Lim Kit Siang, doyen of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) that sprang out of the People’s Action Party of Singapore, is a much misunderstood and little-known man. To some, he is a scourge because his political opponents falsely proclaim him to be anti-Malay and anti-Islam. To his supporters, he is the heroic fighter for democracy and a country for all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, a visionary who has dedicated his life to pursuing his dream of a multiracial, multilingual and multicultural Malaysia. By and large, however, the public see only the demon, not the man; the icon, not the human being.
Kee Thuan Chye’s biography humanises Lim Kit Siang. Full of drama, humour and heart, it tells the story of the outspoken politician and the private family man. It recounts the battles he has lost and won, the betrayals he has suffered and the sacrifices he has made, and explores the deep bond he shares with his family, friends and comrades. Above all, it gives an understanding of what makes Lim Kit Siang Lim Kit Siang.
Beyond this, the context of Lim Kit Siang’s story provides clear insight into Malaysian politics and shows how the current state of affairs came to be.