Barisan Nasional will "kenduri" all the way

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang, Thursday): There have been several press reports today  quoting me as saying that I deplored any outside interference as whether I  should step down as DAP national chairman was a matter which should be decided solely by the party.

This is incorrect as I never made such a remark in my speech at the opening of the Paya Terubong DAP Branch service centre in Penang yesterday.  If I had held the view that this was solely for the DAP to decide, then I would not have welcomed public feedback on pressures from certain quarters outside the party that I should retire from politics as the DAP Central Executive Committee had unanimously given me a full vote of confidence.

What I said yesterday was that party leaders, members and branches are generally of the view that whether I step down as DAP National Chairman was  a matter which should be decided solely by the party and not by outsiders, and they  gave two reasons:

I do not fully agree with this prevalent view in the DAP or I would not be going through the  process of giving long and hard consideration to the views from outside the party in the past two months, whether through the mass media, both printed and electronic, emails, letters, phone calls or direct contacts.

This has given rise to the view that I am ignoring the feelings of party members and supporters, as contained in the following email I received today:

I want to assure this stalwart of a supporter and friend that I am not making this decision a "highly personalised matter" to the exclusion of the views of party members and supporters.

I am fully conscious of the solid support for me from the party leadership and membership but I do think that even those who have political axes to grind and political scores to settle with me should be entitled to have their say as to why I should step down as DAP National Chairman and retire from Malaysian politics - let alone others who are bona fide of such  a view.

Purely in terms of quantity, those who want me to resign as DAP National Chairman and retire from Malaysian politics represent a minuscule percentage, but these are very vocal in the media.

I have no regrets in being the first political leader in the country to welcome public views as to whether I should continue in my present political position or retire from politics.  I do not know whether or  when Mahathir, Liong Sik, Keng Yaik or Samy Vellu would welcome such a public feedback as to whether they should stay or retire from politics.

I appreciate the views of those who have conveyed to me their support, solidarity and concerns.

Here are two emails I received last night:

I thank all who have responded with their views, on both sides of the spectrum on whether I should continue as DAP National Chairman or retire from Malaysian politics, whether bona fide or malafide,  whether in the media, both printed and electronic, email, letters, phone calls or direct contact.  I will think long and hard about my political future based on their feedback and I will take full personal responsibility for whatever decision I will make about my political future by Sunday.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman