Honour Sdr. Karpal Singh by realising his aspirations for Justice, Integrity and Freedom


April 20, 2014

Let us therefore mourn Karpal Singh, and at the same time, honour him by celebrating his accomplishments and realising his aspirations for justice, integrity and freedom.–Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang

Let us honour Sdr. Karpal Singh by realising his aspirations for Justice, Integrity and Freedom

http://www.malaysiakini.com

EULOGY by Lim Guan Eng : We mourn the untimely and unexpected passing of DAP national chairperson and Member of Parliament for Bukit Gelugor, Saudara Karpal Singh.Karpal is an eight-term MP, for Bukit Gelugor and Jelutong, as well as a three- term state assemblyman in Penang, first elected in 1978.For 40 years, Karpal dedicated his life to the legal profession, fighting for justice, upholding our constitutional rights to freedom and human rights. His landmark cases are textbook references for lawyers.
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A devoted father and husband to his wife Gurmit Kaur, both of them brought up five children who are all successful practising lawyers, except for the youngest who is an accountant. The eldest, Jagdeep is at present a Penang state executive councillor, while the second eldest Gobind is the Member of Parliament for Puchong.

Karpal Singh was known as a man with principles and this was the very value that he imparted to his children and grandchildren.

Karpal Singh was known as a man with principles and this was the very value that he imparted to his children and grandchildren.

With his life suddenly cut short at 74 years, following the tragic accident on the highway on April 17, Penang has lost an upstanding and outstanding leader and lawyer. The rakyat lost a fearless “tiger” with an indomitable spirit who stood up for the poor, weak, defenceless and dispossessed.

Karpal’s fighting spirit stands out

But it his fighting spirit that stands out. You can detain Karpal physically, but you can never detain his spirit. I saw this myself, when we were both detained without trial under the now repealed Internal Security Act (ISA) in 1988, at the Kamunting Detention Camp. He suffered from severe spinal back pains, but refused to yield.

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This refusal to yield was evident even after Karpal suffered an unfortunate accident in 2005, which paralysed him waist-down. Not only did he overcome this paralysis, but he continued his brilliant legal and political career. Karpal became the first disabled person in Malaysia to be elected twice to Parliament, both times with huge majorities.

In seeking both rule of law and a better Malaysia, Karpal practised what he preached – refusing to take fees for cases of gross injustices, even from the famous VIPs like parliamentary Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang, and even from the poor Malay, Indian or Chinese.

His departure will leave an immense void, not only in his family’s lives, but also in those of all Malaysians whose lives have been inspired by his principled cause. To Karpal’s family, we share your grief in this time of bereavement with deepest sympathies and condolences.

Thomas Jefferson said that when the government fears the people, there is liberty; when the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Throughout his life, Karpal showed us how not to fear the government. Let us therefore mourn Karpal Singh, and at the same time, honour him by celebrating his accomplishments and realising his aspirations for justice, integrity and freedom.

Thank you, Karpal. Rest in Peace.

This is the State Eulogy presented by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng during the public funeral conducted by the Penang State Government for Karpal Singh at Dewan Sri Pinang at 10.15am on April 20.


LIM GUAN ENG is Chief Minister of Penang and DAP Secretary-General.

 

We are Malaysians, not Pendatangs, says my Friend, John Toh


January 24, 2013

We are Malaysians, not Pendatangs, says my Friend, John Toh

Din MericanLast week, and again today I met John Toh, my dear friend (both of us are septuagenarians waiting in the airport lounge, like our notorious octogenarian, for our turn to catch the next flight to eternity) at the Royal Selangor Golf Club.

John and I who are former corporate executives talked about what it was like growing up in the days when Tunku Abdul Rahman was our Prime Minister and how things got to this stage of degeneration in the affairs of state after 55 years of Independence. He and I attribute this collapse of our legislative, judicial and executive branches of government and our societal malaise to one man’s rise to power in 1981 and his 22 year+ administration. Others may disagree with us. It is their right to differ as much as it is our duty to speak up.

Tun Dr.Mahathir who started his administration with the slogan BERSIH, CEKAP danPerkasa's Patron AMANAH must take full responsibility for  our nation in crisis. We admired him very much because he fired our passion for Malaysia, but over the years, John and I have come to realise that he is  a man obsessed with power, who does not know when to let go.

Tun Dr. Mahathir has successfully brought down the Badawi administration in 2009, and is now working towards to the political demise of our present Prime Minister. I get the impression from his words and actions that he thinks he is still indispensable.

You and I know no one is indispensable. Each generation will have its own leaders and it is the duty of our generation–and certainly mine and John’s–to ensure that the present leaders both in the government and the Opposition administer our country properly and not badger them at every opportunity. We must guide, cajole, encourage, and praise them if they do the right things and do them right. Critique them, if we must, but do that constructively.

Recently, Tun Dr. Mahathir went over the top when he tried to divert our attention from his granting of Identity cards to both Filipinos and Indonesian illegals to enable the vote in the 1994 Sabah state elections by blaming Tunku Abdul Rahman. He said that the Tunku gave citizenships to Chinese, Indians and others. The Tun forgets that it was part of our Independence deal with the British colonial government. It is nasty for Tun Dr. Mahathir to accuse a man who is no longer around to defend himself. Lawyer Tommy Thomas has done us a service when he wrote an article on the subject, which I put on this blog.

Let me now post John’s e-mail to me. I promised him that I will share his concerns with all of you. Thank you, John. You and I cannot give up. As I said to you today, we both are heavily invested in Malaysia. Our children are luckier than us because we have given them good education to enable them to compete anywhere in the world. We cannot now abandon our dream of a united Malaysia. Why? We know we can change things around. So,we must speak against the likes of Ibrahim Ali and others like him. Being indifferent is no longer an option. Elegant silence?, well, leave that to Tun Musa Hitam.–Din Merican

_____________________

Kuala Lumpur, January 24, 2013

Dear Dato’ Din,

It was most gratifying to meet up with you after a lapse of over 40 years. A lot has happened to our respective lives  in the intervening period but I am glad to note that the fire in your belly is still burning bright. Although I was unable to meet you until now, I have been following your blog faithfully and have kept up with the issues you saw fit to discuss in the public domain especially for those who lack media support and in the process denied the laws of natural justice.For this I must salute you in your fearless crusade to help those who are oppressed.

Co-incidentally, a very important and current issue which I find disturbing is the remark by Tun Dr. M regarding Tunku’s act of granting Citizenship to over 1 million pendatangs soon after Merdeka. While I myself am a 3rd generation Malaysian born and a humble subject of HRH Sultan of Selangor which I became in 1954 by Operation of Law I still feel alienated by such references to Pendatangs and I reflect on Tunku’s action and ask what is the rationale and the end result of the “gift of Citizenship” by our beloved Tunku.

I must firstly confess that I am not a Member of any political Party or NGO but just one of those who happen to love our Nation and any action that cause dissension among the people naturally saddens me. I am also not an economist or political scientist.

After clearing the air, permit me to give you my layman’s view on what prompted Tunku to do what he did and what are the consequences. By the time we gained Independence, Malaysia had the good fortune to experience a number of “booms”. First was the rubber boom in late 1940′s but development of synthetic rubber caused the rubber industry to lose its bounce in less that 2 decades. Then we had the tin boom followed by the timber boom and in early or mid 1970′s we also experienced the oil and gas boom. With the huge deforestation of timber land, entrepreneurs began to plant oil palm over the logged over land and palm oil became the next boom factor what lasts to this day.

My point is this. Except for the oil and gas sector, all the other booms that occurred required substantial local labor and business resources and also the support of good transport and communication infrastructure,which brings to mind the venerable institutions we had. At that time, Malayan Railways ran efficiently and profitably but not anymore. Telecoms, Central Electricity Board, PWD, Postal Services, Waterworks Department. were managed by many Pendatangs and all were able to render reliable services to the people but not anymore.

These days we can’t even drink water straight from the taps like we used to. So our beloved Tunku, in his wisdom saw that in order to develop the country, we need to have capable and dedicated workers regardless of where they came from and if anybody were to ask me how Malaysia came to be what it is today, I will tell them it is due to Tunku’s foresight.

In comparison, let us look at Sabah. At the point of joining the Federation in 1963, Sabah was one of the richest if not the richest State in Malaysia. Besides oil and gas, Sabah had  huge timber resources plus minerals and its rich volcanic soil will let anything you put into the ground grow. Sadly, today, Sabah is one of the poorest State and most of its resources have been depleted.

I am not competent enough to allude this situation to the influx of illegal immigrants into the State but from a layman’s perspective, I cannot totally dispel this notion but I will leave it to the qualified experts to draw their own conclusion.

Hope you won’t find the above overbearing. Lets meet soon for a meal together. Best wishes to you and Family and May God Bless you in your endeavors.

John.

Pride comes before Destruction


January 22, 2013

Pride comes before Destruction

by Mariam Mokhtar (01-21-13)@http://www.malaysiakini.com

According to one Sabahan, there is so much crime in Sabah that squatter houses, too, have grilles on the doors and windows, and that these cost more than the houses themselves.

For four decades, ordinary Sahabans have been angered by illegal immigration and the social and economic problems associated with it, such as a shortage of housing, a lack of employment and educational opportunities, high levels of crime and massive overcrowding.

Despite the limited terms of reference of the Royal Commission of  Inquiry (RCI) ordered by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, the RCI has revealed disturbing aspects of former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s bid to remain in power. Soon, the RCI will be overshadowed by the side-show that Mahathir may have helped arrange.

NONEThe star-performer is the self-styled motivational guru Sharifah Zohra Jabeen Syed Shah Miskin (right). One wonders if Zohra has replaced the virgin queen, Ummi Hafilda Ali, who used to come to Mahathir’s aid and helped distract the rakyat with golden showers and salacious revelations.

There was once a time when the government would detain reporters and send them to Kamunting, ostensibly for their own safety. Zohra was denied this privilege because Najib has abolished the ISA. Last week, Zohra bowed to overwhelming pressure and heeded Police advice to cancel her seminar on ‘How to Make Your First Million’.

I can give you the gist of the RM200 per person seminar. It is an open secret that the first million is easy to make; join UMNO, then claw your way to the top by backstabbing and badmouthing everyone who stands in your way.

There are tell-tale signs that that you have “made it” and joined the UMNO elite. In the election canvassing that takes place every five years, UMNO delivers bags of rice to the masses, but the UMNO elite receive Birkin bags.

Households that qualify are given a one-off payment of RM500 (and possibly another RM500 if the situation demands it) but the elite get several million ringgit in hard cash, stuffed in suitcases.

The poor may get a discount on their smartphones, but the elite are given the contracts to sell the phones.  The rakyat may be given tins of powdered milk as freebies during canvassing, but elite members are given millions of ringgit to buy a few cows and many luxury condominiums.

Zohra has not much in humility

A video of the shameful conduct of Zohra emerged a month after the incident. Despite the public opprobrium which she received, Zohra showed everyone that she is miskin by name and miskin (poor) by nature.

She lacks the intellect to reflect on her poor behaviour. She did not have much in the way of humility. She displayed an inferior understanding of people’s feelings and she was a poor communicator.

Instead of eating the humble pie, she has become more arrogant and haughty. Instead of acknowledging that she was tactless and rude, Zohra issued a statement from her hiding place, in which she declined to apologise but “forgave” KS Bawani, the student who suffered Zohra’s acid tongue.

This incident should have been a temporary frenzy and yes, we are angry because it is obvious that Zohra’s behaviour is unacceptable. Some UMNO leaders and members of the BN coalition have distanced themselves from her, but it appears that Zohra is determined to prolong this crisis into a full blown affair.

The reason must be to take our attention away from Mahathir’s alleged crimes in the Sabah votes for citizenship fiasco.  Just a few months ago, Najib outlined the terms of reference for the Sabah RCI. Many have criticised the RCI for its limited scope and because its findings will not be revealed before GE13.

NONEIf the RCI proves that UMNO won elections by fraud and cheating, it brings into doubt the legitimacy of this and previous UMNO-BN governments. By cheating, UMNO has disenfranchised the people of Malaysia and forced us to wait until GE13 to gain our choice of ruling party.

Proof of fraud and cheating will confirm that UMNO-BN should not be the current government. Will the RCI be another whitewash or will its members seek to save their own skins, by leaving the sinking UMNO ship?

As the extent of Mahathir’s Project IC is slowly being revealed, the importance of this RCI is increasing.

Mahathir won’t go without a fight

Just as Mahathir thought he had undermined Najib, his hopes were damned. So he tried to deflect some of the rakyat’s abhorrence of Project IC, by tarnishing the name of Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Father of Independence.

Will the RCI bring about the fall of Mahathir? No. He may have cut a pathetic figure recently but he will not go without a fight. Although the rakyat have a strong case against him, Mahathir has too many people in his pockets. They owe their success to him and he will call in his favours.

The rakyat is leading the Opposition fight to topple the Mahathir regime, but their wish will not be fulfilled, just yet.

Both Najib and Mahathir are locked in a deadly battle. Najib cannot bring about Mahathir’s fall, because to do so would bring the fight right to his front door. He, like Mahathir, has a dirty past. The best Najib can do is to hold out for a few more months.

If Najib were to destroy Mahathir now, it would start a media frenzy, which would eclipse the one Zohra is facing today.  Zohra’s gaffe has caused quite a stir. She tried to put on a brave face and refused to apologise, thus avoiding an admission of guilt. Ironically, her intransigence has damaged UMNO by rallying the rakyat to vote for the Opposition.

Business-Politics Nexus: DAP reaffirms its stand against the Foochow Cousins in Perak


January 3, 2013

Business-Politics Nexus: DAP reaffirms its stand against the Foochow cousins in Perak

by Terence Netto@http://www.malaysiakini.com

COMMENT: It’s been bruited about on the grapevine that the DAP has drawn a line against its elected legislators getting involved in business.

The issue came up when it was revealed in the Perak State Assembly last month that the party’s state chief, Ngeh Koo Ham, and his cousin, Nga Kar Ming, have landed interests in Kelantan.

Word has it that the duo would shortly announce a move that should see them divested of their holdings in Kelantan which had qualified them to be members of the landed gentry, a dubious distinction for politicos from a party of social democratic aspirations.

NONEThe business-politics nexus is the widely acknowledged cause of UMNO-BN’s decline as a political power. The corruption and nepotism that this nexus has engendered has left the once powerful coalition too enfeebled to implement the reforms deemed necessary to regain its popularity among voters.

Once this nexus is forged, it’s fiendishly difficult to eradicate. Unchecked, its tendrils penetrate to every corner of the polity and soon enough the conglomerate that holds power is in a freefall to disaster.

The DAP, poised with the rest of the Opposition Pakatan Rakyat to take federal power in the country at the coming polls, would be loath to see this canker in the ruling coalition replicated by some among the party’s Perak power brokers.

The question now arises whether the move by Ngeh and Nga in being involved in the business of plantation agriculture was due to a lapse of judgement or was the result of a mindset in which the acquisition of political power is prelude to the accumulation of wealth.

Fong Po Kuan troubled

For some years now, the DAP has been at a loss as to how to deal with the Foochow cousins who rule the roost in a state where the party has almost 200 branches and 17 state assembly representatives, figures that provide the contingent with formidable clout at both internal party elections and in state coalition politics.

Word of their overbearing nature started to spread from the time DAP’s MP for Batu Gajah, Fong Po Kuan, intimated that she was not willing to re-contest her seat at the 12th general election in 2008.

Though she was publicly discreet about the reasons for her reluctance, speculation arose that it was due to her dismay at the machinations of Ngeh and Nga, who combine like a tag team to wrestle away any threat from quarters they view as rivals to their grip on party affairs in Perak.

fong po kuan and chong chien jen walkout suspended from parliament 061108 03The feisty Fong (left)reconsidered her reluctance and chose to stand again but elected to remain distant from the state party affairs.

She retained her Batu Gajah seat in the 2008 general election and went on to become the DAP’s most regular attendee whenever Parliament is in session.

This is a feature of no mean worth given that at one time, when the DAP-backed Pakatan Rakyat held state government reins in Perak, the party had up to nine legislators serving in state executive council positions while being federal reps which compelled a juggling of responsibilities regarded as almost impossible to bring off.

Assiduity in the execution of a single role was Fong’s response to the schemes of the territorial barons in Perak. Because Fong chose not to publicly bleat about her discontent with Ngeh and Nga, observers could only speculate about the way the cousins operate.

When the DAP state assemblyperson for Jelapang crossed the aisle in February 2009, a desertion that brought the 11-month Pakatan government of Perak to an end, she muttered about the conduct of the cousins as having prompted her to leave.

However, the word of a quisling is seldom credible and so what blame there was to be apportioned for her desertion could not be fixed on the cousins.

One candidate one seat’ policy

But matters were different when a short while later the party’s MP for Ipoh Barat and national vice-chairperson M Kulasegaran verged on a decision to quit his posts when tensions from rivalry between state factions got to him.

dap convention shah alam 080112 nga kulasegaranIt took a late night trip to Ipoh by the party’s national leaders to persuade Kulasegaran (far right) to stay put.

The latter’s grouse: party branches with his supporters were being deregistered while new ones, stacked with the cousins’ proxies, were being opened.

The party’s principal Indian leader who have worked hard to build up Indian support for a Chinese-dominated party seeking to widen its support base could not help but cry foul, particularly when the cousins enticed Indian leaders Kulasegaran had groomed to ditch him.

Against this backdrop the call sounded from national chairperson Karpal Singh for a ‘one candidate one seat’ policy that he said the party should adopt to widen opportunities for DAP members to be elected to state and federal legislatures. The Perak cousins were both state assembly representatives and MPs.

Soon anti-DAP blogs began to circulate stories of the business interests of the cousins, one item being Nga wife’s interest in a tailoring concern that was said to have had a contract to suit Ipoh City councillors when Pakatan was in charge of the state government.

But nothing more damaging to DAP’s image as a party set against corruption and cronyism emerged than when news broke last month that Ngeh and Nga had proprietary interests in a huge estate, slated for palm oil cultivation, in Gua Musang, Kelantan.

Casual observers of parliamentary proceedings in the month of October recalled that both Ngeh and Nga held forth on the oil palm industry in Budget debates, without declaring that they had a pecuniary interest in the matter.

This gave retrospective justification to all the earlier murmurings against the cousins in Perak. The national leadership of the party knew they must act: they have chosen to give the thumbs down to any attempt by their elected representatives to mix politics with business.

In the next days, DAP’s Perak cousins will have to tell of how they have trimmed their business sails to accord with the party’s directive.

Happy New Year 2013


January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013: “A House divided against itself cannot stand.”      

Dr Kamsiah and I wish you all a great 2013. This is an Election Year in Malaysia and we think by April or May we will have elected a new government. After that Dr. Kamsiah and I hope that we can focus on moving our country forward, each of us doing our part in nation building.

Happy New Year3

Between now and polling day, we will be served with all kinds of stories, exposes, and disclosures. Temperatures will rise as each side in the political contest  tries to outdo the other with promises and goodies. It is in the nature of adversarial politics because politicians are interested in winning elections. Power is very seductive.

As citizens, we need to put things in perspective.  We must keep our cool, vote wisely, making sure each vote irrespective of our station in life counts, and ensure that there will always be unity, peace and stability in our country. To quote American President Abraham, “A house divided against itself cannot stand”. May God Bless you and your families.–Dr Kamsiah and Din Merican

Respecting the Dignity of Difference

Lim Guan Eng’s Institutional Economics 101: Good Governance


April 15, 2012

Lim Guan Eng’s Institutional Economics 101: Good Governance

by Terence Netto@www.malaysiakini.com

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng gave a little homily on institutional economics on the occasion of state government awards to top students and schools in the 2011 STPM examination.

Lim told his audience of proud parents and top-scoring students at the award ceremony in Komtar today that the Pakatan Rakyat government’s clean and effective administration conduced to higher rewards for its citizens.

As example, he cited the RM500 rewards to the 50 top-finishing students in the state in the STMP examination of last year, up from RM400 given to top scorers in 2010.

The monetary awards were inaugurated in 2009, a year after the DAP-led Pakatan government came to power in Penang.“The reason we can give more this year is simple: we run a government that is not corrupt,” he said.

“Because our governance is competent, accountable and transparent, we can show a surplus of income over expenditure enabling us to plough back progressively higher benefits to the people,” he explained.

Lim went on to list the escalating range of recipients of annual state government handouts to Penang residents, from senior citizens (60 years and above), the bereaved, university entrants, and year one and four schoolchildren, and year one and four secondary school students.

He said that it was not for nothing that Penang was the top state in terms of gaining the highest quantum of manufacturing investment among Malaysian states for the years 2010 and 2011.

“We have gained that ranking because of our clean governance and we intend to stay that way to make Penang a clean, green, healthy and safe place for people to invest, work and live,” he claimed.

Malaysian students fail to enter Harvard

Lim derided the view that the education system in Malaysia was superior to ones in United Kingdom and Germany and noted as reproof the failure of Malaysian students to gain entry into Harvard University for the second year in succession.

He said that Thailand and Vietnam had bested Malaysia in this respect, sending more students to the world’s premier tertiary institution.

He urged the top-scoring STPM students, whom he envisaged would proceed to the study of medicine, law, engineering, accountancy and architecture, to pursuits that would require a multidisciplinary orientation.

To fortify his point, he cited US President Barack Obama’s nominee for the post of World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim, a medical doctor who went on to head the World Health Organisation HIV/AIDS programme and to co-found Partners in Health, an NGO that did good work combating the scourge of tuberculosis in the Third World. Jim went on to be President of Dartmouth College, a prestigious liberal arts academic institution in the US.

Lim told students that the “world was their oyster” and that they should steer by a compass that would lead them to be trailblazers, more than just successful professionals.

“After your have qualified, come back to Penang to make this state a green, clean, healthy and safe place in which to live and work,” advised Guan Eng.

The bulk of the 50 recipients who all obtained 4As in the STPM were from Jit Sin Secondary in Bukit Mertajam, the top scoring school in the state, and from Chung Ling chapters in Georgetown and Butterworth.

Zairil Khir Johari is Political Secretary to DAP’s Secretary-General


February 23, 2011

 

Zairil Khir Johari is Political Secretary to DAP’s Secretary-General

by Clara Chooi @http://www.malaysiakini.com

Penang Chief Minister and DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng has named newcomer Zairil Khir Johari, the son of the prominent UMNO stalwart, as his political secretary in what appears to be the DAP’s latest attempt to shake off its anti-Malay stigma.

The son of the late Tan Sri Mohd Khir Johari is the first Malay to be appointed political secretary to the Secretary-General in the history of DAP, which was founded in 1966. He joined DAP last year.

The Penang Chief Minister, however, stressed that Zairil’s appointment, effective today, had been based on the latter’s attributes and qualifications and not on his race.

The fact that Zairil is a Malay, he added, was “purely coincidence”.“It is not because he is a Malay but because he is a leaned individual. He can probably even teach me things that I do not know,” he told a press conference today.

The Bagan MP added that a person’s level of competency is “race-blind” and not “race-specific”.

“Zairil is an entrepreneur, an idealist and a reformist — a truly dangerous combination. The fact that he is all that makes him fit the bill for our requirements… it is by coincidence that he is a Malay. With his extensive experience and positive contributions to the party, we feel that he can help us to bring real change,” he said.

Lim, however, admitted that DAP’s popularity among the Malays could improve with Zairil’s involvement in the party, but stressed that support should be attracted based on a community’s needs.

“We do not want to attract support based on race but on needs. And if the Malays have the greatest needs, then they should be the main beneficiaries.Zairil happens to be a Malay but it is about his attributes and qualifications first and only then, as a coincidence, our Malay votes may improve,” he reasoned.

Lim said that the “anti-Malay” tag on DAP had been created due to the success of Barisan Nasional’s political propaganda.

“We have never been so… it has always been the success of the propaganda of BN that we are anti-Malay or anti-Muslim so we have to break and fight this.

“I do not want to concede that we are a racist party like UMNO. No, we are open to all Malaysians and of course if Zairil or anyone else can help us to breach the gap, then that would be a step in the right direction,” he said.

Lim however admitted that Zairil has only been a DAP member for about six months, but insisted that Zairul with his qualifications could assist the party well.

“We want to reach out to all, including the Ibans, Kadazans, Chinese, Indians, Malays. It is not about race or ethnicities.

“We talk about the lowest 40 per cent of household income earners, most of whom are Malays. We want to focus on this group,” he said.

Lim added that DAP’s Malay support had improved since Elections 2008 but noted that it was difficult to ascertain if this could help Pakatan Rakyat affect significant changes in the government.

“But if you look at our support, it is much more now than before 2008. In Penang where I am CM, the Malays can see how we have made Penang cleaner and greener,” he said.

Zairil later told the media that he chose to join DAP as he had wanted to be on the side of “what I feel is right”. “When I first wanted to get involved in politics, I spoke to many people. I made up my mind that I want to be with what I feel is right which is PR,” he said.

He added that Lim had already given him many duties and pledged that he would work “25 hours a day” for the party.

“Any work that YAB Lim gives out is not easy because he is a very hardworking boss who works 24 hours a day. So we have to work 25 hours a day,” he said. Zairil will serve Lim as political secretary in the latter’s position as DAP secretary-general and will be based at the party  headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

The 28-year-old is a Master of Arts graduate in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London. He also has a degree in Information Systems Engineering and was an entrepreneur in the chocolate industry, where he introduced the first full-coloured chocolate printing technology in Malaysia.

The father of one comes from a family of nine siblings including himself and his father was formerly the education minister who served three prime ministers including the late Tunku Abdul Rahman, the country’s first prime minister.