Lim Kit Siang

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Yang Berhormat
Lim Kit Siang
Lim Kit Siang cropped.jpg
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Gelang Patah, Johor
Assumed office
6 May 2013
Preceded by Tan Ah Eng
Majority 14,762
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Ipoh Timur, Perak
In office
21 March 2004 – 5 May 2013
Preceded by Thong Fah Chong
Succeeded by Thomas Su
2nd National Chairman of the Democratic Action Party
In office
Preceded by Chen Man Hin
Succeeded by Karpal Singh
Leader of the Opposition of Malaysia
In office
1973 – 24 August 1974
Monarch Abdul Halim
Prime Minister Abdul Razak
Preceded by Mohamed Asri Muda
Succeeded by James Wong
Constituency Kota Melaka
In office
1975 – 29 November 1999
Monarch Abdul Halim
Yahya Petra
Ahmad Shah
Azlan Shah
Prime Minister Abdul Razak
Hussein Onn
Mahathir bin Mohamad
Preceded by Edmund Langgu Saga
Succeeded by Fadzil Noor
Constituency Kota Melaka (1975–1978,1982–1986)
Petaling Jaya (1978–1982)
Tanjong (1986–1999)
In office
21 March 2004 – 8 March 2008
Monarch Sirajuddin
Mizan Zainal Abidin
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Preceded by Abdul Hadi Awang
Succeeded by Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Constituency Ipoh Timur
Personal details
Born (1941-02-20) 20 February 1941 (age 73)
Batu Pahat, Johor, British Malaya
Political party Democratic Action PartyPR
Spouse(s) Neo Yoke Tee
Children Lim Guan Eng
3 others

Lim Kit Siang (born 20 February 1941; Chinese: 林吉祥; pinyin: Lín Jíxiáng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lîm Kiat-siông) is a Malaysian politician and party leader. He is prominent leader of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), a Social Democratic opposition party in Malaysia. He is the father of current Chief Minister in the State of Penang, Lim Guan Eng.

Lim was called to the English bar by Lincoln's Inn in 1977. He is married with four children. Since 1978, he has published 34 books.[1]


Lim was educated from Lincoln's Inn in 1977. He is married with four children. Since 1978, he has authored 34 books.[1] His son Lim Guan Eng is the current Chief Minister in the State of Penang.


Lim Kit Siang together with his son Lim Guan Eng first visited his ancestral home in China in Nov 2008 (reported in Chinapress). His ancestral village is located in Zhangzhou, Fujian province which makes him a Minnan native. He met his 80 something years old brother-in-law during the visit.[2]


  • 1941: Date of birth.
  • 1966: National Organising Secretary of the DAP (1966 to 1969).
  • 1969: Elected Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka (1969–1974);
    • Promoted to Secretary-General of DAP;
    • Detained under the Internal Security Act for 18 months.
  • 1974: Elected Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka, and State Assemblyman for Kubu, Melaka (1974–1978).
  • 1978: Elected Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya (1978–1982);
  • 1979: Convicted of five charges under Official Secrets Act for exposing an arms deal between the government and a Swiss company.
  • 1982: Elected Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka (1982–1986).
  • 1986: Elected Member of Parliament for Tanjong, and State Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, Penang (1986–1989).
  • 1987: Detained under the Internal Security Act in Operation Lallang for 17 months.
  • 1990: Elected State Assemblyman for Padang Kota, Penang (1990 -1995).
  • 1999: Lost the election;
    • Elected Chairman of DAP.
  • 2004: Elected Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timur, led the opposition in parliament;
    • Led the party's parliamentary caucus in the newly created position of Chairman of the Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission.
  • 2008: Incumbent and re-elected as Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timur
    • Post of Leader of Opposition succeeded by Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
  • 2013: Contesting Gelang Patah Parliament Seat in opposed of incumbent Menteri Besar of Johor Abdul Ghani Othman

Political career[edit]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Lim first emerged as a politician when he was National Organising Secretary of the DAP from 1966 to 1969. At the same time he was also entrusted to edit the party's newspaper, the Rocket. The course of the political landscape changed when he was promoted to Secretary-General in 1969 after being acting Secretary-General for a short period during a turbulent period in the country's history. He considers himself a Democratic socialist and is also a supporter of social democracy.

Lim was first elected as an MP for the Bandar Melaka seat in 1969. His election was initially held to be void, however, because the law prohibited an election agent who had previously failed to discharge his duties from standing for election in the future. The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdul Razak, moved a motion in Parliament to prevent Lim from serving as an MP, granting him instead a period of time to request a royal pardon from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King). After receiving the royal pardon, Lim was allowed to retain his seat.[3]

Apart from 1999 to 2004 where he lost his seat due to the Chinese disenchantment with DAP entering into a political pact with the Islamist PAS for the general elections, Lim represented various constituencies in five states:

  • Bandar Melaka (1969–1974)
  • Kota Melaka (1974–1978)
  • Petaling Jaya, Selangor (1978–1982)
  • Kota Melaka (1982–1986)
  • Tanjong, Penang (1986–1999)
  • Ipoh Timur, Perak (2004–2013)
  • Gelang Patah, Johor (since 2013)

He also served as a state assemblyman in Melaka and Penang during the following periods: Kubu, Melaka (1974–1982); Kampong Kolam, Penang (1986–1990); and Padang Kota, Penang (1990–1995).

He led the party in the capacity of Secretary-General until 1999 when he was elected party chairman, succeeding Chen Man Hin. In 2004, he refused re-appointment as the chairman and Karpal Singh was elected to replace him. Lim was then elected to an advisory role as the leader of a newly created body called the "Policy and Strategic Planning Commission". His son, Lim Guan Eng is currently the Secretary-General of the party and the Chief Minister of Penang.

After winning a parliamentary seat from Ipoh Timor during the 2004 general election, which also saw his party clinching the most seats of any opposition party, Lim became the Parliamentary Opposition Leader. In recent years the opposition have been campaigning for freer and fairer elections within Malaysia. On 10 November 2007, a mass rally, called the BERSIH Peaceful People's Gathering, took place in the Dataran Merdeka Kuala Lumpur at 3pm to demand for clean and fair elections. The gathering was organised by BERSIH, a coalition comprising political parties and civil society groups, and drew supporters from all over the country.

In the March 2008 general election, he was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor with a majority of 21,942 votes.

Lim contested and won in Gelang Patah against Barisan Nasional's heavyweight and former Menteri Besar of Johor Datuk Abdul Ghani in the general election 2013. He has called this elections the "dirtiest ever GE in Malaysian history" and has called for a "clean" elections.[citation needed] He constantly update his Chinese and English blogs to reach out to the public.

Election results[edit]

Parliament of Malaysia: P64 Ipoh Timur, Perak
Year Opposition Votes Pct Government Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
2004 Lim Kit Siang (DAP) 28,851 59% Thong Fah Chong (MCA) 19,077 39% 49,175 9,774 67.06%
2008 Lim Kit Siang (DAP) 37,364 69% Liew Mun Hon (MCA) 15,422 29% 53,994 21,942 70.45%
Parliament of Malaysia: P162 Gelang Patah, Johor[4]
Year Pakatan Rakyat Votes Pct Barisan Nasional Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
2013 Lim Kit Siang (DAP) 54,284 57% Abdul Ghani Othman (UMNO) 39,522 43% 106,726 14,762 88.9%

Detention without trial[edit]

In 1969 Kit Siang was detained under the Internal Security Act for 18 months. Ten years later, in 1979, he was convicted of five charges under Official Secrets Act for exposing an inappropriate arms deal between the government and a Swiss company.

Lim was one of the people arrested during "Operation Lalang" in 1987. He spent 17 months in prison under the Internal Security Act,[1] which allows for two years of detention without trial at the pleasure of the Home Minister. The two-year sentence may, in practice, be extended indefinitely without any avenues for due process or appeal.


Lim is a controversial figure for his strongly held views about Malaysian politics; some, such as Malay Malaysian writer Bakri Musa, have labelled him and fellow DAP leader Karpal Singh as racial provocateurs.[5]

In 2008, after winning 12th general election, Lim Kit Siang issued an instruction for all DAP representatives to stay away from the swearing-in ceremony for Perak Menteri Besar, claiming that there is no DAP CEC mandate for PAS Menteri Besar in Perak.[6] This caused the Perak MB swearing-in ceremony to be cancelled and[7] only take place after Lim Kit Siang apologised and retracted his instruction.[8]

Samy Vellu and the MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal[edit]

In 1994, Lim Kit Siang was suspended from Parliament for eight months for calling on the then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to present a White Paper in Parliament on the outcome of ACA re-opening of investigations into the MIC President and the Minister for Energy, Posts and Telecommunications, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and the MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal.[9]

Books published[edit]

  1. Time Bombs in Malaysia (1978)1
  2. DAP and Labour Issues (1978)
  3. Malaysia in the Dangerous 80s (1982)
  4. Constitutional Crisis in Malaysia (1983)
  5. This Day in the Last 18 Months (1983)
  6. The BMF Scandal (1984)
  7. Harris Salleh – Politics & Morality (1984)
  8. Human rights In Malaysia (1985)
  9. Malaysia – Crisis of Identity (1986)
  10. BMF – The Scandal Of Scandals (1986)
  11. The North-South Highway Scandal (1987)
  12. Prelude To Operation Lalang (1990)
  13. The Dirtiest General Elections In The History of Malaysia (1991)
  14. Selected Speeches & Press Statements – Vol. I (1991)
  15. Samy Vellu and MAIKA Scandal (1992)
  16. Battle For Democracy (1992)
  17. Vijandran Pornographic Videotape Scandal II (1992)
  18. The Bank Negara RM30 Billion Forex Losses Scandal (1994)
  19. The Highland Tower Tragedy (1994)
  20. Pendedahan Skandal Kewangan – Siapa Petualang FELCRA? (1994)
  21. Land Acquisition Act – Abuses, Injustices, Reform (1994)
  22. I.T. For All (1997)
  23. Cyberlaws in Malaysia (1997)
  24. Economic & Financial Crisis (1998)
  25. Political & Economic Crisis in Malaysia(1998)
  26. The Budget That Was Never Passed (1999)
  27. Constitutional Case of the Millennium (2000)
  28. BA & Islamic State (2001)
  29. No To 929 (2002)
  30. DAP(2004)

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lim Kit Siang: Biodata
  2. ^ (Chinese) 與家人福建尋根‧冠英“還鄉”百感交集, 2008-11-26, Sin Chew Jit Poh
  3. ^ Rahman, Rashid A. (1994). The Conduct of Elections in Malaysia, pp. 204–205. Kuala Lumpur: Berita Publishing. ISBN 967-969-331-7.
  4. ^ "Malaysia General Election 2013".  Results only available from the 2013 election.
  5. ^ Musa, M. Bakri (2007). Towards A Competitive Malaysia. Petaling Jaya: Strategic Information and Research Development Centre. p. 79. ISBN 978-983-3782-20-8. 
  6. ^ No DAP CEC mandate for PAS Menteri Besar in Perak.
  7. ^ Perak MB swearing-in ceremony cancelled (updated)
  8. ^ Swearing-in of Perak MB Tomorrow
  9. ^ MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal

Other references[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Mohamed Asri Muda
Leader of the Opposition of Malaysia
Succeeded by
James Wong
Preceded by
Edmund Langgu Saga
Leader of the Opposition of Malaysia
Succeeded by
Fadzil Noor
Preceded by
Abdul Hadi Awang
Leader of the Opposition of Malaysia
Succeeded by
Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
Party political offices
Preceded by
Chen Man Hin
National Chairman of the Democratic Action Party
Succeeded by
Karpal Singh
Preceded by
Goh Hock Guan
Fan Yew Teng (acting)
Secretary-General of the Democratic Action Party
Succeeded by
Kerk Kim Hock
Preceded by
Post created
Organising Secretary of the Democratic Action Party
Succeeded by
Fan Yew Teng