5-Day Countdown to 13GE – Dr. Mahathir, Najib and the BN have abandoned and forgotten Vision 2020

As we approach the historic 13th general elections, Malaysians must make a crucial decision between choosing for a better, brighter future under Pakatan or to continue to suffer the broken promises offered by the Barisan Nasional (BN).

There is no better reminder to Malaysians of BN’s broken promises than the total and abject failure of its leaders to remember, much less to seek to live out, the lofty ideals put forth by Malaysia’s longest serving Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir in his Vision 2020.

Indeed, the person must guilty of totally abandoning the nine challenges in Vision 2020 is none other than Dr. Mahathir himself.

Over the past few months, Dr Mahathir has outdone himself by going around the country to create unnecessary, unproven and unsubstantiated fears about the future of this country under Pakatan Rakyat.

In fact, he has been campaigning more aggressively for the BN than even Prime Minister Najib!

By doing so, Dr. Mahathir has shown that the BN is incapable of leading Malaysia to the objectives set out by himself in Vision 2020.

In fact, the BN administration led by Najib, has failed to live up to each of the 9 challenges of Vision 2020 during his 4-year term as Prime Minister.

Let me go through each challenge in order to remind Malaysians again of what Vision 2020 is supposed to entail and the BN’s response to each of these challenges.

Challenge 1: The first of these is the challenges of establishing a united Malaysian nation with a sense of common and shared destiny. This must be a nation at peace with itself, territorially and ethnically integrated, living in harmony and full and fair partnership, made up of one ‘Bangsa Malaysia’ with political loyalty and dedication to the nation.

Failure 1a: The continuation of BN’s divide and rule policy by promoting the so-called 1 Malaysia on the one hand and by stoking fears of a ‘Christian nation’ among Malaysia, of an ‘Islamic state’ among the non-Malays through government mouthpieces such as Utusan Melayu and The Star on the other.

Failure 1b: The selective screening of the controversial film “Tanda Putera” to FELDA settlers and IIU students and the unacceptable and shameful defense of these selective screenings by the so-called Minister in charge of National Unity in the Prime Minister’s Department, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon

Failure 1c: The failure of BN to condemn any of the actions undertaken by PERKASA and its leader, Ibrahim Ali, including threatening to burn Malay bibles in Penang.

Challenge 2: The second is the challenge of creating a psychologically liberated, secure, and developed Malaysian Society with faith and confidence in itself, justifiably proud of what it is, of what it has accomplished, robust enough to face all manner of adversity. This Malaysian Society must be distinguished by the pursuit of excellence, fully aware of all its potentials, psychologically subservient to none, and respected by the peoples of other nations.

Failure 2a: Led by Dr. Mahathir, the BN has continued to harp on Malay fears that their rights would be taken away under a Pakatan Rakyat, in contravention to all the evidence shown by the Pakatan Rakyat leadership and the examples of the Pakatan Rakyat state governments that Bumiputera rights are upheld together with the rights of all the other communities in Malaysia as enshrined in the Federal Constitution. Instead of moving towards a psychologically liberated society, Dr. Mahathir and the BN are dragging Malaysians back to a time of fear mongering towards each other.

Challenge 3: The third challenge we have always faced is that of fostering and developing a mature democratic society, practising a form of mature consensual, community-oriented Malaysian democracy that can be a model for many developing countries.

Failure 3a: Najib’s failure to stand up to the challenge that is part and parcel of any established and mature democracy which is to have a publicly televised debate with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim

Failure 3b: Najib’s failure to ensure a free and fair elections as is practiced in mature democracies including having an independent Election Commission, a clean electoral roll, a free and uncontrolled media, freedom of speech and of assembly.

Failure 3c: Najib’s failure in putting in place a caretaker government that would refrain from using state resources and machinery and from making any major policy announcements or the handing out of electoral goodies after the dissolution of parliament

Challenge 4: The fourth is the challenge of establishing a fully moral and ethical society, whose citizens are strong in religious and spiritual values and imbued with the highest of ethical standards.

Failure 4a: The total inability of Najib’s administration to investigate and prosecute cases of ‘grand corruption’ in this country most notably with regard to the many accusations, with accompanying documentary evidence, levelled against the Chief Ministers of Sarawak and Sabah. This calls into question the standards of morality or ethics as practised by the BN government and its leaders

Failure 4b: The continued reliance by the BN, through their cybertroopers, on gutter policies such as the release of purported sex tapes and photos involving Pakatan politicians and even the targeting of the children of Pakatan leaders through baseless lies

Challenge 5: The fifth challenge that we have always faced is the challenge of establishing a matured, liberal and tolerant society in which Malaysians of all colours and creeds are free to practise and profess their customs, cultures and religious beliefs and yet feeling that they belong to one nation.

Failure 5a: Dr. Mahathir’s role as the advisor to PERKASA and the tacit support given to this organization by many BN leaders is testimony of the lack of any sincerity whatsoever on the part of the BN to make all Malaysians feel as if they belong to one nation.

Failure 5b: The decision by the Attorney General’s Chambers to appeal the decision on the use of the word Allah by Christians shows the lack of sincerity of the BN government to protect the freedom of religion in the country. The fact of the matter is that Malaysian Christians in Sabah and Sarawak have been using the word Allah for hundreds of years.

Challenge 6: The sixth is the challenge of establishing a scientific and progressive society, a society that is innovative and forward-looking, one that is not only a consumer of technology but also a contributor to the scientific and technological civilisation of the future.

Failure 6a: That innovation and the advance of science is being stifled in our universities by restrictive laws and practices which are politically motivated and which seek to control the minds and actions of our academics as well as our students

Challenge 7: The seventh challenge is the challenge of establishing a fully caring society and a caring culture, a social system in which society will come before self, in which the welfare of the people will revolve not around the state or the individual but around a strong and resilient family system.

Challenge 8: The eighth is the challenge of ensuring an economically just society. This is a society in which there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation, in which there is full partnership in economic progress. Such a society cannot be in place so long as there is the identification of race with economic function, and the identification of economic backwardness with race.

Challenge 9: The ninth challenge is the challenge of establishing a prosperous society, with an economy that is fully competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.

Failure 7, 8 & 9: That instead of creating a just society that is economically vibrant, the BN has created an economy which favours its cronies at the expense of the majority of the nation and especially the bottom 40% of households who are earning less than RM15,00 a month.

Dr. Mahathir is a living reminder of the continued failure of the BN in living up to the objectives of Vision 2020 despite all the jargon and acronyms coined as part of Najib’s many pseudo transformation programs. Malaysians need to vote for a new vision for the country. Malaysians need to vote out the BN and vote in Pakatan Rakyat in order for this new vision to be realised.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur