Over half a century in politics, Lim Kit Siang is seen by many as being synonymous with DAP.
Democratic Action Party (DAP) veteran leader Lim Kit Siang announced his withdrawal from party election and general election at the party’s national congress yesterday.
A total of 93 people were vying for a place in DAP’s central executive committee (CEC), including Lim.
Lim is the soul of DAP. Many older Malaysians see him as the DAP.
One can’t deny that he has contributed remarkably to the party and democracy in Malaysia.
He holds on to his principle and has since become a role model in politics.
However, a senior politician will have his day to leave the stage.
Although Lim has been appointed the party mentor, his announcement of not seeking re-election in the general election marks his road to retirement.
When asked by the media for the reason of his retirement, Lim said many times that he is getting old.
“Why am I retiring today? I am already 81 years old! How many people can reach this age?” he asked.
Of course, age is a factor.
The calls made by party members and outsiders to have new blood is another form of pressure.
The scenario of ‘aging political leaders’ is quite serious in Malaysia. The old guards insist on staying put, making it hard for new blood to have room for growth.
The fixed belief and old strategy used by older politicians are no longer relevant in the new era.
To a certain extent, they have jammed up the wheel of progress and blocked the path for the younger generation.
Lim reveals his wisdom by announcing his decision not to seek re-election in the coming general election.
At the age of more than 90, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is still using his old strategy to manipulate politics.
You can see the severity of the problem here.
At the moment, the requests of urging senior politicians to step down is getting louder.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and others face similar pressure.
Senior political leaders have made their marks. It is now time for them to leave the stage to make way for the younger generation.
In the DAP election, Lim did not contest any post while his son Guan Eng stepped down as secretary-general.
With new leadership on board, hopefully this is a chance for DAP to transform itself.
Lim is influential in the DAP. For many years, he is holding DAP’s fort.
He was DAP secretary-general from 1969 until he stepped down in 1999 to become the party’s chairman until 2004.
As the soul of the Rocket, he has huge impact on the party.
Whether one likes him or not, one can’t deny that Lim Kit Siang is a name not to be skipped in Malaysia’s political history.
He has spent more than 50 years in politics, survived many rounds of general elections and played his role in checks and balances by monitoring the government.
When a senior politician realizes his limitations due to age, it is time he should let go of his position. The older generation has completed the mission and the new generation will now have to shoulder their responsibilities to meet the new challenges.
This is the norm in social development. The same goes for politics.