Malaysians must Save Malaysia, which lost it way in failing to be an exemplary economic and political success in the last six decades, to reset nation-building directions and policies
My political life started in Batu Pahat, from my political interests in my school days in Batu Pahat High School.
My class of the Year 1959 in Batu Pahat High School had been quite active and outstanding, as it produced six doctors including a surgeon (Dr. Chong Guan Chock, Dr. Chan Soh Ha, Dr. Hee Tien Lai, Dr. Chia Sze Foong and Dr. Ow Yang Chee Wah), two engineers, two lawyers, two architects, two journalists, two university academicians, an accountant, a quantity surveyor, a town planner, a timber grader, a dozen educationists and teachers as well as others.
It produced three Members of Parliament who became a Minister (Datuk Mustapha Mohamad), a Deputy Speaker (Dr. Hee Tien Lai) and a Parliamentary Opposition leader.
I did not get involved in politics until 51 years ago, and I can still remember seeking the views of classmates at the end of 1965, and they thought that it was quite crazy for me to give up a comfortable and secure job as a journalist for the unknown challenges and terrain of direct political involvement.
The last 51 years had not been a holiday or a “bed of roses”, but a tough political journey and even a “crown of thorns”.
I still remember that in the 1969 general elections, the first contested by the DAP since our formation, our candidate for the Batu Pahat state assembly seat was Chian Heng Kai, who was later detained under the Internal Security Act for four years and nine months, but went on to become both Perak and Penang Member of Parliament (Batu Gajah and Bukit Mertajam) as well as Penang State Assemblyman.
Heng Kai scored an electoral record of sorts when he contested in the Batu Pahat state assembly seat in the 1969 general elections, as his election expenses did not reach a four-figure amount, and he was assisted in his election campaign by less than ten election workers – two of whom are with us tonight at this dinner, my classmates Pek Teck Soon and Tan Tik Seng – but still with creditable electoral results.
I formally started my political journey 51 years ago, in my belief and idealism that it is the responsibility of every Malaysian to do his or her utmost to make the country a more united, democratic, just, progressive and prosperous nation fof its citizens and future generations.
It had been quite a mortifying experience in the past three months, when I was suddenly the target of a very high-level and well-orchestrated demonisation campaign in the UMNO/BN owned or controlled mainstream media as well as the social media to describe me as a devil, an hantu, puaka or even jembalang; that I am anti-Malay, anti-Islam, that I was the cause of the May 13 racial riots in 1969 although I was never in Kuala Lumpur during that period and was in fact in Kota Kinabalu on that tragic day of May 13, 1969; that I am a communist; a stooge of Singapore PAP, etc.
It is not a picnic to be the almost daily target of a high-powered and well-orchestrated demonisation campaign of lies, fake news and false information, but the consolation is that you are increasingly convinced that those who are behind this campaign of demonisation through lies, fake news and false information must be very frightened of me and about their political future that they had to resort to such low-class despicable tactics.
This has given me growing strength to confront this demonisation campaign, for if those behind this demonisation campaign through lies, fake news and false information are honourable people, there is no need for them to resort to lies, fake news and false information, like a prize of RM10,00 quickly upped to RM50,000 within 24 hours, for the best essay or social media posting that I am anti-Malay and anti-Islam – a tactic not only to continue the demonisation campaign but a clear-cut confession by the masterminds of the demonisation campaign that they have no evidence whatsoever that I had been anti-Malay and anti-Islam although I had been active in politics for 51 years!
Those behind the defamation campaign said that I have been in politics for 51 years and that I should retire from politics.
I do not know why the key UMNO/BN leaders behind this well-orchestrated demonisation campaign against me are so afraid of me, for if I am so “useless” and “ineffective” as they claimed, then they should logically be rooting for me to remain in politics, and not to demand my political retirement unless I am a political threat to them.
Clearly, these UMNO/BN propaganda “masterminds” are very confused and contradictory in terms of their tactics, strategies and objectives.
The single most important issue confronting Malaysians today is how to Save Malaysia from a global kleptocracy and hurtling towards a failed and rogue state.
We have lost our way in the past six decades to be an exemplary economic and political success, with countries more economically or politically backward than Malaysia, or both, having overtaken us in the past five or six decades on both these fronts, becoming not only richer and more developed and prosperous, but more democratic and more respectful of the principles of good governance and the rule of law.
Malaysians must Save Malaysia, which lost it way after some 60 years in failing to be an exemplary economic and political success, to reset nation-building directions and policies in the coming years and decades to achieve our potential to be an example to the world of a successful nation building of a plural society of diverse races, languages, religions and cultures in Malaysia both in the economic and political sense.