Malaysia

Kit Siang slams MCA for surrendering Gelang Patah to Umno

By Opalyn Mok
April 15, 2013

GEORGE TOWN, April 15 — DAP leader Lim Kit Siang slammed the MCA for giving up its stronghold seat of Gelang Patah in Johor to another Barisan Nasional component party, Umno, and demanded that the party surrender 58 more seats to Umno.

“Gelang Patah had been a historic MCA fortress with a voter racial make-up of 53 per cent Chinese, 34 per cent Malays and 12 per cent Indians.

“So if MCA surrenders this seat to Umno, then it will have to surrender all its other seats where the Chinese voter percentage is less than 52 per cent,” the party adviser told a press conference at the DAP headquarters here today.

Lim (picture) said the MCA should surrender its 25 parliamentary and 33 state assembly seats that have 52 per cent or less Chinese voters.

“Is MCA willing to surrender these seats to Umno? Malaysians are entitled to an explanation from the MCA leadership,” he said.

The 72-year-old Lim is leading the DAP attack in Johor by contesting the Gelang Patah seat instead of defending his Ipoh Timur parliamentary seat where he had won by a strong 21,000-vote majority in Election 2008.

Instead of fielding a “big gun” from its own party against Lim, the MCA has given way to Umno and Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman is expected to contest against Lim.

The 66-year-old mentri besar is deemed to be the best bet against the DAP stalwart especially when the ruling coalition is depending on the Malay support to win the May 5 general election.

Labelling Gelang Patah as his “life-and-death” political battle, Lim said this time he will not only be fighting a four-term MB but also Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“I had expected to meet a MCA ‘big gun’ like MCA president  Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and had not expected to meet any ‘big gun’ from Umno at all,” he said.

He said this would be the first time in Malaysian electoral history where an opposition candidate has to face four Umno heavyweights “all at one go”.

“Whether I survive or perish, whether Gelang Patah will end my political career I do not know but I shall not withdraw from the Battle for Gelang Patah for it has become the Battle of Johor and even the Battle of Malaysia,” he said.

BN retained the Gelang Patah seat with a 9,000-vote majority in Election 2008 which is a decline from the 31,666-vote majority in 2004. The opposition has never won this seat in the past 56 years.

More than 13.3 million voters are expected to cast their votes for 222 federal and 505 state seats this May 5. Sarawak had its state elections in 2011.