Visit to eight states and 28 parliamentary constituencies in 7 days to urge voters to change the Prime Minister, Malaysian Government and national policies detrimental to Malaysians and Malaysia

In the first seven days of the 11-day 14th General Election campaign, I visited eight states and 28 parliamentary constituencies to urge Malaysian voters to make full use of the first opportunity in six decades to change the Prime Minister, the Malaysian Government in Putrajaya as well as national policies detrimental to the rights and interests of Malaysians and the future of Malaysia.

The eight states are: Johore (10 parliamentary constituencies), Negri Sembilan (3), Selangor (1), Pahang (3), Kedah (2), Penang (2), Sabah (4) and Sarawak (3).

Wherever I go in the past week, there is a thirst and hunger for political change which rises above race, religion, region and even political party affiliation to Save Malaysia from kleptocracy, racial polarization and exploitative economic policies like GST.

A silent but major theme throughout the 14th General Election is the 1MDB scandal, which has gone underground, especially after the passage of the Anti-Fake News Act and a Minister’s announcement that any report which is not verified by the government is “fake news” and criminally actionable under the Anti-Fake News Act which carries the draconian penalties of RM500,000 fine, six years’ jail or both.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is the No. 1 maker and peddler of fake news in country, but the Anti-Fake News Act will not be used against him – showing the double standards and hypocrisy of the UMNO/BN Government.

Instead, the Fake News Act is being used against Tun Mahathir and Pakatan Harapan leaders, with the Police investigating Mahathir for fake news in connection with his accusations against Najib and the UMNO/BN government.

The great disservice Najib has rendered Malaysia is to cause Malaysia to be regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy – which was never the case under the first five Malaysian Prime Mihisters for 52 years, namely Tunku Abdul Rahman, Razak, Hussein Onn, Mahathir and Abdullah Badawi.

In fact, a subterranean theme of the 14GE is whether Malaysia can cleanse itself of the infamy and ignominy of a global kleptocracy, or whether we are condemned to have national leaders in government who are regarded by the international community as products of the 4Ps – pencuri, perompak, penyagak and penyamun.

During my walkabout at the Sibu market, a 81-year-old ex-teacher, who has become an unlicensed hawker, complained of his plight, how he refused to be dependent on his children and decided to eke out a living hawking goods, and his experiences of being hounded and bullied by the various government agencies who failed to look after the interests of the senior citizens.

I was touched by this senior citizen’s complaint, who spoke not only on his own behalf but also on behalf some two million senior citizens in the country.

According to the 2017 Population Census, there are some two million senior citizens who are 65 years and above, some one million males and over 900,000 females, representing some seven per cent of the Malaysian population.

I agree with the complaint of the senior citizen I met during the Sibu market walkabout that the country is not showing sufficient appreciation and respect to the senior citizens for their contributions to the nation.

If Pakatan Harapan forms the Malaysian Government on May 9, there will be a special department with special allocation to cater to the needs of the senior citizens in the country to show that the Government must be a caring one to all sectors of the Malaysian population.

In fact, I would suggest to the Pakatan Harapan Malaysian Government to conduct regular town-hall meetings throughout the country, for ordinary Malaysians to speak up about their problems and their views how the Government can look after their interests and welfare.

This consultative approach, with will make the Government in Putrajaya more people-centred and caring by institutionalisng dialogues with the people, instead of a one-way traffic communication by the present UMNO/BN government, will be a distinctive feature of the new Pakatan Harapan government.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader