Call on Malaysians to return to the core values for the building of a united, harmonious, prosperous and successful Malaysian nation on the 60th anniversary of attainment of Merdeka on 31st August 1957

I call on all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics to return to the core values for the building of an united, harmonious, prosperous and successful Malaysian nation on the 60th anniversary of the nation attaining Merdeka on 31st August 1957.

That something has gone terribly wrong with the Malaysian experiment of plural nation-building can be gleaned from the following four disturbing developments:

Firstly, the recent police warning that the Islamic State (IS) is planning to launch an attack in Perak during the upcoming Merdeka celebrations.

Secondly, Malaysia losing international recognition even among international Islamic scholars and academicians as a moderate nation.

Thirdly, the trend towards greater rowdyism and thuggery in political and public life, as witnessed by the riot at the “Nothing to Hide 2.0” forum at Shah Alam on Sunday, targeting former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad with flares and flying chairs, slippers and bottles.

Fourthly, the intensification of lies, fake news and false information in publicity and propaganda organs of the government.

Fifthly, the collapse of Malaysia’s good name and international standing because Malaysia new-found infamy as a global kleptocracy and our inability to clear or cleanse the country of such notoriety.

When the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak visited Pekan in early June, he boasted that Malaysia is increasingly being respected as a moderate Islamic nation.

But this has been debunked last week when international Islamic scholars and academicians, like Professor Zachary Abuza and Almad el-Muhammady, declared that Malaysia is not the moderate state that it used to be and that Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s “Global Movement of Moderates” initiative was nothing but a big bluff on the international stage.

It has been a double shock for Malaysians, to suddenly find that while the country has been stripped of international recognition as a moderate nation, the nation has become the subject of planned ‘Islamic State” (IS) attacks!

Have these development anything to do with Malaysia suddenly being regarded world-wide as a global kleptocracy with the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal continuing to dominate world headlines because of new developments and disclosures by financial and criminal investigations by some ten foreign countries – with the Malaysian government fighting a losing war in its orchestrated charade that the government had not lost a single sen from 1MDB gamble and that the 1MDB scandal does not exist and only a figment of imagination of hard-headed foreign governments and the international financial community!

These unfavourable international developments are fast dissipating the reservoir of international goodwill and sterling reputation built up by previous Prime Ministers.

The picture at the home front is not rosy either.

It is most shocking that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had not instantly on the same day on Sunday condemned the rowdiness and ruckus at the 1MDB “Nothing to hide 2.0” forum and the disrespect shown to former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir but had not only kept his silence for five long days, but could make a joke about “flying chairs” during his visit to PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s stronghold of Permatang Pauh yesterday.

The visit by Najib to Permatang Pauh is 100% a political one, reminiscent of his Chinese New Year Open House visit to Penang in February 2013 with his unforgettable public relations disaster when he introduced the top South Korean pop star Psy of “Opah Gangnam Style” asking four times “Are you ready for Psy?” followed three times with the question “Are you ready for BN?”

The crowd at Hang Chiang College field shouted “Yes” to the question “Are you ready for Psy?” but were equally vehement in their shout of “No” when Najib asked “Are you ready for BN?” – and there was a video of Najib ‘s supreme embarrassment which went viral throughout Malaysia during the Chinese New Year before the 13th General Election.

But what should cause the greatest concern and disquiet among Malaysians is the avalanche of lies, fake news and false information which are passed off as truths to Malaysians.

My attention has been drawn to a report by the Star some three weeks ago alleging that I had cast aspersions in the past on Tun Mahathir’s Indian parentage, like what the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi had done on July 30 when at a UMNO division meeting he took a dig at Mahathir’s Indian ancestry.

The Star cannot be more wrong. I have never done such a thing and I ask Star to publish a correction and retraction, or I will have to consider other avenues available to me to deal with such falsehood.

Malaysia has lost its way and the Merdeka Dream in the past six decades. Let us be focussed on how to rediscover the Merdeka Dream to be a world-class nation of achievement and excellence in every field of human endeavour.

The first step of the re-discovery of the Merdeka Dream is to return to the core values for the building of a united, harmonious, prosperous and successful Malaysian nation where there is full respect for the racial, religious, linguistic and cultural diversity in Malaysia which must be the strength and asset for the country and not the nation’s liability and weakness.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah