Liberal Democratic Party (Malaysia)
|Liberal Democratic Party|
|Leader||Liew Vui Keong|
|Headquarters||Kota Kinabalu, Sabah|
|National affiliation||Barisan Nasional|
|Colors||Red, Orange, Black|
|Politics of Malaysia
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Liberal Democratic Party (Malay: Parti Liberal Demokratik) (simplified Chinese: 自由民主党; traditional Chinese: 自由民主黨) is a Chinese political party originally founded in the town of Tawau, Sabah, Malaysia by Hiew Min Kong in 1989.
The party is considered a minor political party in Malaysia, having its base mainly in Sabah. It is allocated one parliamentary seat under the Barisan Nasional political alliance, the Sandakan seat. The seat which was won by the party's president, Liew Vui Keong in the 2008 General Elections was lost in the 2013 General Elections to a candidate from the Democratic Action Party. As a result, the party is currently not represented in parliament.
The Liberal Democratic Party was formed in 1989 during the era when Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), then a federal opposition party, was the state government of Sabah. The formation of LDP then was seen more as "a storm in a teacup" as the existence of Berjaya, USNO and Sabah Chinese Party (SCP) had posed a larger challenge to the mighty PBS then as LDP was a small party.
LDP contested the 1990 Sabah State Election and fielded 14 candidates but lost all the seats it contested. PBS won 44 seats out of the 48 State Constituencies it contested in the election.
Despite LDP's defeat in the 1990 State Election, in 1991, LDP was admitted into the fold of Barisan Nasional as its first Chinese-based political party in Sabah. Chong Kah Kiat became the president then and had since replaced Protem President Hiew Ming Kong as the President of LDP. As the United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) was introduced into Sabah to fight PBS, other Barisan Nasional political parties in Sabah who had contested in the 1990 State Election like BERJAYA and USNO were forced to disband and disappeared from the political scene altogether.
The aftermath of the 1994 State Election saw many state elected representatives switching their political parties. This resulted in the collapse of PBS and the emergence of Sabah UMNO which went on to form the next government. The new State Government of Sabah included LDP's sole representative, Kong Hong Ming, into the Sabah Cabinet.
In 1995, LDP president Chong Kah Kiat was picked as a senator to the Dewan Negara. However later, Chong was challenged for the presidency by Kong. Chong eventually emerged as the winner and Kong left the LDP, quitting his ministerial post from the Sabah cabinet. Chong continued as a federal Minister in the Prime Minister Department from 1995 till 1999 when he resigned to return to state politics.
LDP was allocated two State Constituencies seats for the 1999 State Election namely Kudat and Karamunting where the candidates are Wong Lien Tat, the Party's Vice President and Chong himself. They eventually won both seats handsomely. Both were made ministers in the state cabinet.
LDP reached its political peak when Chong became the 13th Chief Minister of Sabah under the Rotation System introduced by the then Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed in 2001. Chong Kah Kiat became Chief Minister for two years till 2003 before the post went back to UMNO and the post was never again rotated as in the 2004 Sabah state election, Barisan Nasional swept 59 out of the 60 state seats. LDP won all the three state seats it was allocated under the Barisan Nasional ticket. Despite so, LDP lost the Sandakan parliamentary seat to an independent candidate which had the backing of Sabah Progressive Party.
In 2005, Liew Vui Keong was appointed as the party's Secretary General. In 2006, Chong Kah Kiat decided to retire as party president. Liew Vui Keong and Chin Su Phin then took over as the Party President and Deputy President posts respectively. Teo Chee Kang was appointed Secretary General. Chong Kah Kiat, however, did not retire from politics as he remained as the State's Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment.
On 13 April 2007, Chong Kah Kiat resigned from the State Cabinet due to his differences with the Chief Minister Musa Aman over the State Government's stoppage order for the construction of a Mazu statue which was undertaken by the Kudat Thean Hou Charitable Foundation in Kudat. Chong resignation from the state cabinet completes his exit in politics.
In the 2008 elections, all new faces were fielded in the three state seats allocated to LDP. LDP won all three seats comfortably as Barisan swept 61 seats out of the 62 state seats. Secretary general Teo Chee Kang won the Tanjong Kapor seat which was previously held by Chong Kah Kiat. New LDP President Liew Vui Keong also won the Sandakan Parliamentary seat and was subsequently appointed Deputy Minister of Trade and Industries.
After the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) announced it would quit National Front on 17 September 2008, its quota of Sabah's Deputy Chief Minister was handed over to LDP. Deputy President Chin Su Phin suggested that the party's three assemblymen were too young-and-inexperienced and therefore not ready to take up such a senior position and instead recommended MCA for the post citing that it is the largest Chinese-based BN component party. In spite of that, first term assemblyman Peter Pang was appointed to the post by the Chief Minister Musa. Pang was chosen because compared to the other two LDP assemblymen, Teo Chee Kang (Tg. Kapor) and Pang Nyuk Ming (Merotai), Pang is not closely aligned to Chong Kah Kiat.
In September 2010, LDP lost its representation in the state cabinet when Peter Pang left the LDP. In March 2011, Peter Pang applied to join GERAKAN. Peter Pang was later stripped off his position as Deputy Chief Minister, with the position eventually going to senior state assemblyman Yee Moh Chai of the PBS.
- 1989 - 1991: Hiew Ming Kong
- 1991 - 2006: Chong Kah Kiat
- 2006–present: Liew Vui Keong
- "Chong Kah Kiat retires". Retrieved 25 November 2006.