Lim Kit Siang (Chinese: 林吉祥; pinyin: Lín Jíxiáng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lîm Kiat-siâng; born 20 February 1941) is a Malaysian politician and party leader. He is a prominent leader of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), a component party of the current ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition in Malaysia. He had previously served as the Opposition Leader of Malaysia for 1 year (1973-1974), another 24 years (1975-1999) before assuming the role again for a four-year stint from 2004-2008.
Lim was educated from Lincoln's Inn in 1977. He is married with four children. Since 1978, he has authored 34 books. His son Lim Guan Eng is the current Finance Minister of Malaysia and a former Chief Minister of Penang.
Lim Kit Siang together with his son Lim Guan Eng first visited his ancestral home in China in Nov 2008 (reported in Chinapress). His ancestral village is located in Zhangzhou, Fujian province which makes him a Minnan native. He met his brother-in-law during the visit.
His birthplace was questioned by Pertubuhan Minda Sosial Prihatin (PMSP) president Ramesh Rao, who noticed Lim's Wikipedia page stated that he arrived in Malaya in 1957. Lim was infuriated when asked by the press, where he told the reporters to do their own research before asking him such question, adding that he felt sorry for the journalist. .
Member of Parliament
Lim first emerged as a politician when he was National Organising Secretary of the DAP from 1966 to 1969. At the same time he was also entrusted to edit the party's newspaper, the Rocket. The course of the political landscape changed when he was promoted to Secretary-General in 1969 after being acting Secretary-General for a short period during a turbulent period in the country's history. He considers himself a democratic socialist and is also a supporter of social democracy.
Lim was first elected as an MP for the Bandar Melaka seat in 1969. His election was initially held to be void, however, because the law prohibited an election agent who had previously failed to discharge his duties from standing for election in the future. The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdul Razak, moved a motion in Parliament to prevent Lim from serving as an MP, granting him instead a period of time to request a royal pardon from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King). After receiving the royal pardon, Lim was allowed to retain his seat.
Apart from 1999 to 2004, during which time he lost his seat due to the Chinese disenchantment with DAP entering into a political pact with the Islamist PAS for the general elections, Lim represented various constituencies in five states:
- Bandar Melaka (1969–1974)
- Kota Melaka (1974–1978)
- Petaling, Selangor (1978–1982)
- Kota Melaka (1982–1986)
- Tanjong, Penang (1986–1999)
- Ipoh Timor, Perak (2004–2013)
- Gelang Patah, Johor (2013-2018)
- Iskandar Puteri, Johor (2018–Present)
In addition, Lim Kit Siang has also served as the Opposition Leader of Malaysia three times over a span of 29 years. He was first elected Opposition Leader for an 18-month stint from January 1973 to July 1974. Next, he assumed the position in November 1975 for the next 24 years before he lost his parliamentary seat in the 1999 general elections. He served in the post once more for a four-year stint following the 2004 general elections until 2008.
He led the party in the capacity of Secretary-General until 1999 when he was elected party chairman, succeeding Chen Man Hin. In 2004, he refused re-appointment as the chairman and Karpal Singh was elected to replace him. Lim was then elected to an advisory role as the leader of a newly created body called the "Policy and Strategic Planning Commission". His son, Lim Guan Eng, is currently the Secretary-General of the party and was the Finance Minister of Malaysia.
After winning a parliamentary seat from Ipoh Timor during the 2004 general election, which also saw his party clinching the most seats of any opposition party, Lim became the Parliamentary Opposition Leader. In recent years the opposition have been campaigning for freer and fairer elections within Malaysia. On 10 November 2007, a mass rally, called the BERSIH Peaceful People's Gathering, took place in the Dataran Merdeka Kuala Lumpur at 3pm to demand for clean and fair elections. The gathering was organised by BERSIH, a coalition comprising political parties and civil society groups, and drew supporters from all over the country.
In the March 2008 general election, he was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor with a majority of 21,942 votes.
Lim contested and won in Gelang Patah against Barisan Nasional's heavyweight and former Menteri Besar of Johor Datuk Abdul Ghani in the 2013 general election. He called this election the "dirtiest ever GE in Malaysian history" and has called for a "clean" election.
Detention without trial
In 1969 Kit Siang was detained under the Internal Security Act for 18 months. Ten years later, in 1979, he was convicted of five charges under Official Secrets Act for exposing an inappropriate arms deal between the government and a Swiss company.
Lim was one of the people arrested during "Operation Lalang" in 1987. He spent 17 months in prison under the Internal Security Act, which allows for two years of detention without trial at the pleasure of the Home Minister. The two-year sentence may, in practice, be extended indefinitely without any avenues for due process or appeal.
Lim is a controversial figure for his strongly held views about Malaysian politics; some, such as Malay Malaysian writer Bakri Musa, have labelled him and fellow DAP leader Karpal Singh as racial provocateurs.
Boycott the appointment of Perak Menteri Besar
In 2008, after winning 12th general election, Lim Kit Siang issued an instruction for all DAP representatives to stay away from the swearing-in ceremony for Perak Menteri Besar, claiming that there was no DAP CEC mandate for PAS Menteri Besar in Perak. This caused the Perak MB swearing-in ceremony to be cancelled and only took place after Lim Kit Siang apologised and retracted his instruction.
Samy Vellu and the MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal
In 1992, Lim Kit Siang was suspended from Parliament for eight months for calling on the then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to present a White Paper in Parliament on the outcome of ACA re-opening of investigations into the MIC President and the Minister for Energy, Posts and Telecommunications, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu and the MAIKA Telekom shares hijacking scandal.
|1969||Bandar Malacca||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||18,562||60.80%||Koh Kim Leng (MCA)||7,346||24.06%||31,484||11,216||73.77%|
|Hasnul Abdul Hadi (PSRM)||4,621||15.14%|
|1974||Kota Melaka||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||17,664||51.93%||Loh Kee Peng (MCA)||13,460||39.57%||34,738||4,204||74.53%|
|Thum Kim Kui (PSRM)||2,165||6.36%|
|Lee Kou Ming (Pekemas)||726||2.13%|
|1978||Petaling||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||41,017||Yeoh Poh San (MCA)||24,263||90,611||16,754|
|1982||Kota Melaka||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||29,310||Chan Teck Chan (MCA)||24,459||54,914||4,851||78.56%|
|1986||Tanjong||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||27,611||63.43%||Koh Tsu Koon (Gerakan)||15,921||36.57%||44,463||11,690||73.32%|
|1990||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||30,954||69.66%||Boey Weng Keat (Gerakan)||13,485||30.34%||45,392||17,469||74.55%|
|1995||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||25,622||56.75%||Oh Keng Seng (Gerakan)||18,727||41.48%||45,971||6,895||72.57%|
|Khor Gark Kim (PBS)||800||1.77%|
|1999||Bukit Bendera||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||24,176||49.50%||Chia Kwang Chye (Gerakan)||24,280||49.72%||49,887||104||71.67%|
|2004||Ipoh Timor||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||28,851||59.80%||Thong Fah Chong (MCA)||19,077||39.54%||49,175||9,774||67.06%|
|2008||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||37,364||70.12%||Liew Mun Hon (MCA)||15,422||28.94%||53,994||21,942||70.45%|
|2013||Gelang Patah||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||54,284||57.74%||Abdul Ghani Othman (UMNO)||39,522||42.04%||95,071||14,762||89.08%|
|2018||Iskandar Puteri||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||80,726||58.4%||Jason Teoh Sew Hock (MCA)||35,862||25.9%||118,779||44,864||85.90%|
|1968||Serdang||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||5,928||Thuan Paik Phok (MCA)||6,535||607|
|Tan Han Swee (Gerakan)||1,330|
|1974||Kubu||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||4,746||K. Sivapunniam (MIC)||1,881||2,865||81.85%|
|Tan Giap Seng (Pekemas)||697|
|Thum Kui Kim (PSRM)||433|
|1978||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||12,739||4,649|
|1982||Bandar Hilir||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||3,384||Gan Boon Leong (MCA)||6,447||10,050||3,063||77.9%|
|Lee Ching Sen (IND)||44|
|1986||Kampong Kolam||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||8,900||63.07%||Tham Soon Seong (Gerakan)||5,211||36.93%||14,391||3,689||73.49%|
|1990||Padang Kota||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||6,317||52.96%||Lim Chong Eu (Gerakan)||5,611||47.04%||12,221||706||72.14%|
|1995||Tanjong Bunga||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||5,384||29.15%||Koh Tsu Koon (Gerakan)||13,087||70.85%||18,815||7,703||77.68%|
|1999||Kebun Bunga||Lim Kit Siang (DAP)||5,142||37.11%||Teng Hock Nan (Gerakan)||8,551||61.72%||14,195||3,409||68.67%|
- 1941: Born in Batu Pahat, Johor, British Malaya now Malaysia.
- 1966: National Organising Secretary of the DAP (1966 to 1969).
- 1969: Elected Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka (1969–1974);
- Promoted to Secretary-General of DAP;
- Detained under the Internal Security Act for 18 months.
- 1974: Elected Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka, and State Assemblyman for Kubu, Melaka (1974–1978).
- 1978: Elected Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya (1978–1982);
- 1979: Convicted of five charges under Official Secrets Act for exposing an arms deal between the government and a Swiss company.
- 1982: Elected Member of Parliament for Kota Melaka (1982–1986).
- 1986: Elected Member of Parliament for Tanjong, and State Assemblyman for Kampong Kolam, Penang (1986–1989).
- 1987: Detained under the Internal Security Act in Operation Lallang for 17 months.
- 1990: Elected State Assemblyman for Padang Kota, Penang (1990 -1995).
- 1999: Lost the election;
- Elected Chairman of DAP.
- 2004: Elected Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timur, led the opposition in parliament;
- Led the party's parliamentary caucus in the newly created position of Chairman of the Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission.
- 2008: Incumbent and re-elected as Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timur
- Post of Leader of Opposition succeeded by Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
- 2013: Contested in Gelang Patah Parliament Seat against Menteri Besar of Johor Abdul Ghani Othman, and won.
- 2018: Elected Member of Parliament for Iskandar Puteri
- Time Bombs in Malaysia (1978)
- DAP and Labour Issues (1978)
- Malaysia in the Dangerous 80s (1982)
- Constitutional Crisis in Malaysia (1983)
- This Day in the Last 18 Months (1983)
- The BMF Scandal (1984)
- Harris Salleh – Politics & Morality (1984)
- Human rights In Malaysia (1985)
- Malaysia – Crisis of Identity (1986)
- BMF – The Scandal Of Scandals (1986)
- The North-South Highway Scandal (1987)
- Prelude To Operation Lalang (1990)
- The Dirtiest General Elections In The History of Malaysia (1991)
- Selected Speeches & Press Statements – Vol. I (1991)
- Samy Vellu and MAIKA Scandal (1992)
- Battle For Democracy (1992)
- Vijandran Pornographic Videotape Scandal II (1992)
- The Bank Negara RM30 Billion Forex Losses Scandal (1994)
- The Highland Tower Tragedy (1994)
- Pendedahan Skandal Kewangan – Siapa Petualang FELCRA? (1994)
- Land Acquisition Act – Abuses, Injustices, Reform (1994)
- I.T. For All (1997)
- Cyberlaws in Malaysia (1997)
- Economic & Financial Crisis (1998)
- Political & Economic Crisis in Malaysia(1998)
- The Budget That Was Never Passed (1999)
- Constitutional Case of the Millennium (2000)
- BA & Islamic State (2001)
- No To 929 (2002)
- DAP (2004)