Continuing their epic battle which has raged for decades, Lim Kit Siang has responded to Dr Mahathir Mohamad's macabre twist to the DAP veteran's retirement plan.

NONEWhile the former premier wondered if Lim would remain in power until his final breath, the DAP leader, however, is praying that Mahathir, 88, lives for another 12 years.

"Mahathir wants me dead but I pray that Mahathir will live to 100 to see the decline and end of Mahathirism

"Mahathir wants me dead and that is why he embarked on his mission in the 13th general election to campaign in Gelang Patah to turn it into my political 'burial ground'," he said.

Lim recalled that before the last election, Mahathir had called on the people of Johor to pool their energy to ensure that the state becomes his (Lim's) "kubur" (grave).

Despite the heavyweights who campaigned against him, Lim won the parliamentary constituency by defeating then Johor menteri besar Abdul Ghani Othman (below).

"I was prepared to put my head on the chopping block, leaving the safe parliamentary seat of Ipoh Timor which I won in 2008 with more than 21,000-vote majority...

NONE"On that night of May 5, 2013, Mahathir lost and I won. 

I proved Mahathir wrong as the former prime minister had indulged in gutter-politics of the most despicable and immoral kind, disseminating lies and falsehoods that I was contesting in Gelang Patah to cause a racial confrontation between the Chinese and Malays, that I wanted the Chinese to hate the Malays and reject working together with the Malays," he said in a statement.

'Dr M bitter over waning influence'

Lim noted that Mahathir's failures in the 13GE particularly in Gelang Patah, Shah Alam and Pasir Mas where the former prime minister had staked his entire political reputation on his ability to affect the electoral outcomes, were not the only signs that the power and influence of Mahathir and Mahathirism had declined.

"In fact, there had been earlier signs of such vulnerability like Mahathir's ignominous failure in 2006 to get elected even as a delegate of his old Kubang Pasu Umno division to the Umno general assembly, which led to his resignation from Umno and escalation of his campaign to topple the then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"But Mahathir's setbacks in the 13GE, particularly in Gelang Patah, Shah Alam and Pasir Mas are the first of a trio of significant signs in the past six months after the 13GE that the influence of Mahathir and Mahathirism are on the wane.

NONE"The other two are: the failure of his son, Mukhriz to be elected as one of the three Umno vice-presidents and his failure despite eve-of-polling appearance or campaigning in Monday’s by-election in Sungai Limau to swing victory for Mukhriz (left), who is mentri besar of Kedah," he added.

Lim claimed that his waning influence could explain Mahathir's bitterness with regard to the former premier blogging that the DAP leader is afraid of his (Mahathir's) "shadow" and if he (Lim) would cling on to power until his death.

However, Lim said there is no reason for anyone to be afraid of Mahathir's shadow "when it had become quite a penumbra."

"What Malaysians should be concerned is the bane of Mahathirism – the legacy which Mahathir has left behind after his 22-year premiership," he added.

Lim then addressed Mahathir's question regarding his retirement by quoting a famous saying by the Sung Dynasty scholar-general Wen Tianxiang that "all men are mortal, but my loyalty will illuminate the annals of history forever".

"For Mahathir's ears, the 'loyalty' here refers to loyalty to Malaysia," said the DAP leader.-malaysiakini