24-Day Countdown to 13GE Polling Day – Vision 2050 for Malaysians

Yesterday I completed the series of 100-day countdown of daily statements to the 13GE which I started on 1st January 2013, not expecting to have to complete it as it was then generally expected that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak would have dissolved Parliament after the Chinese New year holidays in February for the long-awaited 13th General Elections to be held.

The 100th-Day Countdown to 13GE statement yesterday, in which I challenged Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to a series of seven public debates on his 22-year premiership as Mahathir has made the 13GE a double referendum on both the Najib and Mahathir premierships, coincided with the announcement by the Election Commission of 20th April as Nomination Day and 5th May as Polling Day for the historic 13GE.

I am therefore beginning today a new series of 24-Day Countdown to 13GE Polling Day statements.

I have said that the Battle of Gelang Patah is to kick off the Battle of Johore and the larger Battle of Malaysia for two reasons:

Firstly, to launch off a political tsunami from the south in the 13GE to complete the partial 2008 political tsunami, including winning over one-third of the total of 83 parliamentary seats in the three fixed deposit states of Johor, Sabah and Sarawak (ideally, 33 seats from Johor, Sabah and Sarawak) to complete the partial 2008 political tsunami towards the establishment of a Pakatan Rakyat federal government in Putrajaya.

Secondly, to mobilise Malaysians in support of the Malaysian Dream shared by all patriotic Malaysians down the decades, like the one envisioned by the great Johor Malahy leader and founding UMNO President Datuk Onn Jaafar in 1951 when he called on UMNO to open its doors to non-Malays and to change the name of UMNO to United Malayans National Organisation.

Today, I offer a third objective of the Battle of Gelang Patah to the people of Johor and Malaysia – Vision 2050 for all Malaysians.

The time has come for Malaysians to move beyond Vision 2020 and to imagine a bolder, brighter and better Malaysia.

The time has come for Malaysians to embrace a new vision of new possibilities for themselves, for their children and for their children’s children.

The time has come for Malaysians to look forward to and imagine a new vision – Vision 2050.

Vision 2050 is a re-imagination of what Malaysia can be in 37 years.

It is an aspiration to create a new model of governance, of citizenry, of democracy, of the economy, of our education system, of our societal structure, of our cities and countryside and of our environment.

It is the charting of a new course to capture and harness the best of what Malaysia offers – our diversity, our spirit, our history.

It is about embracing a future which all of us would want to be part of.

It is the molding of a new path which other countries would want to emulate.

In Vision 2050, Malaysia will be:

  1. A thriving democratic nation with new and adaptive forms of public engagement and accountability structures at all levels of government. Technology will be harnessed to fundamentally transform the decision making process.
  2. An internally cohesive nation with a new and constantly evolving basis of national unity which is determined by the citizenry and not the government. The fluidity of identities means that current lines of division – of race and religion and language – would no longer apply.
  3. An innovative and creative nation where the free-flow of information, ideas and initiatives will constantly transform and improve the business, government, education and economic landscape. Our institutions of higher learning, our corporate sector, our non-government actors and our governments will work together to form an eco-system where ideas and innovation can be enhanced and implemented.
  4. An educationally progressive nation where all children and parents can have access to different educational options based on preference and need. The barrier between academic and non-academic education stream no longer exists. Instead, the content and delivery of education is customized to local demands.
  5. A competitive, dynamic and diverse economy where people can have a high standard of living across economic sectors. Income inequality between and within sectors and different segments of society are minimized.
  6. A nation with a wide and equitable social safety net that is undergirded by principles of social justice, opportunity and a strong sense of social cohesion.
  7. A responsive and responsible nation where service delivery by the public and private sector is done efficiently, competently and transparently. Trust in public institutions and private organizations are high, supported by strong social capital, community networks and feedback mechanisms.
  8. A nation which values and protects its natural resources and its environment. Green spaces and green lungs will be abundantly provided for in the cities, our historical heritage will be properly gazetted, our trees, forests and jungles will be protected and our development efforts to be sustainably planned.
  9. An inclusive and extension nation where the Malaysian ‘diaspora’ is part and parcel of the economic and political landscape of the country in their contribution as influencers, investors and innovators.
  10. A strong and influential nation in regional and global affairs. We will punch above our weight and exercise our ‘soft’ power in increasing international cooperation, advocating for the oppressed and marginalized, standing up for equitable power sharing in international organizations and promoting peace and justice.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in his final public speech, said that he had seen the Promised Land although he wasn’t sure if he would get there with his people.

Similarly, many of us may not live to see Vision 2050 fulfilled but all of us must want to see the aspirations of a new vision for Malaysia to be realized.

The realization of a new vision will start in 2013.

The realization of a new vision is in the hands of 13.3 million Malaysian voters at the ballot box.

The realization of a bolder, brighter and better future for all Malaysians and our children and children’s children is within our grasp.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur