Shall I just forget about New Malaysia and call it quits?

One response to my statement yesterday asking “Can Pakatan Harapan win the 15th General Election in 2023?”, where I had given a tentative “yes” answer, is as follows:

“No, not like now. DAP likely to perish. Go to the ground now, listen to the people ... to once DAP supporters ... few if any now ... DAP leaders have gone deaf, blind ... & DUMB.”

A fortnight ago, I said in Gelang Patah that I will be defeated in Iskandar Puteri parliamentary seat and DAP would lose 30 to 40 per cent of our votes in the country if an general election is held now.

This is the extent of the misperception and misunderstanding about the DAP and Pakatan Harapan among our long-standing supporters.

We need time for our supporters and the people to realise that the DAP has not betrayed them and that we have not given up on our hopes and objectives of a New Malaysia of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity.

If the DAP had in fact betrayed the people and the hopes and objective of a New Malaysia of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity, then DAP deserves to be rejected by Malaysians and there is no way that DAP can recover or recapture the support of the voters with the passage of time. In fact, the outcome can only be worse.

But if the DAP had not betrayed our principles and the hopes of the people, then time will demonstrate how wrong were the misperceptions and misunderstandings about the DAP.

With our decades of struggle and sacrifice, DAP will never betray the people, our principles and our hopes and objective of a New Malaysia of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity, but DAP leaders must have the stamina, perseverance and commitment to stay the course for a New Malaysia, whatever the temporary misperceptions and misunderstanding of the people.

In a matter of two months, through a massive and orchestrated campaign of fake news and hate speech, Malaysians have been entrapped in a vicious position where every community lives in fear, doubt, suspicion and even hatred of other communities and religions, believing that their rights, ethnicity, religion and culture are facing an existential threat.

How could this be possible. The Malays are made to believe that they had lost political power and their rights, ethnicity, religion and culture are facing an existential threat.

For instance, the recent Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) system malfunctions were used to spread alarm and fear that three million Chinese nationals have entered the country, changing the demography in the country, when there is completely no basis for such fake news as the process of inspecting the entry of foreigners was conducted by the Immigration Department manually, and all visitors had to follow terms according to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).

In any event, a little thought would show that it is just impossible for three million Chinese to slip through the KLIA in three days, which would mean over 10,000 aircrafts landing in one day! Could this be done without anyone noticing?

The Chinese Malaysians fear that their rights, ethnicity and culture face an existential threat, and it is fortunate that the latest scare that the Pakatan Harapan Government was restricting lion dance performance was nipped in the bud by quick anticipatory response by the Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports yesterday.

Because of lack of information and inadequate consultation, a legacy of the previous government on Jawi in Chinese and Tamil Primary Schools was perceived as an existential attack on Chinese and Tamil education and culture by the Pakatan Harapan Government.

In just two months, through fake news and hate speech, political opportunists and desperados had fanned racial and religious insecurities in each community into a powder-keg of distrust, fear and hatred of other communities.

Malaysian nation-building is in a quandary in the last 16 months after the 14th General Election.

Let every Malaysian ask this question: If every community, ethnicity and culture is facing an existential threat, who is creating all these threats to all the communities, ethnicities and cultures in the country?

I believe in a New Malaysia that can become a top world-class nation in various fields of human endeavour as four great civilisations – Islamic, Chinese, Indian and Western – meet in confluence in Malaysia.

A recent Malaysiakini survey shows that about a sixth of Malaysians say they do not know about other religions and cultures, and have no interest in learning more.

Nearly a quarter of respondents said they were unfamiliar, but willing to learn, while the remaining 60 percent say they are either very familiar or somewhat familiar.

How can we leverage on this survey for Malaysia to be showcase to the world as the success of an Alliance of Civilisations, so that it could be a model of the Alliance of Civilisations in the world.

Can this be done?

If we have this commitment to be a showcase to the world of the success of Alliance Civilisations, we must come out of our ethnic shells and enclaves, interact and appreciate the virtues and best values of each other’s ethnicity, culture and civilisation and not to fall victim to desperados who only want to engender and incite suspicion, distrust, fear and hatred – by pitting race against race, religion against religion, culture against culture and civilisation against civilisation.

Many had responded to my statements and urged me to call it a day.

Shall I just forget about New Malaysia and call it quits?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri