Pity that Gerakan has been fallen from a national party which prides itself as the conscience of Barisan Nasional into a pathetic “mosquito of mosquitoes” party

Yesterday, Gerakan President Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong challenged me to contest against the Gerakan Penang State Chairman, Teng Chang Yeow in Penang in the 14th General Election.

I ignored the puerile call and did not give it a second thought.

Today, Teng upped the ante, urging me to be man enough to respond to the Gerakan challenge and announce whether I would contest in Penang or Gelang Patah.

I really feel sorry for Gerakan, falling from a national party during its heyday when it claimed that it was the conscience of Barisan Nasional, to the pathetic and abject “mosquito of mosquitoes” party today where both the Gerakan national President and the chairman of its most important state, which it had ruled for five decades, had to resort to cheap tactics to get publicity and attention.

The Star MCA mouthpiece is having a field day. Yesterday, its page headline was “Stand in Penang, Kit Siang dared” and today, its page headline is: “Gelang Patah or Penang?”

I must congratulate Mah Siew Keong for making Malaysian political history, as this is the first time that a political leader had thrown a challenge on behalf of another person. Why Mah dare not issue a challenge on his own behalf?

As for Teng’s puerile challenge, I only need to say that I have been in politics for 52 years and Malaysians should know whether I am “man enough”.

Is Teng “man enough”?

In 2008 General Election, Teng was defeated by Chow Kon Yeow in Padang Kota where he was sitting Assemblyman for the previous three terms (1995, 1999 and 2004) by 1,666 votes.

In the 2013 General Election, Teng dared not return to Padang Kota to face Chow and ran away to what he regarded as a very safe Gerakan seat in Bukit Tinggi where the Gerakan candidate had lost by only 1,904 votes in 2008.

Teng was right to run away from contesting in Padang Kota or he would have been “slaughtered” by Chow, who won with the walloping majority of 7,196 votes.

But Teng was unable to find a safe slot in Bukit Tengah either, where he lost to the PKR candidate, Ong Chin Wen, with a majority almost thrice that of 2008 – i.e. 5,190 votes.

Now Teng dare not return to Padang Kota to fight Chow or even return to Bukit Tengah and he has to think of a silly publicity stunt to broadcast his preparedness to contest again in Penang in the 14th General Election.

Let me advise Teng that he cannot be an effective commander-in-chief of Penang Barisan Nasional in the 14GE if he is a coward, as no Barisan Nasional candidate in Penang would have respect for him.

Teng should announce that he will return to Padang Kota where he had been State Assemblyman for three terms from 1995 to 2008 to break the Gerakan “egg” in Penang State Assembly for two terms in the forthcoming 14GE.

If Teng dare not return to Padang Kota to fight Chow, he should just call it a day in Gerakan politics.

I never have to beat my chest to show how brave or great I am in my five decades in politics, and my advice to Teng is to show some humility in politics.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah