Updated : Our new Penang Chief Minister has sworn in as Penang CM.

Today, Tuesday 11th March 2008, Penang is going to have a new Chief Minister. So, I feel it is appropriate I share some of YAB Lim Guan Eng biodata and profile. Well, I stumbled upon an old post by accident and suddenly, I have so much respect for him. (no, I am not bodek-ing)

Read on, this is not your regular boring biodata of a boring person in a boring post.

Briefly, YAB Lim Guan Eng is born on 8th December 1960 and that means he will be 48 years old this year. Born in the year of the rat. He is an accountant by profession.

Lim guan eng, DAP
(photo taken at DAP first ceramah in Penang, attended by a few people)

He went to jail twice. The first time was a massive detention of many politicians and if I remember correctly, The Star’s publication was suspended as well.

Detained without trial under the Internal Security Act (ISA) on 27.10.1987 and released 18 months later on 19.04.1989. First to be detained under Operation Lalang and last to be released.

During the DAP ceramah over here in Air Puteh constituency, a senior DAP member, Wong Khan Li (Sorry the spelling may be wrong as they introduced his name in Mandarin) related to us about his (Wong) visit to Sdr Lim Kit Siang’s house during one Chinese New Year. He said both senior and junior Lim were in jail then . In that ceramah, Wong shed some tears and was emotional when he told about us about the wives at home. He is a jovial guy but when he related this, he couldn’t contain his emotions. It is the same Wong who was the MC at the DAP Han Chiang mammoth gathering. When you see a funny man suddenly turned emotional in front of a crowd in a padang with no lights, you have to believe that kind of tears. It is shed in front of strangers, not reporters and photographers.

han chiang DAP ceramah
(the crowds in Han Chiang eagerly awating Lim Guan Eng arrival)

Mr Wong said we Penang people are lucky that we have someone like YAB Lim to come to Penang to defend the island for us. He told us that YAB Lim is someone who serves without counting race or religion. He reminded us that YAB Lim went to jail twice. The second time was because he defended the grandma of an under-aged Malay girl.

Charged under the Sedition Act and Printing Presses & Publications Act in connection with the moral scandal of former UMNO Youth President and Melaka Chief Minister Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Chik. Convicted and sentenced to two concurrent 18-month jail terms from 25 August 1998.

Well, by sheer accident, I found this interview between TV Smith and YAB Lim.

TV: Always wanted to ask you about your prison experience…

GE: You gonna blog about that?

TV: How many types of cockroaches were there?

PW: Ask something more meaty lah…

TV: How was prison food?

GE: Not too bad. I had sand in the gravy, stones in the rice and chicken without meat…

PW: I said meaty not meat!

Do you remember my post on roasted pork? When I read the above, I felt a chill. I know it is bad in Kamunting and I didn’t know it can be that bad.

Until now, I still wonder how I got the idea of digging up the details on ISA. If I didn’t do it the other day, I will still think life is a breeze in ISA and politicians are a bunch of power crazy people who crave attention. I suppose it is some divine being whispering to me to go dig and open up our eyes.

TV: What were the toughest moments?

GE: When my wife and kids came to visit. When they looked through the separator glass and barbed wire, when they spoke through the intercom to a bald (shaven), helpless husband and father. That’s when it really got to me.

TV: How did your family take it?

GE: They too, understandably, questioned me as to whether what I stood for was worth it. I was disqualified from Parliament, lost my pension, lost my professional accreditation (as an accountant) and thereby hopes of starting my own practice.

DSC_0037
(photo taken after DAP has won all the DAP seats in Penang at the 12th General Election)

So, I believe Penang is in good hands now. We are honoured and extremely lucky to find a man of substance. I hope he will lead our island to be the best of the best.

TV: So what keeps you fighting?

GE: To be able to help the next down-trodden person who has no one else to turn to… That keeps me going.

Now, did I just make politics even more interesting? And do you feel that we are somehow short-changed? I hope they will released the Hindraf 5 soon. No one deserves to be treated in that kind of inhumane condition. Life is not fair huh? People who siphoned billions of Ringgit walk free. People who tried to defend innocent people get such severe treatment. I am glad that we have fought half the battle. (winning Penang is half of it)

Tahniah dan syabas, YAB Lim and your comrades from DAP. I have never looked at politicians in this light but you have changed my perspective.

References :

Biodata of YAB Lim Guan Eng taken from DAP website.

Excerpt of interview with TV Smith taken from his blog post in 2005. Please visit TV’s blog to read. There are lots more interesting things about YAB Lim Guan Eng.