DAP and Pakatan Harapan in full support of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), but make it an all-win formula and it might even contest the “Clash of Civilisation” theory and lead to One Universal Civilisation for mankind

The Third Academic Forum on China’s Belt and Road Initiative (RBI) today cannot be more timely, held six months after the historic peaceful and democratic first transition of power in Malaysia after six decades to reset nation building policies to create a New Malaysia.

In this New Malaysia, academic forums and the civil society have an active and important role to play in Malaysia’s robust and vibrant democracy, which is open and receptive of diverse views about the future of Malaysia and the world, where dissent is not regarded as an act of disloyalty or anti-national expression which must be met with detention without trial or repressive authority of the state.

When the change of government in Putrajaya first took place six months ago, there were concerns about the China policy of Pakatan Harapan Government.

This was because there had been irresponsible propaganda for quite some time trying to portray Pakatan Harapan and DAP as being anti-China and would pursue an anti-China foreign policy if Pakatan Harapan should defeat UMNO and Barisan Nasional in the 14th General Election.

Like many of the lies and falsehoods that MCA/UMNO/BN leaders and propagandists had spread about Pakatan Harapan and DAP leaders to frighten off the voters from voting for a change of government in the 14th General Election, only the naïve and foolish would believe such devilish and mischievous propaganda.

Not only in Malaysia, but in the whole wide world, it would be utter folly for anyone to adopt an anti-China foreign policy, for this is not a responsible policy to promote universal peace and co-existence in view of the growing influence and power of China to be the world’s superpower.

DAP had never been naïve or foolish. In fact, even before Malaysia recognised the Peoples’ Republic of China and normalised Malaysia-China relations, DAP had pressed the Malaysian Government on both issues for close to a decade as we maintained that it was the Beijing government and not the Taipei government which should represent the Chinese people in the United Nations.

DAP and Pakatan Harapan fully support China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). We want it to be a win-win formula for all the 65 countries which are to be connected by sea, air, road and rail links.

If the great BRI vision succeeds, it will be an unprecedented human achievement, for it would bring together people with different languages, religions, values, way of life, customs, technologies and even civilisations.

In fact, it may mark the next major step of development in human history – contesting the “Clash of Civilisation” theory with the development of One Universal Civilisation for all mankind.

The Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s first visit to China in August after the 14th General Election had been twisted, distorted and misinterpreted as Malaysia’s opposition to China’s RBI.

These critics cannot be more wrong, and Dr. Mahathir had more than once clarified after his visit to China that Malaysia supports the RBI.

In fact, we will like to see even closer ties between Malaysia and China forged under the Pakatan Harapan Government.

I believe that with China’s history of 5,000 years of civilization, the leaders of both countries have the wisdom and the long-term and big-picture perspectives not to allow a kleptocrat and his kleptocratic scandal, however humongous, monstrous and immoral in the annal of nations, to endanger or damage the long-term interests and relationship between our two countries.

I have no doubt that China’s leaders fully understand the perspective of Malaysian leaders who want to forge closer Malaysia-China ties but at the same time want to see the rectification of unfair contracts and deals which had been entered by the old regime to save himself and not the country as a result of the interntional 1MDB corruption and money0-laundering scandal.

After all, China is not without experience of having been bullied by foreign powers in the past by unequal treaties especially after the Opium War, to the extent that the Chinese people could be humiliated in Chinese territory when “dogs and Chinese” were not allowed on the Shanghai Bund.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri