Betty Chew would have been selected as DAP parliamentary candidate for Kota Melaka if Guan Eng is not my son and  she is not my daughter-in-law

- DAP Federal Territory Dinner to honour Lim Guan Eng’s for being named by Asiaweek as one of the 20 Asian "LEADERS for the Millennium" 
Lim Kit Siang

(Kuala Lumpur,  Sunday): DAP National Deputy Chairman, Karpal Singh announced earlier today that Betty Chew had asked the DAP Candidate Selection Committee not to consider her as a candidate for Kota Melaka parliamentary seat to avoid unfounded charges of nepotism which might distract the party’s central thrust in  the snap eight-day election campaign to muster and mobilise electoral support to end the Barisan Nasional’s two-thirds majority and break its political hegemony.

The DAP Candidate Selection Committee has therefore taken the decision not to consider her for the Kota Melaka Parliamentary seat but has prevailed upon her to agree to contest for the Malacca State Assembly seat of Durian Daun.

Just now, Karpal suggested that there should be a review of the decision of the DAP Candidate Selection Committee on the ground that Betty Chew is eminently qualified and suitable to contest the Kota Melaka parliamentary seat.

Politically, I agree with Karpal and the National Chairman, Dr. Chen Man Hin that it makes great  political sense to field Betty Chew in Kota Melaka parliamentary seat.

This is  not because there are no other qualified and suitable candidates in the party to contest the Kota Melaka parliamentary seat, but because Betty Chew’s candidature would be able to highlight not only in Kota Melaka, but throughout the country that one of the central issues of the Nov. 29 general election is to tell the Barisan Nasional government that it had been wrong, unfair and unjust in the Lim Guan Eng case.

If Guan Eng is not my son, and Betty Chew not my daughter-in-law, I would have fully supported Dr. Chen and Karpal to field her for the Kota Melaka parliamentary seat - to make the injustice suffered by Guan Eng a central concern in the general election as  the restoration of public confidence in the integrity of the system of justice must be given the highest possible profile in the election campaign.

However, to avoid the baseless but relentless propaganda barrages that have been prepared to denounce the Betty Chew’s candidature as  nepotism, I agree and respect Betty Chew’s request for withdrawal from consideration for the Kota Melaka parliamentary seat.

I appreciate Karpal’s suggestion that there be a review of the Candidate Selection Committee’s decision on Betty Chew’s candidature for Kota Melaka parliamentary seat. However, as a decision has already been taken, it would be best to let the decision stand.

We are gathered here tonight at the Federal Territory DAP dinner to honour Guan Eng for being named recently by Asiaweek as one of the 20 Asian "LEADERS for the Millennium".

In naming the  Asian "Leaders for the Millennium", Asiaweek picked 20 leaders under 50 who  "bring with them the idealism of youth, yet have the experience and savvy that ground them in the reality of everyday politicking".

The 20 "Leaders for the Millennium" are described as "A new breed of politicians and activists  ready to break the shackles of the past" and leaders "combining idealism and pragmatic political instincts … repudiating politics-as-usual".

Guan Eng is one of the two Malaysians named as Asiaweek’s "Leaders for the Millennium"., DAP does not want Guan Eng to be the only millennium leader, as we want every DAP leader to be  a millennium leader to break the shackles of the past - starting with the Nov. 29 general election.


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong