(Bukit Mertajam, Tuesday): The simple candlelight ceremony just now, where all the lights were switched off and all participants at this ceramah lighted a candle to the song "Keep Justice Alive, Keep Guan Eng Free" is deeply moving.
Firstly, it represented the darkness which will envelope Guan Eng should he be sent to Kajang Prisons on August 24 and the light that the people are trying to give him. Secondly, it symbolised Guan Eng’s great act of self-sacrifice of burning himself up to bring light to others, as in his defence of the honour, women rights and human rights of the 15-year-old girl which has now threatened his personal liberty and political rights.
August 24, 1998 is going to be a fateful day for Lim Guan Eng, as on that day the Federal Court will be holding the final appellate hearings on his conviction under the Sedition Act and the Printing Presses and Publications Act and the 36-month jail sentence imposed by the Court of Appeal on April 1, 1998.
If the Federal Court decides on August 24 to uphold the Court of Appeal’s conviction and sentence of three years’ jail, Guan Eng will lose his freedom for the second time as well as being disqualified as a Member of Parliament. In fact, on that day itself, Guan Eng will start to serve his prison sentence at the Kajang Prisons.
The first time Guan Eng lost his personal liberty was in 1997 when he was detained under the Internal Security Act during Operation Lalang when together with DAP MPs, Chinese educationists, trade unionists, social and religious activists, he was sent to Kamunting Detention Centre.
The Operation Lalang detainees were released in several batches, but Guan Eng was one of the two detainees who were the last to be released, serving 18 months of detention. The other one was myself.
The prison sentence Guan Eng would begin on August 24 if the Federal Court upholds the Court of Appeal’s jail sentence will be a very different type of incarceration from that of detention without trial under the ISA - as he would be treated as a common criminal, although he had committed no crime but discharging his duties and responsibilites as a Member of Parliament going to the help of the 15-year-old girl to defend her honour, human rights and woman rights.
The prison sentence would be a very harsh regime from the spell of ISA
detention at Kamunting which Guan Eng had served, a difference as
big as between heaven and hell as far as incarceration is concerned.
Guan Eng’s political life may end after the Federal Court appeal hearing on August 24, but there are people who want to end my political life even earlier on the ground that "32 is Enough"
The 12th DAP National Congress will be held in Kuala Lumpur on August 22 and 23, with party elections for the new 20-member Central Executive Committee being held on the first day.
There are people, both inside and outside the Party, who hope that one of two things can happen on August 22: either to knock me out from the DAP Central Executive Committee elections, or a second-best choice of the "KOKS Campaign", to isolate me in the new Central Executive Committee so that even if I am re-elected as Party Secretary-General, I would be a mere puppet of the KOKS team.
I leave it to the DAP delegates to decide my political future at the DAP National Congress, whether I should end my political life even earlier than Guan Eng.
I only regret that when for the past three years, and in particular in the past four months when the DAP mounted a national campaign of Sympathy, Solidarity and Support for Lim Guan Eng and launched a national movement for Justice, Freedom, Democracy and Good Governance, when DAP leaders spent every second of their time and every ounce of energy to try to create a new political scenario, there were people who spent every second of their time and every ounce of their energy to denigrate and wreck these important DAP political initiatives.
If the DAP delegates and Malaysians think that I have become a political liability to the people and country and that "32 is Enough", then I am prepared to call it quits and end my 32 years of politics.