DAP not ruled by the ‘Lim Dynasty’, Loke insists

Julia Chan
·3-min read
DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng leave PKR’s headquarters after meeting with Pakatan Harapan presidential council in Petaling Jaya October 29, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng leave PKR’s headquarters after meeting with Pakatan Harapan presidential council in Petaling Jaya October 29, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 — DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke has denied that the party is ruled by the so-called “Lim Dynasty”, insisting that the party adopts a “collective leadership” principle.

In an interview with Malaysiakini and KiniTV, Loke said that he disagrees with claims that the father-and-son duo of Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng have full control of the party and make all its decisions.

“I can testify honestly the party is not dictated by one single individual, no matter how strong the person is. When Guan Eng assumed office as secretary-general, he did not make any decision alone,” Loke was quoted saying.

“The key members of the Central Executive Committee (CEC) and parliamentarians will know that any key decisions are made after consultation. Over the years, Guan Eng has taken a very consultative approach where everybody will be gathered to speak their minds,” he said.

The consultation process is where strong arguments and views could be brought up and those who proposed anything would need to convince everyone in the CEC before arriving at a decision.

“Of course you can argue that Kit Siang has a big influence. Yes, this is because he has experience and wisdom. We will give a lot of consideration when he offers his views but it is not necessarily one person’s view that will dictate the direction and decision of the party.

Loke said that every political party had prominent family dynasties but he did not see it as a liability and acknowledged that both Lims had contributed to the party immensely.

“Nevertheless, the party will not be strong just based on one or two individuals. We are here today because of the sweat, cooperation, and contribution of all. We must acknowledge the contribution of everyone,” he said.

In the coming party polls, Guan Eng is expected to relinquish his secretary-general post which he has held for 17 years while Kit Siang said he plans to contest to be on the party’s Central Executive Committee but would not aim for a “front-line leadership position”.

Loke said that whatever role Guan Eng had in the party after the polls, he would not have full control of the party.

It was reported that a movement had emerged within DAP, pushing for the father-son team to be removed from the helm. DAP veteran Teng Chang Khim had publicly urged Kit Siang and Guan Eng to make way for new leaders.

Loke denied knowledge of a movement and said “maybe one or two individuals who got excited” and posted it on Facebook.

“But I don’t think any anti-Lim action will succeed,” he said, adding that they were the builders of the party.

“Perhaps there are some who are not happy but there is no major force to oust the Lims. The MPs, state assemblypersons, and local councillors I met... there is no sign showing they are plotting to oust the Lims,” he said.

Loke said that if a leader is to be removed, there must be a very strong reason, whether that leader has done something wrong with the party, or has damaged it in some way.

“Kit Siang is the heart and soul [of DAP] and he did not make any serious mistake. Perhaps some said he has been leading the party for too long but at least he has the spirit to do so.

“As for Guan Eng, some may not be happy with his style or approach but look at the results DAP achieved in the past three general elections... There is no reason to oust them,” Loke added.

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