AT one glance, one may think that the two generations of renowned personalities in the Malaysian political circle are seeking nothing more than ‘cheap publicity” to promote the biography of the senior politician.
This is why people say a photograph can tell a thousand words yet it can also be highly deceptive, for it tends to prompt people to jump into making wrong assumptions unless one is fully aware of the context in which the photograph is taken.
Thankfully, the younger politician whom Malaysians identify as Lim Guan Eng explained in the caption of his Facebook post that both his father and he were not on a book promotion campaign but chanced upon the latter’s biography in the midst of their bonding session.
“Took my dad to the new BookXcess bookstore-cum-cafe in Mid-Valley KL.” the DAP chairman penned on his Facebook post. “He enjoyed browsing through and was pleasantly surprised to find his own biography for sale. Really worth a read! Highly recommended (with a smiley icon).”
Looking deeper into Guan Eng’s three-paragraph caption, one can only assume how worthwhile the bonding session meant to both father and son who have a 20-year age gap between them.
Moreover, the timeliness factor is second to none given that the octogenarian politician will turn 82 tomorrow (Feb 20).
Working beyond retirement
Even as he has supposedly taken a backseat by retiring as the DAP’s chairman with the baton passed to his son, the father Kit Siang has found it difficult ‘to sit still’ as evident by his active blogging whereby he continues to articulate constructive criticism over a host of political issues that pose a setback to Malaysia’s quest to be a developed nation.
As for Guan Eng, it can be imagined that he is kept on his toes by his responsibility as the Bagan MP in mainland Penang even though this would not be as hectic as in the aftermath of the 14th General Election (GE14) when he assumed the duty of finance minister under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration, not to mention his party role as secretary-general which he held for 17 years till his appointment as national chairman on March 20 last year.
Or during his tenure as the chief minister of Penang from 2008 to 2018 during which he was the three-term state assemblyman of Air Putih and the MP for Bagan as well as having to oversee the day-to-day running of DAP by virtue of being the party’s secretary-general.
Fiercely committed to their respective struggles for a peaceful and prosperous social democracy, one can imagine how the senior and junior Lim who are both lawyers and accountants by qualification, build their personal beliefs that revolve around Malaysia’s domestic political affairs.
Unbeknownst to many younger Malaysians, the Batu Pahat-born elder Lim was Malaysia’s longest-serving opposition leader, holding the position for a total of 29 years on three separate occasions.
Having stayed strong through thick and thin and having been put behind bars on one or two occasions in their political career in their quest to uphold their political beliefs, both the elderly and junior Lim do deserve some bonding time together.
As for the uninitiated, “Malaysian First” which is the title of Kit Siang’s biography which encapsulates his 57-year political struggles since DAP’s founding in 1966 was authored by Malaysian actor, dramatist, poet and veteran journalist Kee Thuan Chye and launched on Nov 9, 2021. The 400-page book is now in its second print. – Feb 19, 2023