KOTA KINABALU: The Secretary-General of a newly-formed formal opposition alliance fears that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng may have been persuaded by the “self-serving” rhetoric and polemics emanating from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition to stay on in his post against his better judgment.
“Guan Eng should keep the DAP, the Opposition and the people in mind,” pleaded Gabungan Rakyat SakSaMa (GRS) Secretary-General Jack Giau in a telephone interview. “He should turn a deaf ear to the hypocritical din from BN.
“The emphasis should be on staging a strategic retreat. Let the Penang Assembly pick a new Chief Minister by secret ballot.”
Falling back on military strategy, Giau who heads GRS member Pertubuhan Perpaduan Rakyat Kebangsaan Sabah, urged the Penang Chief Minister to return to his roots as DAP Secretary-General and remember the purpose of the bayonet. “A thrust of the bayonet . . . if you touch cold steel, retract. If you feel warm flesh, thrust it further.”
Guan Eng, he explained, has touched “cold steel” with two corruption charges hanging over his head like “the Sword of Damocles”. “Instead of letting the sword plunge into his skull, he should strike a strategic retreat.”
“He can live to fight another day. Don’t let the corruption charges bog down the DAP and the Opposition as happened to Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) for many years from 1991 to 2005.”
Giau, pointing to jailed de facto Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim as an example, stressed that there’s no shame, no humiliation, in retreating. “A man is judged not by the manner in which he falls.”
“A man is judged by the manner in which he rises every time he falls.”
If Guan Eng is to rise again, continued the GRS Secretary-General, he must know which path he must take in facing the corruption charges that he faces. “He can either take the path well-travelled, like that done by then Sabah Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan in 1991 when he faced three corruption charges, or take the path not that well-travelled.”
The path not that well-travelled, urged Giau, was to strike a strategic retreat. “If Pairin had done that in 1991, his PBS would still be in power today in Sabah, although perhaps not under him.”
The bottomline, continued the Sabahan, is that Guan Eng must not see the corruption charges that he faces as being all about him. “It’s simplistic to see it as a political conspiracy to destroy his political career.”
“It’s in fact a political conspiracy to destroy the Opposition, the DAP in particular.”
Giau expressed confidence that DAP will be able to ride the storm that it’s going through as it has done many times since Malaysia in 1963, and particularly in 1965 and 1969. “1965 was the year Singapore exited the Federation and the PAP in Malaya became DAP.”
“In 1969, the DAP won half of the seats in Selangor and did well in Perak and Penang but the formation of BN set the clock back until 2008.”