A leaked US diplomatic cable in 2006 foresaw Lim Guan Eng standing for election either in Penang or Kuala Lumpur because he was unwanted in his home state, Malacca.
The cable, a summary of Malaysian Chinese parties and national politics, was written by Mark Clark, political officer at the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. He wrote:
DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng has completed his term of exclusion following his conviction under the publications act, and DAP insiders expected him to contest for another seat in parliament in the next election.
Lim and his wife have fallen out of favour with party members in Melaka, so Lim likely would challenge a seat in Penang or in Kuala Lumpur. Such mobility is common among Chinese candidates, and due to his relative popularity, party officials were quite optimistic of Lim’s election and ability to join his father Lim Kit Siang as a leader in the opposition.
• Lim Guan Eng was convicted of publishing “false news” under the Printing Presses and Publications Act in 1998 by using the term “imprisoned victim” for an underage girl held by the police on what they called “protective custody”. The girl was the central figure in a case involving Malacca chief minister Rahim Thamby Chik, who was alleged to have had a sexual relationship with the girl.
• In the 2008 general election Lim Guan Eng was elected to parliamentary and state seats in Penang, after a sweeping victory for the DAP. He is now Chief Minister of Penang and secretary-general of his party.