Saturday, November 19, 2005

'Turun padang' again for Dr. Lee Boon Chye

The 11th general elections for the Parliament and State Assemblies were held simultaneousy - as a convention - on 21 March, 2004. I was asked by many old friends and relatives in Ipoh and southern Kinta to help out Parti Keadilan Rakyat's Dr. Lee Boon Chye because they very strongly opined that the once poor Chinese-educated New Village boy who turned into a qualified and successful heart specialist by hard works and meritocracy should be sent into Parliament as an Opposition MP representing all races.

My networks in Perak had been feeding me very positive information about Dr. Lee, a trilingual practicing heart specialist in Ipoh. According to them, Dr. Lee had not only sacrificed a lot of his time and energy to stand up for Reformasi, but also worked very hard to promote mutual understanding and respect among Chinese, Muslims, Indians and other races in the area. He articulated and represented the genuine grievances of the non-Malay communities very well to the Malays in opposition who accepted him as their leader. He still does.

So, I took leave and become a private citizen again. I went back to mother's house in Ipoh a few days before the nomination to gather my forces. Mother, as usual, personally cooked good food - especially herbal chicken soup - for her son.

We thought he would be contesting in Ipoh but, very unfortunately, as the result of last-minute change of other people's plan, he was sent to Gopeng which was a MCA stronghold. Dr. Lee agreed nevertheless, knowing fully well that he had no chance of winning at all.

So, when the goings got tough, the tough got going. My respect for this good doctor only deepened.