|Uncle Lim enough join the PAKATAN RAKYAT give your support rather wasting time and supporting BN. You should know what happen the past, semua hilang dan habis|
Q&A: Don't encourage cowboy politics
|Soon Li Tsin | May 1, 08 12:04pm|
|Gerakan advisor admitted that he became a disappointed and angry old man when his prot��g�� - former party deputy secretary-general Lee Kah Choon - left the party.|
'He betrayed the party', Keng Yaik said but qualified that he was personally very angry with him.
In this second and final instalment in an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini at his new Selangor Gerakan office on Monday, the veteran politician thinks the party will need ��10 years and beyond�� to recapture its stronghold state, .
He also shares his views on Pakatan Rakyat leaders, his decision to accept Malaysiakini�� s interview and his reluctance to blog.
Do you think the elections results for Gerakan would have been different had you stayed on for another year?
No. I blame myself also for failing to influence the cabinet to influence Umno to change their attitude. But God knows whether I have raised it up or not (laughs). Keng Yaik admits his shortcomings and failures. I wasn��t able to change the scene.
What happened to the MCA-Gerakan merger talks?
I don��t know, you can go and ask MCA. The president ( ) is under pressure himself to go for a radical move to become multiracial You tell me, are they ready? I hope they are ready. If they are ready, we can sit down and talk. Merging with Gerakan is not out of convenience but (based on) the political development.
Will it happen soon?
It is unlikely to happen now. I don��t think there is any point.
Do you think the problem is because Gerakan is now considered a ��mosquito�� party?
That will be MCA��s attitude now. Gerakan has really become a mosquito party and a ��biteless�� one at that. That would be their attitude. We��re aware of that but they are terribly wrong.
Has the chief minister issue been settled? Who will lead BN for the top position if BN wins the next elections?
It��s not an issue. I don��t know. Everybody comes back to zero again. You think Umno or MCA doesn��t want to be CM? Of course MIC too but it's a bit difficult lah. You think Gerakan will forever maintain the CMship? Come on, this is all political realities. It��s not an inheritance, you��ve got to work for it.
Who will you be voting for as president in the coming Gerakan elections?
I only have one vote. Does it matter? If I don��t give any comment, they would say I��m not voting for (acting president Koh) Tsu Koon. If I say the votes should go to Tsu Koon, then they will say I am interfering with Gerakan politics. What do you want me to say?
I voted for Tsu Koon in 2005 as the deputy. I resigned as president to allow him to come up to be the acting president although I insist that he should be the president. So what reason do I have to change my mind?
What about the deputy?
That��s up to Tsu Koon, not me.
Why did you blast Lee Kah Choon for working with the Penang state government? What has he done wrong?
I did not blast him. Initially I only said, ��I pity him��.
But later you called him an opportunist.
When he left and said he was a loyal Gerakan member [...] he was pressed by ( CM) Lim Guan Eng to resign or not. When he resigned as a member, that��s when I blasted him (laughs). When he said ��I am a loyal Gerakan member but I��m only doing my job��, I said ��I pity you��. When he left I knew ��Ah, you are opportunistic - you are more interested in the position rather than being loyal to the party��.
If he had the brevity to discuss with the party leadership, they would (have) most probably agreed with him to take up the post. If he had briefed us, we would have had a hard time seeing this so-called new paradigm shift as espoused by the ��great�� Lim Guan Eng. This fellow is more cunning than his father. Come on we��re not a matured democracy yet. There is no two-party system yet lah. This new paradigm shift is a political ploy by Guan Eng.
Not only Kah Choon, if you go to Perak there are going to be 500 councillors leaving and DAP can go find their councillors who can perform. You have to poach but in the (elections) you won, you go and deliver lah. Why you poach our people to do the job for you?
That Kah Choon, I know what he told me. Five days after the March 8 election, we had a one-to-one dinner and what did he propose to me? Totally different from what he��s doing now. Am I not angry? I trained him, I brought him up. I went against (former premier) Mahathir��s decision in 1999 by putting him up as a candidate in Jelutong.
So you think he betrayed you?
I don��t think he betrayed me, he betrayed the party.
But nobody from the party came up to say anything negative about him.
Tsu Koon also said (some negative things) but you see, this is where Keng Yaik��s style and Tsu Koon��s style differs (laughs). Keng Yaik��s anger - shows it. Tsu Koon��s anger - don��t show it.
So it's a personal thing - you are personally very angry with him?
Of course but not on behalf of the party. (It is like a) disappointed and angry old man who saw one of his sons go against the family.
You know what, you are making more noise than Tsu Koon so people think of you as the de facto Gerakan chief.
Over that issue, the critics would say, ��Keng Yaik you are retired, retire lah��. Okay lah maybe over party but this is personal. (Kah Choon) is one of those people I had groomed to be a successor. There are always three or four to succeed (the leaders).
The government does not appear to want to proceed with the mega-projects in . Can you comment on that?
Leave me out of all those political decisions. I��ve got bigger political considerations. I��m not going into that kind of participatory politics. Please, leave me out.
How long do you think Gerakan needs to win back?
10 years and beyond. Depends on how the Pakatan Rakyat performs. If they can perform better than us, then we can kiss our hopes goodbye. If Gerakan wants to maintain , the party must now be seen as leading the opposition.
There are 11 Umno state assemblymen as opposition, do you think they will be in the position to speak on behalf and represent all the multiracial rakyat of ? I hope they can but I don��t think they can. If that is the situation then somebody has to provide the opposition. Gerakan has to come up and provide that opposition role to take on Pakatan.
Say, what about giving Pakatan a chance in ?
Of course, I give them every chance. Don��t you think we gave them the best chance by instituting a smooth transition? Don��t you give us that credit and to Tsu Koon? Better than all the negative things they say that this is not a fair and transparent elections. Is it not fair and transparent anymore? Using the (indelible) ink or not, was it for the BN or did it help them to win? Come on lah.
I want (PKR de facto leader) Anwar (Ibrahim) to explain. Tell me is this fair and just or not? There was that demonstration by Bersih. Have you forgotten already? We got 'killed' by Bersih. Human rights and all that kind of rights. ISA (Internal Security Act) and OSA (Official Secrets Act) are not popular legislations but if you spend seven years in a place called , you will know that country needs the ISA when you see sectarian in the name of justice, human rights and democracy.
But you have been criticising Lim Guan Eng all these while, shouldn��t you give him a chance to perform?
Yes of course but I haven��t said anything bad about his administration. I am only criticising his political tactics, that��s all. Look you��re the CM of , you are more than a politician. Stop playing politics and get on with administering the state. I will tell him that. You are now voted in as CM, go on and behave like a CM and do your job rather than politicking at very turn of the corner.
He asked for an appointment with Tsu Koon. Tsu Koon is a gentleman but if it was me my red flag would already be up. Tsu Koon says, ��Sorry, I��m very busy in the first two weeks in April because I��m going around the country to meet with party people so I will see you after the second week of April��. Before the second week, Guan Eng came out and said he has been trying for months to get an appointment to see Tsu Koon. He is the champion, Tsu Koon is a rat.
Why? Because Tsu Koon stakes went up when he enabled the smooth transition and Guan Eng can��t stand it so he pressed him down. Come on, his father would not do it. His father will call a spade a spade but Guan Eng will twist and turn. So I did an ��Ivan the Terrible�� and I am criticising his politicking because I know more than that. I will go all out and whack him.
What are your views on people��s perception that Tsu Koon is a weak leader?
Nope, he��s not. I know him, he is a very strong leader but it is his demeanour, he��s a gentleman. He��s too much of an academic. I told him to turn himself into a street fighter.
You said Tsu Koon is a gentleman and not a street fighter. At the same time MCA is striving to be more vocal. Do you think all the credit is going to be taken by MCA?
We��re not competing against MCA lah, we��re competing against Pakatan. If Gerakan is thinking of competing with MCA, they are barking up the wrong tree. My advice is to forget about it.
If Pakatan asks you for help, would you assist?
Thank you very much, I am retired. I��ll sabotage them (laughs).
How is your health? You had a recent health scare?
Nothing is wrong with my health. I just have a little bit of diabetes.
Can you tell us about your memoirs?
I haven��t even read it. It is a party thing by a group of writers under the Gerakan think tank, Sedar who are doing a book on me and my thoughts just before I announced my retirement as the party president. This book has taken a year or so to write, I haven��t read it yet. They interviewed me.
I just glanced through the first 10 pages, it is not so much as my memoirs. It relates more about the events and my contribution during the development of events right up to independence, konfrontasi (confrontation with ), May 13 and my participation rather than my personal memoirs.
Do you plan to write your personal memoirs?
No, there has been two or three writers that have been egging me on in the past few years. I said wait lah. I��m one of those who doesn��t want to write but they say, ��Your thoughts need to be presented and let people be the judge��.
I��m going to be very unpopular because I��m calling all this a breath of fresh air which means I am all for it. But the rakyat knows better even if the politicians don��t know. I don��t know (what is) Pakatan��s agenda but they have created something among the rakyat but whether they can deliver is another thing. They may be the catalyst but are they the sustainable force? We will have to see.
But I can also see their pitfalls in front of it that it��s not a permanent structure. It could well be a one-off emotion which can become negative if you push too hard. You watch lah, things will unfold.
What is Gerakan��s relevance as a multiracial party and how will it survive compared to other such parties such as PKR after the elections?
We��ll see whether they can survive or not. If Anwar keeps on going like that being impatient in wanting to be PM, God help PKR. Money politics is not only in the BN. You get a ridiculous Indian DAP state assemblyman saying he has been offered RM65 million. He��s not even worth RM65,000. They will come up with all that kind of thing.
It��s only BN that buys over opposition, opposition does not buy over BN (laughs). Gone are those days lah. You think it is right to encourage katak (frog) politics. Anwar in his haste is going to make mistakes. Watch it coming, man. Is it really multiracial (politics)or opportunistic multiracialism?
What do you think about Anwar being PM?
I call him a chameleon and my view still stays. Although people say six years of incarceration can change a man. I think 60-year-olds will find it tough to change (laughs). Is he a chameleon? Is he a wolf in sheep��s clothing? You tell me. Whatever I say, others would say I��m sour grapes so better not say lah.
I also know Anwar and my one criticism of Anwar is that in his haste in wanting to become the PM whether he was in Umno or outside Umno now, that would be his downfall. He��ll never get it.
Do you think you��re a sour grape?
No lah. I know for a fact that my comments is that in his haste to be PM, that would be his downfall. Whether it is his age or his impatience, we don��t know. He��s 60 years old. Why not wait until he is 64 or 65? Do you think engineering a 30 MP defection is good for the country? You are encouraging cowboy politics.
What is the political future of your son, Si Pin?
First, you might not believe it, I discouraged him to come up to elective politics. My wife also discouraged him. She told him, ��You see your father for the last 36 years, he wasshardly at home and the things that he did. Can you do it?�� But his interest is there and he had decided. So it is up to him.
From this experience of this tsunami, I told him, ��You��ve got to assess yourself. Are you made up for it because it is a different ball game altogether? Your opponent is now given a chance to be a MP. He has no second thoughts of demonstrating and going to jail. In fact that is his profession. Can you match that?�� As a father I analysed and let him know. I said whatever you decide, your father will back you up.
Is he a chip off the old block?
Not really lah, totally different character altogether.
Are you proud of what he��s doing?
In a way yes. He makes his mind up and decides. But my wife says (to him), ��You are too gentleman and too protected from the environment of that kind of street politics. Where as your father started with street politics. So can you come down to your opponents level who is now a MP, can you match that?��
You��ve declined many interviews from us in the past years and you call us anti-government. Why?
Because I am in a position knowing very well you don��t want me to protect government policies and I am disciplined enough - even though I have my own views - not to criticise the government while I am in government. See my point? I try to avoid it.
But now I��m free even though my words are quite guarded, I still maintain that discipline that you may criticise the party but not the personalities involved. People want us to hammer each other that it is wrong, say it. Otherwise, we��re cowards. They know I speak up inside but outside I refrain from speaking. But I have a lot inside that can only be said at the appropriate time.
So now you have enough confidence in Malaysiakini to want to speak to us?
I��ve seen how you influenced voters so I better join the act (laughs). I thought you guys could only influence a few eggheads but now I know better lah. Obviously from Malaysiakini to bloggers - that new media (is doing more).
Blogging is the new past time for politicians. Will you become a blogger?
No lah it��s not easy. Although emotionally I would be suitable (to be a blogger) but I don��t sit hours and hours (in front of the) computer. I��m more of a traditional TV man. Astro has enough programmes to interest me. I hardly go online. In fact I��m computer illiterate. I had interest in it about seven-eight years ago when I was on the verge of chatting with my nephews and nieces. It was the time at KTAK (Energy, Water and Communications Ministry) that took away too much of my time, so I decided called it quits.
So you won��t be reading this interview then?
No, but they will download for me (smiles).
Daripada Abu Umarah iaitu al-Bara' bin 'Azib radhiallahu anhuma, katanya: "Kita semua diperintah oleh Rasulullah s.a.w. untuk melakukan tujuh perkara, iaitu meninjau orang sakit, mengikuti janazah, menentasymitkan orang yang bersin, menolong orang yang lemah, membantu orang yang teraniaya, meratakan salam dan melaksanakan sumpah."