BENTONG: Even with his doctor’s advice not to exert himself, Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek insisted on stumping in Karak for an old friend who is trying to regain a constituency he knows best.

The well-respected elder leader and former Bentong MP was not about to let his doctor’s order stop him from travelling from Kuala Lumpur to support his protege Tan Sri Liow Tiong Lai in person.

“My doctor advised me not to come, but I told him I must (come to Karak),” said the former MCA deputy president and Cabinet minister who was present at a ceramah at a temple in Karak over the weekend that was also attended by another veteran comrade, Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy.

The 80-year-old Lim said he was compelled to lend his support to Liow, the Barisan Nasional candidate, because of the latter’s capability and track record of serving his constituents.

Liow, 61, a former MCA president, was a four-term MP for Bentong (1999 to 2018) until his loss in GE14.

“Liow has been helping the people in Bentong and the Karak fire victims despite not holding any post in the last four years,” said Lim, who was Bentong MP from 1989 to 1999.

The political stalwart certainly knows his successor well, having worked closely with Liow as his one-time press secretary and political secretary.

Even before that, Lim, seeing the potential in Liow, had persuaded the former student leader of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia to join politics. His protege did not disappoint and went on to helm MCA from 2013 to 2018.

Lim is proud of the work that Liow has done, not least of which the special task force, led by Liow, that was set up in aid of Kampung Baru Karak fire victims whose homes were burned down in October last year.

“I have retired for 23 years. This is the first time I will be saying this publicly … let’s give our support to him (Liow) this time,” said Lim.

Chan, who was the special adviser to the task force, hailed Liow’s dedication in assisting the fire victims.

“We worked together and gathered all the necessary professionals to help them rebuild their homes. Even the Yang di-Pertuan Agong visited the victims.

“Liow is no longer the MP here, yet he still feels responsible to provide help to the needy,” said Chan, who is also a former MCA deputy president and Cabinet minister.

Liow said he learned well from his sifu.

“My leaders always tell me, if you have the compassion to help, then join politics, get elected and with this political strength, you can help more people, change policies and move the country forward.

“That’s why I’m here today and still committed, even after losing in the last general election.

“I want to serve the people of Bentong,” he added.

That was why Liow sprang to action after the blaze in Kampung Baru Karak destroyed more than 50 houses.

Last month, construction on 53 new houses in the area began. The folk can look forward to new homes by October next year.

Liow is in a five-cornered fight against Young Syefura Othman (Pakatan Haraan), Datuk Roslan Hassan of Perikatan Nasional and independent candidates, incumbent MP Wong Tack and Mohd Khalil Abdul Hamid, in GE15.