“I joined politic not to be a candidate, but serve the public” – Dian Lee
SHAH ALAM - Daughter of billionaire and real estate tycoon Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew, Datin Dian Lee said questions about her contesting in the 15th General Election (GE15) are not important as her priority is to serve the public.
Dian, an entrepreneur and social activist said her intention in joining the political area and supporting the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) was not to be named as an election candidate but to give the best to Malaysians.
"I joined Muda not to contest. I joined the party to learn, serve, and help build the party. So whether (I would) contest (in GE15) or not, it doesn't matter," she said in an interview with National Eminent Journalist Johan Jaaffar, which was streamed live on Sinar Harian’s Facebook page yesterday.
Dian said her interest in venturing into politics came after a documentary she produced titled 'M Untuk Malaysia' (M for Malaysia) which highlighted the historical moments of the change of government that took place in peace in 2018.
"After that, the Sheraton move happened, so I kept in touch with (currently Muda president) Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman. He told me his intentions to set up a diverse party.
"So, I told him to let me know (if he wants to register a party) because I want to record the fight. I believe his struggle is not just for another political party, but this will possibly birth a movement for the youths," she said when asked what made her interested in joining politics.
As a mother, wife, entrepreneur and political activist, she said that she had a choice to stay at home, vent on social media or not do anything but when she was given the opportunity to contribute to the fight for the country, she knew she had to at least try.
“When I told my family that I wanted to join politics, they understood that this is a noble fight.
“Only one person objected, my youngest child aged eight as I told my child that I would be at home lesser, so they thought that I would have no time for family,” she said.
Dian also said that she believed politics is not all about power, that politicians must have a sincere heart and put the people first above all.
“We need leaders who are honest, efficient, have dignities and integrity.
“I believe that everyone has a chance in politics as it is so close to our life,” Dian said, adding that Muda was formed for everyone regardless of age, background, religion and race.
On her thoughts on Undi18, Dian said education programmes for voters were not enough and even the Election Commission has not conducted enough programmes to encourage young voters.
"For Undi18, we have to create more programmes in terms of education to the voters. So, we are ready to create more educational programs for voters ahead of the GE," she said.
On the other hand, Dian said that Muda's commitment in recent state elections was welcoming and encouraging, where Muda contested several seats but won one seat in Puteri Wangsa through its secretary-general Amira Aisya.
"I was really surprised because I thought we lost all seats since this was Muda's first time competing and it was only three months old.
“Overall, we also did not lose direct deposits in these and out of the seven seats, this is considered an achievement,” she said.
She said that we must educate the next generation to do the right thing and show a good example for the future of the children.
When asked if she was satisfied with Muda’s membership in terms of race and gender participation, Dian said the party have more than 30 per cent of women’s representation and it was multiracial.
She added that when she was younger, she did not feel like there was a racial difference, but at one point when her parents found an abandoned baby in a drain behind a shopping mall, they wanted to adopt the baby but were told that they could not as the baby was of a different race.
“It was the first time that I feel there is a racial difference. I hope that our system will be more inclusive, for us to step out of racial issues that greatly impact all of us,” she said.
When asked if she was confident that the oppositions now would be under the ‘big tent’ to defeat Barisan Nasional (BN), Dian said that based on the Johor state election, there would be a chance to win against BN, but it would be hard since all parties have different idealism.