If Anwar had become Prime Minister in 2013, Malaysia would have been spared the agony of the protracted 1MDB scandal, there would be no DOJ lawsuit derogatory of the nation’s international reputation and Malaysia would be spared the latest label as a global kleptocracy

We are here outside the Sungai Buloh Prison walls to honour and celebrate the 69th birthday of a foremost Malaysian leader and patriot, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

If the 2013 General Elections had been fair, democratic and reliable, the Prime Minister of Malaysia today would be Anwar and not Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and the country would have been spared the agony of the protracted 1MDB scandal, there would have been no US Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuits for the forfeiture of over US$1 billion of 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland stolen, embezzled, misappropriated and money-laundered from some US$3.5 billion meant for 1MDB and belonging to the people of Malaysia, the so-called mystery of “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” in the 136-page DOJ lawsuits.

Even more important, Malaysia would have been spared the infamy and ignominy of being labeled as a global kleptocracy – the contempt and laughing stock of the international community.

Last Saturday, Najib asked who said Malaysia would become a failed state under him.

This question was answered by the former Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Musa Hitam, at the launching of his new book, “Frankly Speaking” in Kuala Lumpur today, who warned that Malaysia is going downhill and may end up like how the Philippines was once before.

Musa noted that since the government is faced with mega scandals, other matters, such as shootings in broad daylight, are not dealt with.

The people, he added, are getting used to the situation, and like in the Philippines of the past, are carrying weapons for self-defence.

Dubbing this as the “new normal”, Musa said: “I think the country is moving downhill. The speed is slow, but it could develop into a fast slide.”

Malaysia will not be set on this trajectory towards a failed state if there had been a change of government in Putrajaya in the 2013 General Election, with Anwar as Prime Minister instead of Najib as the first minority Prime Minister in the nation’s history.

We must continue to demand the release of Anwar, and persevere with his ideals and struggle to Save Malaysia from the rampant corruption, abuses of power, violation of human rights and political, economic and nation-building injustices in the country.

We must not only ensure the toppling of Najib in the 14th General Elections, but also complete reform of a system which had allowed corruption, abuses of power, human rights violations and the political, economic and nation-building injustices to thrive and build up under the Najib premiership.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah