Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the Perak DAP 51st
Merdeka Day reception at Heritage Hotel, Ipoh on Saturday, 30th
August 2008 at 5.30 pm:
10 highlights of Merdeka II for a new
I rose up in Parliament last week, 21st
August 2008, to point out that although the 51st Merdeka anniversary was
ten days away, the country was never so devoid of National Day
enthusiasm with so little cause for celebration.
This was because in the past six months since the March 8 “political
tsunami”, what obsessed the ruling politicians were “ketuanan Melayu”,
“kedaulatan Melayu” and “perpaduan Melayu” when the national focus after
half-a-century of nationhood should have been “Malaysian unity”.
Who knows what is the theme of the official National Day celebrations
this year? The overwhelming majority of Malaysians, including Barisan
Nasional leaders, just don’t know.
The official National Day theme this year is “Unity, the core of
success”. It is humdrum, pedestrian, uninspiring and even meaningless in
the midst of keris-wielding and shouts of “perpaduan Melayu”.
If the official National Day theme is to touch the hearts of all
Malaysians and be a binding and inspiring slogan for all citizens in the
country, then it should be amended to: “Malaysian Unity, the core of
The Barisan Nasional government has failed in its first fundamental task
– to be the government for all Malaysians.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah
Ahmad Badawi presented the country’s biggest budget in history – a
walloping RM207.9 billion.
Coming just before the 51st Merdeka anniversary, it should be a budget
of national unity, which it failed woefully.
This is because it failed to inspire unity, hope and confidence among
Malaysians that they will be the main beneficiaries from the RM207.9
billion 2009 Budget, as it is budget of denial which has continued to
plunge the country into a multiple crisis of confidence - political,
economic and nation-building!.
We decided at short notice on Thursday night to organize this Perak DAP
51st Merdeka anniversary because the great Pakatan Rakyat victory by
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the Permatang Pauh by-election on August 26
has given all Malaysians throughout the country new hope of continuing
paradigm shift in the destiny of Malaysia.
Earlier that evening while I was in Damansara, a stranger recognized me
and came up to shake my hand, saying that he felt that there is hope for
him and his children in the country.
I wanted to correct him that he must be feeling for the second time in
six months that despite the dark clouds, ordinary Malaysians regardless
of race can again hope that there is a future for Malaysians in their
This must be the message of the 51st Merdeka celebrations – not the
meaningless slogan of the official celebration of “Unity the core of
Let the word go out from here that on the occasion of the 51st Merdeka
anniversary, all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or territory,
are united in the resolve to herald a second Merdeka for all Malaysians.
The first Merdeka in 1957 ended as a Merdeka for the Barisan Nasional
leaders and their cronies. It is time for a Merdeka II where all
Malaysians can enjoy the full gamut of freedom of citizenship of an
united, just, democratic, progressive and prosperous Malaysia.
There are already several important milestones for this Merdeka II
movement, the most notable being:
• 308 – the “political tsunami” of the March
8 general election;
• 826 – the second “political tsunami” of the Permatang Puah
Everyday, new landmarks of a Merdeka II are
being chalked up, including this morning, with the breakthrough
announcement by the Perak Mentri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin
that the Pakatan Rakyat government of Perak has agreed to give 1,000
hectares of land to the nine Chinese Independent Secondary Schools to
fund their continuous growth and future expansion.
In the Merdeka II long march in the second half-century of our
nationhood, Malaysians must dare to dream big dreams again for the
I for one will like to see the achievement of the following ten national
objectives in the Merdeka II campaign:
1. Make Malaysia safe and secure again for
its citizens, visitors and investors, with a dedicated, efficient,
professional world-class police service to keep crime low.
Malaysians today feel even more unsafe whether in the streets,
public places or the privacy of their homes compared to five years
ago when Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became Prime Minister. Let
us start immediately with an Independent Police Complaints and
Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).
2. Restoration of an independent, impartial, professional and
meritocratic judiciary. A Judicial Appointments Commission should be
set up without delay and the country must not suffer another
judicial trauma by the appointment of a Umno Chief Justice
3. Zero tolerance for corruption – with Malaysia ranked among the
top 10 countries which are least corrupt in the world.
4. Malaysian universities should rank among the best in the world –
with at least two among the World’s Top 100 and another two in the
list of the World’s next Top 100. In other words, at least four
Malaysian Universities among the World’s Top 200 Universities.
5. End the brain drain of the best and brightest talents overseas –
in particular stemming the brain-drain to Singapore by reinstating
the principle of meritocracy and ensuring that Malaysia’s best and
brightest, regardless of race, can get the best educational and
employment opportunities in their own country.
6. Restored competitiveness to enable to Malaysia to be among the
ranks of South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore (as we were
the second most developed nation in Asia after Japan when we
achieved Independence in 1957) instead of continuing to trail behind
more and more countries.
7. Restore grass-roots democracy with elected local government.
8. Repeal of draconian and undemocratic laws which violate human
rights such as Internal Security Act, Official Secrets Act, Sedition
Act, Printing Presses and Publications Act and the Police Act.
9. Eradication of poverty for all Malaysians, regardless of race.
10. A Bangsa Malaysia based on “Malaysians Unite” and “ketuanan
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor