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‘Give Kit Siang a break, make him senator’

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Lim Kit SiangPETALING JAYA: Gerakan president Dr Koh Tsu Koon must feel a tinge of extra bitterness whenever Lim Kit Siang or his son Guan Eng’s names are mentioned.

For it is the father and son pair that were responsible for the tragic end to his 18-year run as Penang chief minister in the last polls and the near decimation of his party.

The DAP-led Pakatan Rakyat onslaught had turned him from the most powerful man on the island state to a backdoor minister in the Najib administration.

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And while Guan Eng sits on the throne that was once his, the 72-year-old Kit Siang continues to be in the forefront of the election battle while Koh, who would not be contesting, roots for Barisan Nasional from the sidelines.

Make Kit Siang a senator

On a sarcastic note, the Gerakan president has now proposed that Kit Siang be given a senatorship after the general election.

Commenting on the DAP veteran’s decision to move from Ipoh Timor to contest in Johor’s Gelang Patah parliament seat, Koh said:”Kit Siang has to run from place to place as he has not served.”

“We should help him, at the age of 72, to be relieved of the burden of having to serve and to be bothered by constituency problems,” he added.

Koh, who was speaking in Gelang Patah, said in view of this, he strongly recommends that Kit Siang be appointed as a senator so that he could have the platform and peace of mind to continue to voice his views and criticise the government.

“No need to run around any more,” he added.

Calling on the voters to “help” Kit Siang and themselves, Koh said their ballots should be cast in favour of the BN candidate Abdul Ghani Othman.

The Gerakan president argued that his BN compatriot, the caretaker Johor menteri besar, would be able to bring even more development to the state.

He also highlighted what Ghani had done for Johor’s Chinese community, their culture and education.

The Gelang Patah battle

The battle for Gelang Patah, a Chinese-majority seat, is one of the focal points of this election. The contest is considered as Kit Siang’s last hurrah.

Johor, which is a BN stronghold, is said to be also experiencing the winds of change.

Kit Siang’s move to Gelang Patah also caught the attention of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who claimed that the DAP veteran would prey on Chinese sentiments.

Mahathir, who drew much flak for his remarks, had said that Johor has been an Alliance/BN stronghold ever since independence.

“The three races there have been supporting each other in elections. They do not have strong racist feelings. But Kit Siang is going to bring about conflict and antagonism between the races, to wage the Chinese to dislike and hate the Malays,” he had added.

Ironically, Mahathir, who is now the patron of Perkasa, has been accused of stoking racial flames himself with his scathing remarks with regard to Malay rights.

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