Malaysia is already the butt of jokes of Africans for our global kleptocracy, let us not be another African butt of jokes for our democracy

Malaysians have two objectives in the forthcoming 14th General Elections.

Firstly, for Malaysia to mature to become a normal democracy and secondly, the save the nation from the infamy and ignominy of being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy.

The Pakatan Harapan parties of DAP, PKR, AMANAH and Bersatu are fully committed to the ballot box as the sole avenue for political and democratic change. The 14GE will be the 12th general elections for the DAP in over five decades and the history and record of the DAP is unswerving commitment to the democratic and constitutional process to effect political change.

The real question at issue in the 14GE is whether Najib and UMNO are equally committed to see Malaysia mature as a normal democracy where change of the federal government through the ballot box is accepted as a healthy democratic process and not one to invite threats of violence, bloodshed, chaos, riots or coups.

There is no need to look at the developed democratic examples in Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand where changes of government through the ballot box have become an fundamental principle accepted by all political parties and political leaders.

Lets look at Asia. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, India, Phillipines and even Indonesia have graduated to become normal democracies where the voters, the political parties and political leaders accept the democratic principle that the government-of-the-day is decided through the ballot box.

Is Najib prepared to prove that he is a democrat by declaring that he would accept the democratic verdict of the people in the 14th General Election and will peacefully and democratically hand over power if this is the decision of the Malaysian voters in the 14th General Election?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak failed to make this commitment to democracy at the recent 71st UMNO General Assembly, where he sounded the war drums for the 14th General Elections and gave expression to the most undemocratic Hitlerite thought of rule for a thousand years and the false doomsday scenario for the Malays if UMNO is defeated at the polls.

Patriotic Malaysians have a second mission at the next general election.

On the eve of the UMNO General Assembly last week, Malaysia was singled out in an international forum as the No. 1 rogue nation in the world, with the United States Attorney-General Jeff Sessions condemning 1MDB, the brainchild of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, as “kleptocracy at its worst” at the Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) co-organised by the UK and US governments on 4th December DC.

denunciation has blown to smithereens the theory that Najib could use his ties with his golf buddy, the US President Donald Trump, to withdraw the US Department of Justice (DOJ) largest kleptocratic litigation to freeze US$1.7 billion of 1MDB-related assets derived from international money-laundering in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland as well as to end the FBI’s criminal investigations into the 1MDB scandal.

There was no mention, not even a word of repudiation, of the grave charges of the US Attorney-General by Najib in his policy speech to the UMNO General Assembly.

What is even more shocking, not a single one of the 5,000-odd UMNO delegates and grassroots UMNO leaders who attended the UMNO General Assembly bleated a single word to defend the honour, reputation and good name of Malaysia in the international arena.

There was no patriotic fervor or outpouring of patriotism to launch an international campaign to combat an international conspiracy against Malaysia and clear and cleanse Malaysia of the ignominy and infamy of being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy – which undoubtedly would be the case under the first five UMNO Presidents, Datuk Onn Jaffar, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein and Tun Mahathir.

What is even more shocking, news reports of Sessions’ castigation of Malaysia as global kleptocracy was completely blacked out by UMNO/BN owned and controlled mainstream media, whether online or printed, in the country – whether the New Straits Times, Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian or The Star – as if Malaysia has become the frog in the well in the era of information!

I shudder to think that if Najib can get away with the 1MDB “kleptocracy at its worst” in the impending 14th General Election, what is there to prevent Malaysia from scaling greater kleptocratic heights after the general election with 2MDB, 3MDB and worse money-laundering scandals which will make 1MDB look like peanuts?

Malaysia is already the butt of jokes of Africans for our global kleptocracy, let us not be another African butt of jokes for our democracy. Better still, let us not the butt of jokes for the world on both instances.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah