Do Malaysians want a New Malaysia or return to Najib’s kleptocratic Malaysia?

The 2019 Budget presented by Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng in Parliament on Friday, 2nd November 2018 marks the first phase of the building of a New Malaysia started in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018.

The building of a New Malaysia, made possible by the courageous efforts Malaysians to re-set nation building policies after six decades, cannot be accomplished in a hundred days or in six months, but will take a decade or two.

All Malaysians must develop a Big Picture and Long-term Vision perspectives. But an important start for the building of a New Malaysia has been made in the past six months, for Malaysia to fulfil the dream to be a top world-class nation leveraging on the values and assets of the diverse races, religions, languages, cultures and civilizations which meet in confluence in Malaysia.

It is time to show the world that we can:

  • Transform Malaysia from a global kleptocracy into a leading nation of integrity;
  • Restore democracy and doctrine of separation of powers among the Executive, Parliament and the Judiciary;
  • Execute far-reaching law reforms, including the repeal of repressive and undemocratic laws and the enactment of laws to promote democracy, accountability and good governance;
  • Effect far-reaching parliamentary reforms to make the Malaysian Parliament a first-world Parliament;
  • Develop Malaysia into a “tiger economy” after addressing the massive problems of the “black hole” of a trillion-ringgit government debt and a global kleptocracy;
  • Restore the Malaysian education system to ensure that our primary and secondary schools as well as universities are comparable to those from the world’s top-tier nations in education
  • Build a New Malaysia of greater national unity, integrity, democracy, rule of law, excellence, justice and prosperity.

A New Malaysia is struggling to be born, and it will require the contribution and participation of Malaysians, both inside the country and among the Malaysian Diaspora worldwide, to ensure that this second chance to re-set nation building policies is not wasted or does not fail, for there is not going to be a third chance.

The last six months have shown that there are political forces which want the New Malaysia mission to fail, and this is best highlighted by the obstructive tactics of Opposition Members of Parliament when they jeered and booed the Finance Minister for declaring in his 2019 Budget presentation on Friday the government commitment to fight corruption and kleptocracy.

Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s political debut after being toppled as Prime Minister on 9th May 2018 is significant for many reasons, including:

  • Najib is reclaiming the Crown of UMNO and Barisan Nasional although in the past six months, Najib was the de facto leader of UMNO although he had resigned as UMNO President and Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi had been elected as the new UMNO President in a three-cornered contest;
  • Najib’s refusal to concede that his kleptocracy and the international 1MDB corruption and money-laundering scandal was the cause of UMNO/BN electoral debacle in the 14th General Election; and
  • Equally important, the failure of the UMNO/MCA/Gerakan/MIC/BN leadership to condemn the 1MDB scandal and Najib for his role in causing Malaysia’s infamy and ignominy in being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy.

I had said that after Thursday’s United States Department of Justice (DOJ) criminal indictments against fugitive financier Jho Low and two former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng and Tim Leissner, and Tim Leissner’s guilty plea to 1MDB corruption and money-laundering charges, it was unthinkable that Najib could continue to pretend that there is no such thing as the 1MDB scandal.

But I was wrong, which was why Najib could be in Parliament on Friday for the 2019 budget presentation and the demonstration of support for Najib and his kleptocratic government by Opposition Members of Parliament, and his political debut yesterday blaming everything under the sun for UMNO/BN defeat in the 14th General Election, except the 1MDB scandal.

Both incidents illustrate not only how serious is Najib’s hallucination, but those of his followers as well.

What Najib wants is to destroy all efforts to build a New Malaysia, and return to Najib’s previous government of a rogue democracy, kakistocracy and a global kleptocracy.

Does Malaysia want a New Malaysia or return to Najib’s kleptocratic Malaysia?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri