Tribute to Lim Kit Siang in the DAP Newsletter Rocket on the occasion of his 70th birthday on Sunday, 20th February 2011 by his eldest son and Chief Minister of Penang, YAB Lim Guan Eng:FEB 19 — How does one acclaim a man who is a living legend? Recognised by every Malaysian for his tireless advocacy for justice and freedom. Acknowledged by friend and foe as an indefatigable fighter for a better Malaysia. And admired universally for his unquestioned courage, incorruptibility and integrity.
Shakespeare wrote that some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em.
I want to touch on Kit’s greatness that have been rarely explored, his ability to inspire others to scale heights and even attain greatness. Kit led both by example and also by empathy with those around him. A word or his mere presence sufficed. Somehow we who followed him were greatly comforted that he would be there for us to pick us up when we fall or to help us if we were in trouble.
The affection and love party leaders and members have for him is genuine. We may not agree always with him but we trust his judgment and idealism implicity. Many joined DAP because of Kit, those who did not stayed on in DAP also because of Kit.
Our national chair Karpal would bristle at any slight on Kit and would express his anger at those who tried to denigrate Kit. Our national adviser Dr Chen Man Hin always advised us to seek Kit’s counsel. Karpal never failed to remind me that what we achieved today is due to Kit’s leadership during those tough times and that we must never forget Kit’s historic role in helping DAP to win power.
Of course, there were a few who fell by the wayside. Greatness is not easy to live with. After all, for one who had a difficult time growing up under a banyan tree, I can understand how some eyes can be dimmed when they fail to live up to the ideals.
This is why we appreciate Kit more. With maturity we realise how important Kit helped in blazing the path, keeping the flame burning and lifting up flagging hopes whether in the best or worst of times. Most of all, Kit kept all of us in the right path. That we must not only do the right things but must do things right.
Thank you Kit for inspiring DAP and us to greatness. Happy 70th birthday and may you be with us for many more years.
* Lim Guan Eng is DAP secretary-general, Penang Chief Minister and the eldest son of Lim Kit Siang