May 9, 2018 must be the beginning of a new national journey to build a New Malaysia which is top world class and an example to the world of an united, harmonious, successful, progressive and prosperous nation
All Malaysians welcome with hope, joy and pride the historic and watershed 14th General Election on May 9, 2018.
Malaysians are rightfully proud that they can now stand tall in the world after effecting a peaceful and democratic transition of power, an affirmation of democracy as a system of governance at a time when democracy is in decline all over the world, and to repudiate the infamy, ignominy and iniquity of a global kleptocracy.
What gives great hope for the future is the exhilarating spirit, energy and power of Malaysians – not just Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans or Ibans – coming together to save Malaysia from becoming a failed, kakistocratic, rogue and kleptocratic state, and succeeding against formidable odds and forecasts of all mainstream pollsters and analysts.
It is no exaggeration to say that never before in previous thirteen general elections since 1959 had the country seen such intensity and viciousness in the politics of fear, hate, lies, race and religion as in the 14th General Election.
This has made Malaysia’s second chance to fulfill the Malaysian Dream to be a top world-class nation which is “a beacon of light to a disturbed and distracted world” even more precious and invaluable.
Three to four decades ago, Malaysians visiting China find China more backward than Malaysia virtually in all fields, but today, the reverse has taken place and Malaysians visiting China find Malaysia behind China virtually behind in all fields.
How did Malaysia fall behind allowing one country after another to overtake us or close the gap of development and progress?
The time has come to reset Malaysia’s nation-building polices and directions where Malaysians will stop thinking of themselves merely as Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans and Ibans but to think of themselves as Malaysians!
Let Malaysians leverage on the strength and assets of our diversities of race, religion, language and culture to transform Malaysia into a top world class nation in every field of human endeavor and be an example to the world of an united, harmonious, successful, progressive and prosperous nation.
We have passed the three-quarters mark of the first 100 days in office of the Pakatan Harapan Federal Government in Putrajaya as we are now on the 83rd of the 100 days.
There are teething problems of the Pakatan Harapan government, whether at the federal level in Putrajaya or in the eight state governments involving Pakatan Harapan – namely Penang, Selangor, Kedah, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Malacca, Johore and Sabah – but we must always maintain a positive mindset that we want the Pakatan Harapan governments to suceed.
We not only want the Pakatan Harapan government to suceed in first 100 days but for 5,000 days – which would mean for more than two terms of five years each and the Pakatan Harapan winning the 15th and 16th General Elections!
This is a tall order as the reimagining and remaking of a New Malaysia is not meant for timorous souls but for courageous Malaysians who dare to dream big dreams for Malaysia to be a world top class nation in several fields of human endeavour by leveraging on our unique assets that come from the diversity of the races, religions, languages and cultures that constitute Malaysia.
We want to create a New Malaysia that can fulfill Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Malaysian Dream of becoming “a beacon of light in a distracted and disturbed world” – a showcase to the world of a plural nation which is united, harmonios, just, democratic, competitive, progressive and prosperous!
Pollster Merdeka Centre estimated that in the 14GE, 95% of the Chinese voted for Pakatan Harapan while 35-40% of Malays voted Barisan Nasional, another 30-33% supported PAS, and the remaining 25-30% picked Pakatan Harapan. For Indian voters, 70-75% of them supported Pakatan Harapan.
Did the 95% of the Chinese voted for a Chinese Malaysia when they voted for Pakatan Harapan so they could bully or dominate other races in the country?
Of course not. They voted for a Malaysia where all Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans or Orang Aslis, could have a better quality of life, human dignity, freedom, democracy and good governance where there is no corruption and abuses of power and a Malaysia which is admired and respected by the world.
There are Malaysians who sing the Negaraku but want Malaysians to be more polarised according to race and religion. These are the people who suffer a major defeat in the 14GE.
We want Malaysians who not only sing Negaraku but live in the spirit of the National Anthem to ensure “Rakyat hidup Bersama dan Maju”.
We must reject irresponsible political opportunists who thrive only on racial hatred and distrust – inciting the Malays to hate the Chinese or urging the Chinese to distrust the Malays, completely forgetting the National Anthem that “Negaraku, Tanah tumpahnya darahku, Rakyat hidup bersatu dan maju”.
Corruption, abuse of power, the 1MDB scandal and GST were major issues in the 14GE.
I do not believe that the 35-40% of Malays who voted for Barisan Nasional and the 30-33% who supported PAS in the 14GE wanted to vote for kleptocracy, abuses and excesses of power and GST as well as the various forms of injustices and oppression under Najib’s premiership.
Can we ensure that in elections after the May 9, 2018, we can not only maintain the same level of support from the non-Malay voters, but after we have had the opportunity to tell the truth about t1MDB scandal and other mini-1MDB-like corruption in MARA, FELDA and other public bodies, more and more Malay voters would support Pakatan Harapan to fight kleptocracy and to ensure that Malaysia stands for clean and honest government and not a corrupt and decadent government – and that UMNO/BN which secured 35-40% of the Malay votes or PAS 30-33% of the Malay votes in the 14GE would face decreassing support among the Malay electorate?
This is the national challenge of all Malaysians who want to see Malaysia to become a top world class nation and an example to the world of an united, harmonious, successful, progressive and prosperous nation.
In the 14th General Election, Pakatan Harapan secured 48.3% of the popular vote, while Barisan Nasional secured 33.9% and PAS 16.6% of the popular vote.
The next five year will be challenging ones for it will afford an opportunity to reach out to the 50.5% of popular vote who did not vote for Pakatan Harapan in the 14GE for they did not realise that their votes would be used to support or prop up a kleptocratic Malaysia – resulting in Malaysia to continue as the laughing stock of the world.
Many have kept asking how I could co-operate with Tun Mahathir when in the past, for the best part of my 53 years in politics, we had been at loggerheads – for instance, with me in the Opposition while Mahathir was the fourth Prime Minister for 22 years from 1981 to 2003. I was even detained for 18 months with Guan Eng under the Internal Security Act during Operation Lalang from October 1987 to April 1989.
Malaysia was placed in unparalleled peril under the sixth Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, with Malaysians ashamed to admit that they are Malaysians in the international arena because of the infamy, ignominy and iniquity of becoming a global kleptocracy as a result of Najib’s international 1MDB money-laundering scandal, hurtling in the trajectory towards a failed, rogue, kakistocratic and kleptocratic state.
In fact, the shocking revelations of the abuses and excesses of power after 14GE exceeded the worst thoughts of how dire and perilous the national condition had become under Najib during the general elections campaign.
Could Malaysia be saved from Najib in the 14th General Election?
Nobody could be sure but a supreme effort had to be mounted, for we believe that Malaysians who want a clean, just, free, democratic and united Malaysia are more patriotic than Malaysians who are prepared to see Malaysia go down the drain to become a failed, rogue, kakistocratic and kleptocratic state.
Hence the formation of Pakatan Harapan, with Tun Mahathir Mohamad as the Prime Minister-designate with the pledge as contained in the Pakatan Harapan 14GE Manifesto to save and build a New Malaysia.
On 14GE Polling Day on May 9, Malaysians did what was thought the impossible and effected a peaceful and democratic change of government.
In the process, all political leaders and even Malaysians have a lot to learn from both the successes and mistakes of nation-building in the past six decades – whether Mahathir, Anwar Ibrahim or even myself as we have to be more sensitive and sensible with regard to the legitimate aspirations of all Malaysians.
Our work has just started.
May 9, 2018 must be the beginning of a new national journey to build a New Malaysia which is top world class and an example to the world of an united, harmonious, plural, successful, progressive and prosperous nation.
This is the national challenge of all Malaysians in the second journey of Malaysian nation-building.