority in the State Assembly. He knows that once he relinquishes the office of Chief Minister, whether by choice or coercion, he would never return to it again.

For the Alliance, the coalition was the best of all evils – for they were not confident of winning the majority of State Assembly seats if there should be fresh general elections. On the contrary, the party which would win the most seats and form the government is not the Alliance, or Gerakan, or both together, but the DAP.

There is no doubt that if the Alliance were confident that they would be able to form the next government if there are fresh general elections, they would topple Dr. Lim Chong Eu – despite all their present talk about ‘political wisdom and maturity’ and ‘national interest’ in forming the present coalition.

Dr. Lim Chong Eu has lost his moral mandate to govern Penang. Dr. Lim and the Gerakan were put into office in the 1969 general election on two explicit grounds: (1) to repudiate and terminate the 10-year Alliance rule in Penang. (2) to have a new government, without any association or connection with the Alliance Party of Alliance-type of government.

Dr. Lim has violated both trusts: He has not only formed and run an Alliance-type of Government right from May 1969, he has now restored the Alliance to power in Penang. Everyone knows that in the coalition government of Penang, it is the Alliance which is the master and Dr. Lim who is the puppet.

If Dr. Lim is an honourable man, he should call for fresh general elections, and submit to the verdict of the electorate as to whether to renew their mandate, or to repudiate him.

He should not attempt to govern devoid of moral authority or legitimacy.