I don’t see Mahathir becoming PM for a third time, says Kit Siang

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PETALING JAYA: DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang says he is unaware of any DAP leader eager to return to power with Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the prime minister for the third time.

“I have become an octogenarian. Mahathir is older – he just celebrated his 96th birthday. I do not see him becoming prime minister a third time,” Lim said in a statement.

He was responding to a report that quoted Johor DAP leader Dr Boo Cheng Hau as saying there were voices in DAP calling for Anwar Ibrahim to step down as opposition leader as they were eager to return to power and were now cosying up to Mahathir, hoping to return to power one day.

“I don’t think Dr Boo is doing a service to DAP or to himself by concocting such baseless stories,” Lim said.

As one of those responsible for Mahathir’s return as prime minister for a second time, Lim admitted the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government could have done better.

However, he said it was unfair for PH to be judged on its 22-month performance instead of its original five-year mandate given by voters to execute its general election pledges.

“It is even more unfair to accuse the PH government and DAP of having betrayed our principles and objectives,” he said.

“As the PH government had 60 months to implement the election manifesto, I was planning to meet the prime minister on the issue (fulfilment of election pledges) in the mid-term of the government.

“But PH could not even last half-way to 30 months as it was toppled undemocratically, unconstitutionally and illegitimately in 22 months after the Sheraton Move.”

Lim agreed with Mahathir’s views in this new book, Capturing Hope – The Struggle Continues for a New Malaysia, that the PH government was never a hopeless cause and that the PH offer of a clean and better future was the best vision for Malaysia.

He called on Sarawakians to start on a new long-term campaign, beginning with the Sarawak state elections on Dec 18, to prove that Malaysia can be world-class and stop the country’s downward trajectory towards becoming a failed state.

He said Malaysians must leverage on the finest values and best virtues of its multicultural population and reject kleptocracy and rampant corruption.

Lim said the two books on the recent history of Malaysia that will hit the bookstores soon will provide invaluable insights into the past decade, including the PH government and the Najib Razak government, which was toppled in the 14th general election on May 9, 2018.

The second book, Final Reckoning – An Insider’s View of the Fall of Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional Government, is written by Romen Bose, the former political communications adviser to Najib when he was prime minister.

“It is not going to take one or two years or even one or two decades to reverse the trajectory of the past half-a-century to become a world-class Sarawak or Malaysia.

“However, we owe it to our children and their children to make Sarawak and Malaysia world-class,” Lim said.

Lim rued the country’s slide towards becoming a failed state with one country after another overtaking Malaysia.

‘“The 23-month Covid-19 pandemic must be a wake-up call as we are even losing out to Indonesia,” he said.

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