SHAH ALAM: DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang (pic) dropped a bombshell at the party's annual congress when he said that he was retiring from active politics.
The 81-year-old party veteran, who is Iskandar Puteri MP, said he will kickstart his retirement by not contesting for a central executive council (CEC) position at the congress on Sunday (March 20).
He added that he would also not be defending his parliamentary seat.
However, his name is on the candidate's list and delegates can still vote for him if they want to.
In his speech, Lim said he had been with the DAP for 56 years.
“I have seen DAP develop from a small opposition party which fought its first general election in 1969 into a major political party in the Pakatan Harapan coalition that won the 14th general election in 2018.
“The recent Johor state general election is, however, a salutory reminder that our Malaysian Dream for a united and democratic Malaysia is a long-term political struggle, with many ups and downs.
“Despite this, we must remain constant in our objectives and never compromise our principles and ideals,” he said.
He added that hope and confidence had to be reignited as the people had the ability to reverse the national decline of the past 50 years.
“Never before in the history of this party has it been of so much importance to have unity, solidarity, commitment and resolve in our long-term commitment to realise the Malaysian Dream.
“The battle for the Malaysian Dream must go on but this lies in your hands,” he said.
Although it had been made clear that Lim will withdraw from the CEC, it will only be known later today if he will be convinced to remain (in the CEC) if he receives ample votes to make it into the top 30.
His retirement announcement may have come as a surprise to many but it was clear that it was not an ad hoc decision.
This is because Lim's son Guan Eng, who is out stepping down as party secretary-general after reaching the term limit, had delivered a tribute to his father during his speech.
This was followed by a video montage on senior Lim's long political career as well as the presentation of a bouquet of flowers to him.