One of the greatest threats to New Malaysia is toxic politics of lies, fear, hate, race and religion
It is an honour and privilege to be invited by the organisers of Malam Sekolah, UKM to come to the UKM campus to speak, which would be unthinkable if there had not been a historic change of government in Putrajaya on May 9, 2018.
This comes on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of my cultural debate with Professor Naguib Alatas at the MARA Auditorium on November 24, 1968, on whether Malaysian literature must be written only in Bahasa Malaysia, or whether it could be written in other languages, whether Chinese, Tamil or English – in other words, whether there is going to be cultural democracy in Malaysia.
I have to go back to the first book published by DAP in 1969, “Who Lives if Malaysia Dies”, to locate my speech at the cultural debate.
The approval for the holding of the Anti-ICERD rally in Kuala Lumpur last Saturday would also be unthinkable and impossible if not for the historic decision of May 9, 2018 which gives Malaysians the opportunity to re-set nation-building directions and policies after six decades.
But while May 9, 2019 gave birth to the vision of a New Malaysia, there is no guarantee that it will succeed and can be established, as it is not a mission which can be accomplished in 100 days, two years or even one general election cycle, but will take a decade or two.
It is up to Malaysians to give life to the shape, structure, sinews and muscles of the New Malaysia which will be in vain if Malaysians do not have the willpower, stamina, perseverance and commitment to save Malaysia from becoming a rogue democracy, a failed state, a kakistocracy and a global kleptocracy to become a world top-class nation which is united, harmonious, democratic, just, progressive and prosperous.
One of the greatest threats to the success of building a New Malaysia is toxic politics of lies, fear, hate, race and religion.
If such toxic politics are to be believed, I am the most powerful and among the richest Malaysians in the country.
Before the 14th General Election, such toxic politics alleged that I will be the Prime Minister of Malaysia if Pakatan Harapan wins the polls. When such lies and falsehoods were proved wrong after May 9, new lies and falsehoods were manufactured to allege that I am the real power in the Pakatan Harapan government in Putrajaya and that Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar Ibrahim, Azizah Ismail and Mohamad Sabu were merely my stooges and puppets.
I was alleged to have received RM1 billion from Mahathir for him to join and head Pakatan Harapan. I was also alleged to receive RM1.2 billion from Israeli sources to promote their cause. There were other allegations of other fortunes coming my way to make me one of the richest men in Malaysia – except that these billions exist only in the realm of the toxic politics of lies, hate and fear of opportunistic and desperate political leaders.
I am probably the most demonised man in Malaysian politics.
I was accused of being a communist, in fact, a relative of Chin Peng; responsible for the May 13, 1969 riots, leading the street demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur shouting anti-Malay and anti-Islam slogans although I was never in Kuala Lumpur after the May 10, 1969 General Election; painted as quite a devil, a puaka, even jembalang; that I am anti-Malay, anti-Islam; an agent of KGB, CIA, MI6 and even Australian Intelligence.
Recently, I was accused of wanting to split Peninsular Malaysia into two, East Coast for the Malays and the West Coast for the Chinese.
DAP had been demonised with all sorts of lies and falsehoods, but DAP Secretary-General and Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng is the only political leader in Malaysia who had 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 any other Opposition party, had ever made such sacrifices.
The Anti-ICERD rally in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday is the result of such toxic politics of lies, hate, fear, race and religion.
Malays from all over the country came to Kuala Lumpur for the Anti-ICERD rally, because they were made to believe that the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) is anti-Malay, anti-Islam and Anti-Malay Rulers.
But is ICERD anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Rulers? I myself will oppose any ratification of ICERD if it is anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Malay Rulers.
ICERD was described as a “Freemason agenda” and an international conspiracy against Islam to destroy the religion.
If so, the Anti-ICERD rally on Saturday should have launched an international campaign to save Muslims in the world from the Freemason conspiracy, as 99 per cent of the 1.9 billion Muslims in the world are living in 179 countries which have ratified ICERD.
These countries included 55 of the 57 member nations of Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), such as Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Turkey, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Palestine, Algeria, Morocco, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Is Malaysia to be the saviour of Muslims not only in the world, but also in the Islamic heartlands centred in Saudi Arabia or has Malaysia become the laughing-stock of the world including the Islamic World- except for Brunei, the other Muslim country which has not ratified the ICERD? Why was there not a word of mention of the alleged Freemason agenda behind ICERD?
I believe that that overwhelming majority of Malaysians from all over the country who attended the Anti-ICERD rally did not realise that ICERD is not anti-Malay, anti-Islam or anti-Malay rulers, especially as 36 of 38 countries with monarchical systems have ratified ICERD for the past half a century.
How do we combat the toxic politics of lies, hate, fear, race and religion?
Not by banning the Anti-ICERD Rally on Saturday. I support the approval given for the Anti-ICERD rally, for in a vibrant democracy, we must be prepared to allow the people to speak and assemble freely, provided that it is done peacefully and in accordance with the law.
But we must not allow the toxic politics of lies, hate, fear, race and religion free rein, as they must be countered by arguments, reason, facts and the truth.
The historic decision on May 9 shows that Malaysians can rise above the toxic politics of lies, hate, fear, race and religion to unite to build a New Malaysia, which is a top world-class Malaysia where Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics, are proud to be Malaysians.
I agree with one member of the audience that something is very wrong with our education system and our religious upbringing when Malaysians could accept the infamy, ignominy and iniquity of being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy until May 9, 2018. All Malaysians must ponder this bitter fact.
The historic decision on May 9, 2019 has however redeemed Malaysia and it is our challenge to complete the task of a New Malaysia, which must include the transformation of Malaysia from a global kleptocracy into a leading nation of integrity.