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Lim Kit Siang, Pakatan's DPM Choice?


KUALA LUMPUR: If Pakatan Rakyat were to form the new federal government, Lim Kit Siang might create history by becoming Malaysia's first ethnic Chinese deputy prime minister.

DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng said, DAP has agreed that if Pakatan Rakyat were to form the federal government, the party would propose that Lim Kit Siang play a "very important" "frontline" role in the central government.

On whether the role means "deputy prime minister," Lim Guan Eng smiled, avoiding to provide a direct answer. However, he emphasised that the position would be "on an equal level with other Pakatan leaders."

"We don't want to give people an impression that we are trying to grab some government posts. However, we have all reached a common understanding that if Pakatan Rakyat were to take over the federal government, the party would propose that Lim Kit Siang play a very important role in the federal government."

However, he said PKR Advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had set his sights on taking over the federal government. If Anwar were to become the prime minister, it wouldn't be impossible for a Chinese to become the DPM, and this has also been the wish of many Chinese Malaysians.

He said Pakatan has not discussed the allocation of government posts if the alliance were to take over the federal government. The "shadow Cabinet line-up" in circulation earlier was fabricated by some people. The more important thing for Pakatan now is to deliver its promises after the March general elections and do what will benefit the people most.

"We have not talked about it formally, but this is what we have agreed in private."

He did not deny that there remain some issues among Pakatan component parties that need to be addressed. Nevertheless, he believed such issues could be overcome through deliberation.

He said, if Pakatan were to form the federal government, Lim Kit Siang would definitely play a critical role in the government, while he himself would stay on in Penang.

After the 8 March elections, the Pakatan Rakyat alliance of opposition parties have captured four other states besides Kelantan; and Lim Guan Eng has since become the chief minister of Penang.

In the latest party elections, Lim Kit Siang was elected Exco member with the highest number of votes. However, during the second round elections, he did not get any major party post, resulting in guesses of his possible "retirement."

However, Lim Guan Eng told Sin Chew Daily in an exclusive interview that once Pakatan took over the federal government, Lim Kit Siang would play a very important role, and that would have nothing to do with whether he is holding any senior party post.

"We have not talked about it formally, but this is what we have agreed in private."

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has reiterated that he would take over the federal government by 16 September. BN leaders have repeatedly rebuked this statement, calling it something impossible. (Translated by DOMINIC LOH/Sin Chew Daily)

MySinchew 2008.09.02

 

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