New Year Message by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling
Jaya on Wednesday, 31st December 2008:
Malaysia at new crossroads – whether
Malaysians can unite as one people to withstand the worst effects of the
global economic tsunami
2008 is the year of the political tsunami in
Malaysia – with five state governments under Pakatan Rakyat, the end of
two-thirds parliamentary majority of Barisan Nasional and a totally new
national mindset where the toppling of the Umno-Barisan Nasional
coalition government at the national level is no more impossible or
unthinkable but eminently possible and a matter of time.
In 2009, the world expects the worst economic tsunami in 80 years
wreaking even greater economic devastation world-wide than that caused
by the global financial crisis this year which had already plunged the
United States, Europe and Japan into recession and slowed down world
economic growth - and the two great economic powerhouses, China and
Japan, will not be spared.
Malaysia is at a new crossroads. We have lost our way after
half-a-century of nationhood as illustrated by the tragic fact that the
objective of a Bangsa Malaysia as proclaimed in Vision 2020 has become a
subject of discord rather than concord among Malaysians and our
continued slippage in international competitiveness whether in terms of
university rankings, corruption perception indices, human rights or good
The year ended with Parliament passing two reform bills aimed to restore
confidence in the independence and integrity of key institutions of the
country, to eradicate corruption and to restore an independent and
impartial judiciary, but under great national cynicism that there is the
real political will to carry out these reforms.
Such cynicism were only reinforced when nothing was revealed in the
so-called “tell all” press conference into the RM4.6 billion Port Klang
Free Zone bail-out scandal after the reforms bills were passed.
The great challenge facing Malaysia in the coming year is whether
Malaysians can unite as one Malaysian people to withstand the worst
effects of the global economic tsunami in the coming year and regain our
lost ground in the international competitiveness stakes to forge a
united, just, progressive, caring and meritocratic nation.
Kit Siang, DAP
Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor