LETTER | Sixty-one years ago, when the country attained Merdeka in 1957, and 55 years ago when Malaysia was formed in 1963, we promised to ourselves that the nation will be “a beacon of light for a disturbed and distracted world”.
But sadly, we lost our way and became instead a black hole of kleptocracy.
However, history was made in Malaysia on May 9, 2018, and the world sat up amazed when Malaysians took the first important step to become a normal democratic country, where the people could peacefully and democratically change the government without violence, chaos or catastrophe.
The whole nation is glorifying the mastermind behind it, a 93-year-old man, Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
However, let us not forget the unsung heroes Anwar Ibrahim, the late Karpal Singh and Lim Kit Siang.
Anwar Ibrahim, who was put on controversial trials, found guilty and sentenced to nine years of imprisonment. His “reformasi” breathed new life into the Malaysian youth of the 1990s, at a time when youthful zeal and the activism spirit had diluted in favour of material wealth and pleasure.
While the late Karpal Singh and Lim Kit Siang battled fearlessly and relentlessly in Parliament not for themselves or for glory. They were sincere and forthright and voiced the ordinary people’s issues without fear.
Despite Karpal being wheelchair bound after an accident, he never let up on his mission in life, i.e. to make Malaysia a better place for all of us and the future generations.
They are the true champions who dared to speak up against kleptocracy and made great sacrifices for what we have achieved now. They fought relentlessly to spur our spirit to fight against the corrupt government who had ruled us for more than 60 years.
They will remain a legend in Malaysia, in politics and law. We are indebted to them for speaking up for us and for the country.
Politicians on both sides also have much to learn from the dignified way that these unsung heroes conducted themselves to make the country free from cronyism and corruptions.
As said by the great Nelson Mandela: “No one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens but its lowest ones.”
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.