A New Malaysia
Bernama reported last June that about 75,000 people thronged the Hari Raya Aidilfitri Open House of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet members.
Yesterday, Bernama reported that some 80,000 people thronged the Hari Raya Aidilfitri of the new Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and his Cabinet at Sri Perdana in Putrajaya.
I was there yesterday, although I had not been to the Prime Minister’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri Open House at Sri Perdana for many years.
Yesterday’s Hari Raya Aidifitri Open House of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet was the first of its kind in Malaysian history, for Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or even politics, celebrated the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri this year with unaccustomed joy, pride and hope that Malaysia has a second chance to rebuild a New Malaysia.
This joy, pride and hope is very well expressed in a poem composed by Malaysian octogenarian patriot Tan Sri Alwi Jantan a week after the watershed and historic 14GE:
REJOICE MY BELOVED COUNTRY
Rejoice o rejoice, victory is ours.
Let’s rebuild our beloved country.
The pride of our founding fathers,
For the benefit of all and sundry.
Let’s cleanse the administration
Of the corrupt and greedy.
Let’s rid of racial discrimination
And religious bigotry.
Let’s reestablish good governance
And remanage the economy.
Let’s reinforce law and order maintenance
And an independent judiciary.
Let there be freedom again
Of expression and assembly.
Only then will we regain
The fruits of our victory.
16th May 2018
Malaysia is at the crossroads - to go forwards or to go backwards.
The 14GE mandate, despite all the undemocratic hurdles and lopsided playing-field, was very clear – to reset nation-building policies and directions for the fulfillment of the Malaysian Dream to be a top world-class nation which is “a beacon of light to a disturbed and distracted world” and not a failed, rogue, kakistocratic and kleptocratic state!
This was sadly highlighted by last week’s release of Times Higher Education (THE) Young Universities Rankings 2018, where Asian institutions (minus Malaysia) for the first time topped the list, with Hong Kong’s University of Science and Technology knocking out Switzerland ’s Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne for the top No. 1 ranking, while Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University was placed third.
The sixth ranking went to South Korea’s Korean Institute of Science and Technology, the seventh ranking to City University of Hong Kong and the eighth placing to South Korea’s Pohang University of Science and Technology.
In a New Malaysia, Cabinet Ministers and the Malaysian public must dare to ask and expect answers why Malaysia is not represented in the top 10 of the THE Young Universities Rankings 2018, or in the top 20, 50 or 100 rankings?
Seven Malaysian educational institutions are listed in the THE Young Universities Ranking 2018 (compared to 31 from UK; 22 from Australia; 20 from France; 17 from Spain; 11 from Germany, Italy and Taiwan; 9 from Japan and Turkey; and 7 frm Malaysia and South Korea – the highest-ranking being Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), ranked 101 – 150; five universities, namely Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Universiti Teknologi Petronas ranked 151-200; and Universiti Tenaga Malaysia (UNITEN) ranked 200-250.
But there is also a rising crescendo of the Siren Song that Malaysia should not venture into the future but should return to the past – despite the decisive repudiation of the politics of race, religion, hate, fear and lies in the 14GE.
Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday urged “political rivals to lay down their arms now that the general election was over”.
Does Najib think the 14GE was a picnic, with everything back to normal after the hustle and bustle of the hustings?
Was it a game to transform Malaysia into a global kleptocracy, to make Malaysians whether in the country or in the Malaysian Diaspora worldwide ashamed to admit that they were Malaysians because of the infamy, ignominy and iniquity of the 1MDB international money-laundering scandal and a global kleptocracy?
Will Najib plead guilty to the greed and crime of kleptocratic governance, now that the new Attorney-General Tommy Thomas has okayed requests for Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) from several countries on the 1MDB scandal, and countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Singapore have agreed to return the ill-gotten monies laundered in the 1MDB scandal - and most recently, the attempt by international 1MDB fugitive Jho Low seeking criminal immunity in Malaysia over the 1MDB scandal in return for him dropping his claim to more than a billion US dollars in assets?
Will Najib return to the Treasury the tens of billions of ringgit stolen through the 1MDB scandal and ask his associates like Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil to stop running from the law but to return to Malaysia to co-operate with the authorities before he could airily talk about “healing of old wounds and moving on”?
As Prime Minister and UMNO President, Najib unleashed the most irresponsible, vicious and toxic politics of race, religion, hate, fear and lies in Malaysian history in the 14GE, utterly reckless of its divisive, provocative and polarizing character to tear asunder a fragile plural society comprising of diverse races, religions, languages and cultures!
Will Najib admit that what he said on the eve of the 14GE were just lies, fake news and false information – particularly when he said that there were no Malays at Pakatan Harapan rallies, that the tens of thousands who gathered to hear Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in Langkawi, Gombak, Jerlun, Batu Katil, Putrajaya, Lembah Pantai, Pandan, Kuantan and Wangsa Maju were DAP supporters “bussed in” by DAP, when the Special Branch knew that in the 52-year history of DAP, we have never bussed anyone to any DAP or Pakatan function?
This was why I said on 8th May 2019 that on his TV3 interview on the night of 7th May 2018 alone, Najib deserved to be voted out of office in Putrajaya in the 14GE.
Are Malaysians to forget the incendiary, provocative and toxic politics of race, religion, fear, hatred and lies spouted by UMNO leaders at the UMNO General Assembly last December?
At the UMNO General Assembly last December, Najib beat the war-drums for the 14th General Election by resorting to lies, falsehoods, defamatory statements and race-baiting to score political points, for instance, repeating the baseless lies that the DAP is “terang-terang Anti-Melayu dan Islam” because DAP stands for a secular Malaysia.
As I had pointed out at the time, the first three Prime Ministers of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn had stood for a secular Malaysia.
Was Najib suggesting that the three first three Prime Ministers including his father Tun Razak and uncle Tun Hussein had been anti-Malay and anti-Islam?
Who will forget the toxic lie of the Wanita UMNO leader Tan Sri Shahrizat Jalil who screamed at the Wanita UMNO General Assembly that the 14GE will be a battle to choose between a solid BN or “Maharaja” Kit Siang?
Will the UMNO General Assembly the end of this month repudiate the two Najib legacies of (i) a global kleptocracy as a result of the monstrous 1MDB international money-laundering scandal and other corruption scandals being unearthed; and (ii) unleashing the most divisive, vicious and toxic politics of race, religion, hate, fear and lies heedless of the unity and integrity of plural Malaysia?
Who will be the first UMNO leader who dare to speak up what is in the minds of all Malaysians, in fact all patriotic UMNO members, that Najib must be expelled from UMNO/BN as he had betrayed both UMNO/BN as well as the nation - if UMNO/BN is to be exorcised of the two toxic Najib legacies?
In the first 100 days of the new Pakatan Harapan Government, we must re-state the principles laid down by our forefathers in the Merdeka Constitution 1957 and Malaysia Constitution 1963 to lay the basis to rebuild a new Malaysia of harmony, excellence and quality, setting the country with confidence and certainty into a new future to be, in the words of Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman, “a beacon of light in a distracted and disturbed world”!