PJ Selatan : Of two Lims, a Lee and a Hee

Posted on February 29, 2008



Farida sent this in. PJ Selatan registered voters, be ye guided.


Two Lims, a Lee and a Hee took the stage at a closed-door PJ Selatan election forum held on Wednesday night at the SFX church in PJ. 

Some of us non-parishioner voters slipped in nevertheless  to hear what  BN incumbents Dato’ Donald Lim Siang Chai   (MP, PJ Selatan), Datuk Dr Lim Thuang Seng (ADUN, Bukit Gasing) and hopefuls Hee Loy Sian  (PKR – Parliament) and Edward Lee Poh Lin (DAP – State) had to say.    

Lim No. 1, Donald Lim,   was easygoing when  explaining his manifesto and  deservedly received  boos for his  repetitive comparing of Malaysia to Myanmar. I hope he heard the shouts of “compare with Singapore-lah” that came from the back of the hall. What was pretty frustrating too was his frequent deflecting of questions to Lim No. 2. And when he did take the mike to answer questions, he failed to answer to the  point.  I guess when you are in the Ministry of Tourism, it’s hard not to take tours and detours.  

Well, of course Lim No. 1  touched on his pet subject, tourism, declaring how successful the ‘Malaysia, My Second Home’ project was, with people wanting to retire here in large numbers. But he didn’t help himself when he also shared that his two sisters-in-law had migrated.   

Lim No. 2 was intense in speech and intent on making known  what he had done for the people, which is fine when you are fighting to retain your State seat. He spoke of how hard he had worked, the funding he had obtained which ran into millions, his assisting residents on so many issues, etc. The man deserved the applause he received from an appreciative audience.  

Lim, however, failed to recognize the defining moment in his political career that presented itself soon after. When Maxwell Towers Residents Association chairman Victor Oorjitham strode purposefully up the stage amidst thunderous applause to get the two Lims to sign a Bukit Gasing pledge against further development, it could truly have been ADUN Lim’s shining moment. But he declined, as did the other Lim, and in so doing, showed that  for him, party interests came first and rakyat’s needs, second.  

And what of Hee? He fitted someone’s  tongue-in-cheek label of “Hee (He) who needs our help”  because after beginning the session with an explanation  of the PKR manifesto, Hee did not open his mouth again for the rest of  the session. I hope that was not because he did not have an opinion! Yes, the strong, silent types do have their share of admirers but a candidate who does not speak  isn’t going to help  the rakyat’s cause in Parliament.  

Hee did say, softly, “Please vote for me,” when I was on my way out and he was standing at the bottom of the stairs shaking hands and handing out party pamphlets.  “You’ve got to speak more,” I shot back. Hm! I should also have  added, “And louder! 

And what of Lee? You could say I’ve saved the best for last.  Lee was Mr Cool, sure of himself and his facts, smiling when ADUN Lim made snide remarks about his party’s manifesto, relaxed on stage and refusing to bite the bait thrown at him.  

He gave sound suggestions for the future of PJ, like “Why don’t you take development away from the city centre?” and asked, “Why are monsters like IJM allowed to happen?”  Most of all, Lee recognized where he stood and would stand in the scheme of things if he got elected. He said, “I believe a responsible ADUN and responsible councillors should meet up with people before plans are put up and displayed. Meet up before and not after the decisions are made and pushed down people’s throats. We have irresponsible councillors appointed. We should have elected councillors in the country. It’s about time people are empowered.”   

Finally, someone who recognizes that the rakyat is boss!   

Forum over but not the private discussions, nor the concern about who to vote for. Some of us stood outside the SFX grounds analyzing, commenting. Then a gentleman we had just got to know said something  that surely finds  echoes throughout the country. 

He said, with a lot of sadness in his voice, “Lim Thuang Seng has done a lot of good in PJ but I can’t vote for him. If I vote for him, I am giving a vote to UMNO.” 

This is the fallout when you persist in wielding your kris, when you continually resurrect the terror of May 13, when you insist on dominance, when you close one eye to the crises in the country, when you will not hear the heartbeat of a hurting nation.  

And so you will never know when a new morning has broken. Nor will you ever know when a new dream is birthed.