By Lim Kit Siang
I wish to apologise to the Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the UMNO/BN leaders that I was elected into the DAP Central Executive Committee (CEC) at the 16th DAP National Congress – and with the highest votes.
UMNO leaders, including Najib, had been going round the country castigating the DAP for being undemocratic, alleging that I was in the DAP national leadership although I was not an elected DAP leader.
At the recent 66th UMNO General Assembly at the end of last month, Najib returned to the same theme in his UMNO Presidential Address when he flayed the Pakatan Rakyat parties of PKR, PAS and DAP.
This is what he said about me: “Although only holding the position of member of parliament despite not being an elected leader, Lim Kit Siang is evidently quite a powerful individual in the opposition party”.
It had always amused me when Najib made these attacks against me in his political tours up and down the country, wondering whether he had been misled by his cohorts of political advisers and aides or whether he had deliberately lied although he knew the truth.
I had stood for every elections to the CEC since the party formation in 1966. In the last DAP 15th Congress, I also stood for election to the CEC and was fortunate to top the votes.
I had deliberately refrained from rebutting Najib for his baseless attack that I was not an elected DAP leader as I wanted to test the degree of the Prime Minister’s respect for fact and truth or the quality of intelligence of the Prime Minister’s army of advisers and aides.
If Malaysia has a Prime Minister who has no respect for fact or truth, continuing to tell untruths like his allegation that I was an unelected leader in DAP, or his cohorts and aides are so atrocious in their political intelligence as not to know that I had contested in every DAP CEC election and that I had polled the highest votes in the 2008 DAP National Congress, then the Malaysian public cannot put too much trust and confidence in the Prime Minister’s speeches, statements and assurances.
Now, what is the truth? Was Najib wrongly advised by his advisers and aides, or did he deliberately repeat a lie against me?
Would apologise Najib for lying about me for not being an elected DAP leader in the past four years? I am not asking for any apology from Najib as I do not think it is worth asking it from him. If he wants to apologise, he would have to do it on his own volition.
Now Najib has changed his tune after the press reports that I had received the highest votes at Saturday’s DAP Congress.
Yesterday in Sandakan, Najib said DAP was undemocratic because “the father (Lim Kit Siang) received the highest number of votes and his son (Lim Guan Eng) came in second”.
Previously, Najib said DAP was undemocratic as I was not an elected DAP leader. Now he charged DAP for being undemocratic because I had secured the most votes.
What a cheap Prime Minister we have – a “heads I win, tails you lose” complex!
Again, I say sorry to Najib and the UMNO/BN leaders for being elected again into the CEC, and like the previous DAP Congress, with the highest votes.
Coming to the 47th year of my commitment in the DAP to help bring about a more united, just, democratic and prosperous Malaysia, I will continue to do my utmost in the 13GE to realize the hitherto impossible dream in Malaysia of changing the Federal Government in the 13GE.
I call on Najib to set a personal example to end the hate politics of race, religion, lies and fear which UMNO/BN leaders have been spreading to perpetuate UMNO/BN power and undertake to ensure that the 13GE will be smooth, clean, free and fair elections.
Furthermore, Najib should publicly distance himself from and condemn whoever raised the spectre of May 13 or “chaos” after the 13GE if UMNO/BN loses.
He should demonstrate that he is serious and sincere when he repeatedly said after becoming Prime Minister in April 2009 that “The era the government knows best is over” and give firm and categorical assurance that UMNO/BN would peacefully transfer power in Putrajaya to Pakatan Rakyat if this is the verdict of electorate – a position which should be formalized in the form of a resolution by the UMNO and BN Supreme Councils.