Malaysia must stop navel-gazing at petty issues and move forward

Lim Kit Siang

1 Jul 2019, 9:05 am

Updated a year ago


MP SPEAKS | It is depressing to catch up on developments back home in the past nine days after being abroad.

The country seems to be stuck in time, dominated by petty issues with the obsession of navel-gazing instead of being inspired by great dreams and aspirations for the people and country.

The speech by the Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan that the 15th General Election will be called by next year is a typical example of such narcissistic preoccupation

Mohamad Hasan said when officiating the Sepang UMNO division meeting: "Don't worry, this is a half-term government, not a one-term government. It will not last.

"I am confident Pakatan Harapan won't last long. I expect the election will be called between May to December next year."

It is a triple irony that Hassan has unfurled the banner of Harapan as a half-term, instead merely a one-term, government hours after Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (photo) unilaterally announced his return from garden leave to resume the mantle of Umno president.

This was itself hours after former Umno president Najib Abdul Razak had prepared the ground for the return by declaring that Zahid does not require consent from the party’s supreme council to make his return as held by other Umno leaders like Khairy Jamaluddin.

At first, Umno leaders who had never expected to be ousted in the 14th GE consoled themselves with the belief that their sojourn in the wilderness will be a very short one as the Harapan government would disintegrate in a matter of months because of inter and intra-party differences between the PH parties.

But as the few months dragged into more months without any sign of Harapan's disintegration, the three by-elections in Sungai Kandis, Seri Setia and Balakong were used as building blocks for creating the MCA/Umno/PAS unholy alliance to topple the PH-led government before 15th GE in 2023.

The alliance between three parties is the most irresponsible, unprincipled, toxic and opportunistic alliance in Malaysian history as it is not founded based on any principles or noble objectives.

It is based on the selfish interests of the three parties' leaders to topple the Harapan government to save many of them from long jail sentences for corruption and to return to the kleptocracy, abuses of power and injustices of the Najib government which was thrown out peacefully and democratically in the 14th GE on May 9, 2018.

This unholy alliance with the superimposed “Malu Apa Bossku” campaign seemed to have developed some traction in the Cameron Highlands, Semenyih and Rantau by-elections. But the momentum of these three by-elections was pulverised by the historic Pakatan-Warisan victory in the Sandakan by-election, which also rendered a knockout blow to the “Malu Apa Bossku” campaign.

This morning, Vivian Wong was sworn in as MP for Sandakan after polling a historic 16,012 votes and winning with a stunning majority of 11,521 votes in the by-election on May 11, 2019.

It took nearly two months for the opposition to recover from the Sandakan blow as talk of a one-term Harapan government vanished. However, such chicanery has returned with a vengeance with the new talk of a “half-term government”.

In the past six decades, Malaysia has slipped down the international rankings of excellence and good governance. The country has lost out to countries which were previously at par or more backward than Malaysia like Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and even to countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Malaysians regardless of race, religion, region or politics should be united with a common Malaysian Dream to establish a New Malaysia as a top world-class nation, now that they have saved the nation from the trajectory of a failed, rogue and kleptocratic state.

But this does not appear to be the case. With a sex video continuing to haunt and hound the nation in the past nine days and the recent national conference of a religious-based political party was oiled with lies and falsehoods used to engender hate and distrust of race against race, religion against religion, culture against culture – this is a recipe for disaster for any multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation.

Can Malaysians unite to build a New Malaysia where we can become a top world-class nation in every field of human endeavour; compete with the rest of the world instead of dissipating our energies and resources fighting among ourselves; restore the rule of law and good governance, and transform a global kleptocracy into a leading nation in integrity?

We are told today that Islam does not allow declaration of assets, but to these same people, Islam has not stopped them from spreading lies and falsehoods, sowing hatred and distrust, as well as support kleptocrats, kleptocracy and abuses of power.

In the second year of the Harapan government, we must see more progress in establishing the fundamental principles of a New Malaysia and reset nation-building policies to achieve the five pillar promises of the Harapan General Election Manifesto, viz:

  • Reduce the people’s burden;
  • Institutional and political reforms;
  • Spur sustainable and equitable economic growth;
  • Return Sabah and Sarawak to the status accorded in the Malaysia Agreement 1963; and
  • Create a Malaysia that is inclusive, moderate and respected globally.

It is not possible to achieve a New Malaysia overnight but the Harapan Manifesto for the 14th GE must remain the lodestar to guide Malaysia towards the achievement of the Malaysian Dream by all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics.

LIM KIT SIANG is a DAP veteran and the MP Iskandar Puteri.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.