Last week many KATAK! This week many KOTAK!

The events of the last 10 days since the watershed 14th General Election of May 9, 2018 when Malaysians inside and outside the country can once again feel proud as Malaysians have caused a wag to comment: “Last week many KATAK! This week many KOTAK!”

The change of the Malaysian Government in Putrajaya, the first in 61 years, through a peaceful and democratic process, is a dream that generations of Malaysians since the achievement of Merdeka in 1957 and the formation of Malaysia in 1963 had not thought possible to see come to fruition in their lifetime.

It is an exhilarating experience for Malaysians to breath the air of freedom on May 9, 2018, giving substance to theme of the 14th General Election (and the title of my 14th General Election booklet”) “Set Malaysia Free”.

But there is a lot of work to do, if the historic events of May 9, 2018 is to herald a New Malaysia – to reset nation building policies and direction to achieve the Malaysian Dream of being a “beacon of light for a disturbed and distracted world” and how a nation of diverse races, religions, languages and cultures could be an united, harmonious, just, democratic, progressive and prosperous Malaysian nation where Malaysians see themselves as Malaysians foremost than that of their race, religion, region and socio-economic position.

The 14th General Election is a national watershed where a New Malaysia can be born. There must not only be systematic and institutional reforms, but also mind-set changes – to usher in a New Malaysia.

Important national institutions in the country have suffered major loss of public confidence, and it is urgent and imperative to restore public confidence in them – whether the institutions of the Executive, Parliament and the Judiciary, the important organs of the of the state like the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Inspector-General of Police, the Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Election Commission Chairman, etc.

We must never again allow the politics of race, hate, lies and falsehood to dominate Malaysian political life.

The difficult process to rebuild public confidence in the damaged national institutions must start immediately, which involves not only new laws, rules and institutions, but the re-opening of the invidious and scandalous cases of injustices of the recent past, like the Teo Beng Hock case.

We must do our utmost to ensure that the Malaysian Spring of May 9, 2018 leads to greater freedom, democracy and better life for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or party affiliation and not end up disastrously like the Arab Spring of 2010.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Iskandar Puteri