Lim Kit Siang must have regretted that his candidacy in Gelang Patah was announced rather hastily with the hope of making inroads in Johor at the coming general election.
Pakatan Rakyat’s leader Anwar Ibrahim must have thought that it would have placed the DAP veteran much ahead of others by naming the 72-year-old candidate even before the dissolution of Parliament.
Now he is caught with his pants down for making the hasty decision, thinking that Kit Siang could spearhead the charge to infiltrate Johor with much vigour and impact.
It is now confirmed that Johor Mentri Besar Abdul Ghani Othman will battle it out with Kit for the parliamentary seat to woo the 106,864 constituents.
With Abdul Ghani’s down-to-earth persona and being well received by Muslims and non-Muslim alike, he stands a very good chance of retaining the BN seat, formerly held by MCA’s Tan Ah Eng.
Being a four-term MB, Abdul Ghani has an edge over Kit Siang. The Mentri Besar is a known figure in the state while Kit Siang can be considered a parachute candidate of sort.
From the looks of it, it may well be Kit Siang’s waterloo. His nomadic record of contesting in four different states of the total of 10 general elections does not auger well.
It points to an interrupted and inconsistent service record. It also points to him running away from his constituents for his failure in serving them well.
The premature announcement is a miscalculation by Pakatan, thinking that they would get a head start.
Instead Kit Siang is now in a dilemma and entrapped without a reverse gear. There is now no turning back for Kit. Any about turn or back tracking would be seen as a weakness and an acknowledgement of premature defeat.
Like it or not, he now has to go head-on with Abdul Ghani which has managed the state remarkably well based on the rapid development in the last five years.
The Iskandar Corridor in Johor is a success story of gravity defying growth. It is now a development hub which is on the radar screen of a multitude of investors.
Since its inception as the country’s first economic growth corridor on Nov 4, 2006, it had received RM106.31bil in cumulative committed investments until 2012.
Of this, 63% were from domestic investors with 37% from foreigners.
The figure validates the accolade that Iskandar Malaysia has received from fDi Magazine, the foreign direct investment publication owned by The Financial Times Ltd, as the fourth best Global Free Zone of the Future 2012/13.
The Iskandar Regional Development Authority is looking at investments averaging between RM15bil and RM20bil yearly from 2011 to 2015, up from RM10bil to RM15bil targeted from 2006 to 2010.
These are all hard figures which don’t tell a lie. It is the right policies and transformation programmes that is taking place which has put Malaysia in the forefront as an investment haven.
With all the development that has taken place, we now have the political frog Kit Siang who wants to parachute into the state and stake a claim for all the progress and success, just like what his son Guan Eng did to Penang.
For this 13th general election, Kit Siang will again move from Ipoh Timur to contest a seat in Gelang Patah, making it the 19th seat that he is contesting.
In total, Kit Siang has contested in 10 parliamentary and eight state seats. He has contested in Selangor, Penang, Malacca and Perak.
After fooling the people in four other states, this time he is eyeing Johor as his next target.
He has contested a total of 18 times in both parliamentary and state seats.
For the record, Kit Siang suffered five defeats. They are:
- Serdang state by-election in 1968
- Bandar Hilir state seat in 1982
- Tanjung Bungah state seat in 1995 (defeated by Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon)
- Bukit Bendera parliamentary seat in 1999 (defeated by former Gerakan secretary-general Chia Kwang Chye)
- Kebun Bunga state seat in 1999 (defeated by Dr Teng Hock Nan)
At 72-years-old it is time that Kit Siang calls it quits.