17-Day Countdown to 13GE – People of Sabah and Sarawak can make history by making this 50th Golden Jubilee year of the creation of Malaysia,

This year is a year of tremendous historical importance to our young nation.

Fifty years ago, in 1963, the nation of Malaysia was created with the merging of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore.

This year, 2013, is the 50th anniversary for the creation of Malaysia.

And in this year of our Golden Jubilee, Malaysians have a golden opportunity to create yet another historical moment in our country’s history by ushering in a new era of democracy and freedom for our nation by voting for a peaceful transition to a new government that is clean, competent, transparent and fully accountable to the citizens of Malaysia.

Over the past five years, Malaysians have experienced many significant dates and events that will go into the history books.

March 8, 2008 or 308 has now been etched into the consciousness of Malaysians as the date when the BN’s iron grip on power was significantly weakened when the opposition denied it 2/3rds control of the parliament as well as winning control of five state legislatures.

April 28, 2012 or 428 will be remembered for the largest ever public gathering of concerned citizens on the streets of Kuala Lumpur and in many cities in other parts of the country to rally for clean and fair elections in the 3rd Bersih protest.

January 12, 2013 or 112 will be remembered for largest peaceful public gathering in Stadium Merdeka since the declaration of independence by Tunku Abdul Rahman on the 31st of August, 1957.

This year, Malaysians can create another day of history on the day of polling in the upcoming 13th general elections.

On this day, may the many millions of legitimate Malaysian voters, in the country, as well as overseas in the Malaysian embassies, high commissions and consulates, come out to vote in record numbers to counteract the effect of however many phantom voters which have been put in the electoral roll during the morally bankrupt rule of the Barisan Nasional government.

On this day, may many thousands of patriotic and responsible citizens turn up to work as polling and counting agents as well as election observers to ensure that the election process is as fair and transparent as possible.

On this day, may the millions of legitimate Malaysian voters not cast a vote based on fear and intimidation but cast their vote based on hope for a better and brighter future.

On this day, may the millions of legitimate Malaysian voters vote out the corrupt and racist BN coalition that has ruled the country with an iron grip for the past 56 years.

On this day, may the millions of legitimate Malaysian voters, vote in a new government that promises to look beyond the narrow confines of racial politics and to steer Malaysia to a new course of democratic governance.

On this day, may the BN concede to the will of the people and agree to a peaceful transition of government if the will of the people for this historic change is clearly shown at the ballot box.

Just like how Malaysia could not have been formed without the partnership of the people of Sabah and Sarawak, the golden opportunity for change in the Golden year of the Jubilee cannot be taken without the support of voters in Sabah and Sarawak.

Sabah and Sarawak deserve much better after 50 years of being ruled by BN.

The recent explosive video expose by international NGO, Global Witness, is just the tip of the icerbeg in terms of how much has been stolen and plundered by the BN in Sarawak, led by Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud, who has been in power for 32 years in the state (and counting).

The recent invasion in Sabah may well be the consequence of Project IC in the state that has been going on under previous BN Chief Ministers and Prime Ministers but which was especially rampant during the reign of Dr. Mahathir.

Both Sabah and Sarawak are no longer fixed deposits for the BN.

It is obvious that many people are sick and tired of the rotten state of affairs in both states and that they are ready for change.

Pakatan Rakyat has been working hard to reach out to voters in all parts of these two states, from the cities to the villages, from the coast to the highlands, from the north to the south and to the east and west.

The Pakatan Manifesto has promised a new deal to the voters in Sabah and Sarawak including an increase in the oil royalty to 20% and the building of the Pan Borneo expressway linking both states.

Pakatan in both states have proposed alternative state budgets which show how we can govern more responsibly and competently than the BN state governments.

Two days ago, Pakatan in Sabah launched their state election manifesto which shows how a Pakatan state government in cooperation with a Pakatan federal government can work together to achieve and implement the policies for the common good of the Sabah people.

Pakatan won only 2 out of 57 parliament seats in Sabah and Sarawak (including Labuan). Pakatan can form the federal government if it wins at least 20 more parliament seats in both states.

I urge the people of Sabah and Sarawak to lead the political tsunami that will sweep BN out of power and to usher in a new era of democracy, peace and prosperity in this country.

Fifty years ago, a new nation in South-East Asia was born. Fifty years later, this nation can finally take the step to join the ranks of democratic countries in the world.

The voters of Sabah and Sarawak can make polling day in the 13th general election a historic date in Malaysian history.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur