Malaysians must dare to “reach for the sky” to achieve big dreams to fulfill Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Malaysia Dream for Malaysia to be a “beacon of light in a disturbed and distracted world”
It is a special occasion to be here to receive the DAP membership application of award-winning activist Heidy Quah, 24 who received the prestigious Young Leaders Award from Queen Elizabeth II last year.
Heidy had been involved in advocacy work from a young age, having set up an NGO at age 18 to help the refugees from Myanmar, forming the NGO Refuge for The Refugees (RFTR), which she founded with her friend Andrea Prisha.
Twenty-four was also the age when I dedicated myself to Malaysian politics to create a better Malaysia for all Malaysians, which have occupied me for 53 years culminating in the historic and watershed 14th General Election of May 9, 2018.’
Despite all the forecasts that the corrupt and decadent UMNO/BN regime would win the 14GE, Malaysian voters regardless of race, religion or region, showed that they were more intelligent and mature than the government or mainstream analysts and pollsters and created a political earthquake which sent tremors worldwide by effecting a peaceful and democratic transition of power at the federal level.
On 9th May, Malaysians fulfilled Bapa Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Malaysian Dream to became a “beacon of light in a difficult and distracted world”, renewing the hopes not only of Malaysians but of the world, for worldwide we are seeing a decline of democracy and the rise of authoritarian and undemocratic regimes.
Our work to create a New Malaysia has only started, and among our challenges is to demonstrate to the world that we can transform a global kleptocracy into a leading nation of integrity in the world.
May 9, 2018 marks a new day of all Malaysians, and I am reminded of the challenge by Jack Kennedy in his presidential inaugural address in 1961, which can now be posed to all Malaysians: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”.
I believe that many Malaysians, in particular the youths regardless of race, religion, region or socio-economic status, are highly idealistic and patriotic like Heidy and are prepared to serve the country.
We have many role models for the young generation of Malaysia – like Hannah Yeoh, the DAP MP for Segambut and Yeo Bee Yin, the DAP MP for Bakri, both of whom responded without hesitation to the call of national service to serve the greater Malaysian cause of nation-building, justice, freedom, dignity and progress.
I have no doubt that there are many Hannah Yeohs, Yeo Bee Yins and Heidi Quahs among the Malaysian populace today, and I call on them to step forward to help make great task of redesigning a New Malaysia a success.
Malaysians must dare to “reach for the sky” to achieve big dreams to fulfill Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Malaysia Dream for Malaysia to be a “beacon of light in a difficult and distractred world” in more than one aspect.
Beginning on May 9, 2018, the challenge that must be taken up by Malaysians is to show the world that we can 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.