(NST) – DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang is the best candidate to lead the country as prime minister, Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy said.
In his opinion piece which was published in newsportal Berita Daily, Ramasamy said of all the political party leaders on both sides of the divide, the humblest person was none other than Lim.
“He is the prime candidate to be considered for the No. 1 post in the country. However, whether he wants it is a different matter.
“Kit Siang has all qualities of a great leader, but he has never aspired to become the prime minister of Malaysia.
“Whenever his name is mentioned, he would brush aside such suggestions as being unimportant, or even irrelevant to the needs of the Malaysian politics. In short, he wants to pave the way for others to succeed,” he wrote.
Ramasamy said the opposition to the idea of Lim becoming the prime minister mainly emanated “from the racist and bigoted Umno circles”.
He said it was not because these groups cared much about Lim, but they were more interested in driving a wedge between DAP and other Malay-based parties in Pakatan Harapan.
“There is a thinking that is being derived from the past, if they can divide the Pakatan coalition partners along race and religious lines, the actual beneficiary would be Umno, a party that is struggling to remain relevant in Malaysian politics.
“The constant statements from Umno circles that DAP is using Pakatan for the political ascension of Kit Siang is reminder of how race and religion have been used by those in power to divide and separate the various races in the country.”
He said the very fact that Lim was a member of the Chinese community had nothing to do with his ability to become a national leader or prime minister.
He added that while it would be difficult to ride the wave of ethnicity and religion at least for the time being, Lim had all the qualities to be considered for the post of prime minister.
“He has spent a major part of his political life in struggling for the opposition to bring about a better Malaysia.
“There is no need for Malaysia to wait a long period for a non-Malay to be considered as a prime minister material. In this respect, the example of Barack Obama is not a good example.
“Malaysia need not wait for few hundred years for a non-Malay to become a prime minister,” he said, adding that the most qualified person to be considered for the post was none other than Lim — who had “spent years fighting for democracy and justice at the expense of his family life”.
Ramasamy said Lim was not greedy for power like some oth ers, but spoke forcefully in Parliament and on issues that affected the wellbeing of Malaysians.
He said without the towering presence of Lim, Penang and some other states would not have fallen to the opposition in the political tsunami of 2008 and 2013.
“We in DAP look up to Lim for his constant guidance on how to move in the muddy of waters of racism and religious intolerance.
“Lim might be in his mid-70s, but he is ever vibrant. He is constantly moving around the country giving speeches and press conferences.
“If DAP is considered the strongest party in the Pakatan Harapan coalition, then the credit must surely go to Lim. Whether Lim is formally present in the Pakatan structure is not important. However, in the larger interest of bringing about political change, Lim is willing to take a back seat to allow others at the forefront.”