New Malaysia is a challenge to all Malaysians to make Malaysia a top world class nation to compete with the rest of the world and not a divided and fractured nation warring against itself

Two events mark the new era that we are in after the historic 14th General Elections on May 9, 2018, when we shocked ourselves and the world with a peaceful and democratic transition of power and gave hope to Malaysians and the world not to write off parliamentary democracy as a form of government to bring a better life for the people.

Firstly, my return to speak at the University of Malaya after absence of some four decades for the launching of the book, “509: The People Have Spoken”; and secondly, the alleged 500,000-people anti-ICERD rally in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow – both of which would have been unthinkable and undoable if there had been no change of the occupants in Putrajaya on May 9, 2018.

I have been accused by MCA leaders and others of betraying my principles in exchange for power, and the example cited is the Cabinet decision not to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd).

One MCA leader attacked the DAP for failing to persuade the other parties in Pakatan Harapan – Bersatu, Amanah and PKR – to ratify the Icerd and “opened the doors for hegemony vis-à-vis PAS-UMNO participation”.

I do not know whether he is justifying UMNO hegemony in the past because of the profound silence of MCA leaders in government.

Be that as it may, I think it is one of the greatest regrets of the agitators of the UMNO-PAS anti-ICERD axis that despite all their efforts, they could not find any evidence to show that the DAP was in any way involved in efforts for the ratification of Icerd.

This would have served the script of these agitators of UMNO-PAS anti-ICERD axis about the anti-Malay, anti-Islam character of the Pakatan Harapan Government, because real power behind the scene is the so-called anti-Malay and anti-Islam DAP, that the Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammad was just my stooge and puppet, now that their earlier script of lies and falsehood that I would become the Prime Minister if Pakatan Harapan had won the 14th General Elections had been proven to be nothing to be a pack of lies and falsehoods.

The greatest political contradiction is that at the recent MCA General Assembly, DAP was flayed as anti-Chinese.

DAP is never anti-Chinese, anti-Malay, anti-Indian, anti-Kadazan or anti-Dayak. What distinguishes us is that we are pro-Malaysia.

DAP leaders never deny our ethnicity, but whether we are Chinese, Malays, Indians, Kadazans or Ibans, we are even more important Malaysians, which give qualifies us to champion the rights and welfare of all Malaysians, regardless of race or religion.

DAP Secretary-General and Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng is the only political leader who have crossed ethnic lines to sacrifice his political future and position as Member of Parliament, and even went to jail, in the defence of honour and dignity of an underaged Malay girl, when he was a MP for Kota Melaka in the nineties.

No political leader, whether UMNO, MCA or whatever, had ever make such sacrifices for a Malaysian of the same race or religion, let alone a Malaysian of another race or religion.

The ICERD incident is a salutary reminder to all Malaysians that we have long way to go accomplish our new goal of a new Malaysia, which is a challenge to all Malaysians to make Malaysia a top world class nation to compete with the rest of the world and not a divided and fractured nation warring against itself.

No Malaysian would want Malaysia to ratify the ICERD at the price of another May 13 racial riot in the country, as there are political desperadoes and opportunists seeking to incite and escalate racial and religious distrust, animosity and hatred to engender the conditions to replicate another May 13 racial riot in Malaysia, although ICERD is not against the Malaysian Constitution, anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Malay Rulers?

Tomorrow, Malaysia will become the laughing stock of the Muslims of the world, as 99% of the 1.9 billion Muslims of the world live in the 179 countries which have ratified ICERD, including 55 of the 57 Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) nations.

UKM Research fellow, Dr. Denison Jayasooria has a good article in Malaysiakini yesterday entitled: “Examining Icerd ratification among OIC members”, where he reviewed the ratification by OIC member states, including Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Palestine, and he concluded: “As far as I note none of them has objections or placed reservations in the name of Islam.”

Icerd also does not undermine the power of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and result in the abolition of the system of Malay Sultans.

There are 38 countries with the monarchical system, out of which 36 countries have ratified the ICERD including the United Kingdom in 1969, Norway 1970, Sweden 1971, Denmark 1971, Netherlands 1971, Jordan 1974, Belgium 1975, Japan in 1995, and Saudi Arabia 1997.

There are absolutely no indications that the ratification of ICERD by these 36 countries have undermined the monarchical system as to lead to their abolition.

But ours is a plural society and it is of paramount importance that we can ensure the unity and harmony of our of diverse races, languages, cultures and religions in Malaysia, and for this reason, I have come to the view that Malaysia should not ratify ICERD until the majority of the races and religions in Malaysia supports it and understand that it no threat to the various races, religions or the Federal Constitution but a step forward to join the world in promoting human rights.

Tomorrow will mark the seventh month of the historic May 9, 2018.

Malaysians saved Malaysia and made history on May 9, 2018, giving Malaysians a second chance to reset nation-building policies so that Malaysia will not become a failed and rogue state, on top of being a kakistocracy and global kleptocracy.

A New Malaysia cannot be accomplished in a hundred days or in six months, but will take a decade of two. All Malaysians must develop a Big Picture and Long-term Vision perspectives.

An important start for the building of a New Malaysia was made on May 9, 2018 when we showed the world, at a time when democracy as a system of government was facing crisis of confidence worldwide, that parliamentary democracy is still the best among the worst systems of government.

We must continue the quest to become a top world-class nation by leveraging on the values and assets of the diverse races, religions, languages, cultures and civilizations which meet in confluence in Malaysia.

Let us show the world that we can:

  • Transform Malaysia from a global kleptocracy into a leading nation of integrity.
  • Restore democracy and doctrine of separation of powers among the Executuive, Parliament and the Judiciary.
  • Enact far-reaching law reforms, although the repeal of Anti-Fake Acts was blocked and sabotaged by the Barisan National-controlled Senate.
  • Effect far-reaching parliamentary reforms to end the Malaysian Parliament from becoming the joke of world Parliaments as a 1MDB Parliament which banned discussion of the 1MDB scandal.
  • Develop Malaysia into a “tiger economy” after the massive problems of the “black hole” of a trillion-ringgit government debt and a global kleptocracy had been addressed.
  • Restore primary and secondary schools as well as universities as leading world educational institutions of their kind to establish Malaysia as among the world’s top-tier nations in education.
  • Fulfill the goal as enunciated by Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman of Malaysia as “a beacon of light in a difficult and distracted world”.
  • Build a New Malaysia of greater national unity, integrity, democracy, rule of law, excellence, justice and prosperity.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri