August 28, 2012
Lim Guan Eng: We work for the People, not for Titles
by Nigel Aw@http://www.malaysiakini.com
DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng stressed today DAP is not in politics to pursue datukship, but declined to tread into politically-sensitive waters on whether the party will change its unwritten rule of not accepting such titles.
“This is a dangerous question. If I answer we will accept, it will appear as if we are in for titles; if I say will not accept, we will appear as if we are disrespectful to the royalty,” Lim told a press conference at the DAP headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
He was responding to Sekinchan state assemblyperson Ng Suee Lim’s suggestion that party leaders accept such titles from the Malay rulers to prevent the party from being labelled as anti-Malay and anti-royalty.
Lim said the matter did not arise as no title was being offered to DAP representatives at present. “I don’t think there is any issue about us not respecting the royalty. The Sultans will need to award them first, so the matter does not arise,” he said.
Lim added that the party’s main purpose would still remain serving the rakyat, rather than for titles. “I am comfortable being called saudara (mister). Even after I retire, I will be comfortable with it,” said Lim, who is also Penang Chief Minister.
The issue of state titles arose in late 2010 after speculation that DAP’s Sungai Pinang state assemblyperson Teng Chang Khim was about to be granted a datukship. However, the party did not oppose Teng’s acceptance of the title after it was revealed that the award came directly from the recommendation of the Selangor palace for his role as Selangor state legislative assembly speaker.
‘Tokong matter has passed’
Lim also declined to comment on being called a tokong (deity) by Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Mansor Othman, stating that the matter had passed. He said DAP-PKR negotiations on seat allocation in Penang were not a “big issue”, but declined to speak further on this.
Mansor had allegedly uttered the word tokong in reference to Lim during an informal PKR meeting which, among others, discussed the seat allocation in Penang for the next general election.
On another matter, Lim said it was yet to be seen whether MCA’s relentless attack on DAP and PAS over hudud would have any impact on the electorate. “Let’s wait and see when the general election comes,” he said.
Among the top leadership of PAS and DAP, Lim added, it was still business as usual despite the hudud controversy.