Tribute to DAP Veterans - New Scenarios and challenges require fresh strategies but the political principles and objective to build a top world-class Malaysian nation remain the same

I want to pay tribute to DAP Veterans tonight.

Apart from me, the oldest DAP leader present tonight is the former DAP National Publicity Secretary and former MP for Seputeh Liew Ah Kim.

It took DAP 42 years of democratic political struggle to taste the first fruits of success and be a major part of the Penang State Government and part of Selangor and Perak (though for one year) state governments.

It required another 10 years (or 52 years after the DAP’s formation in 1966) before the DAP became part of the Malaysian Federal government coalition of Pakatan Harapan, retain our positions in the State Governments of Penang and Selangor, and a coalition partner in the state governments of Perak, Kedah, Negri Sembilan, Malacca, Johore and Sabah.

We have come a long way in the past 53 years, contesting initially in the by-elections in Kampong Baru (Selangor) Tampoi, Segamat Utara (Johore) and Serdang (Selangor) before contesting in the first national general election in 1969.

In the over five decades of the DAP’s political struggle, many DAP leaders, cadres and activists have contributed their share of the “blood, sweat and tears” so that we are today part of the Federal Government and eight State Governments of Penang, Selangor, Perak, Kedah, Negri Sembilan, Malacca, Johore and Sabah.

We pay tribute to the veterans of DAP, without whom DAP and Malaysia will not be what they are today.

We have new political scenarios and challenges which require fresh strategies but the political principles and objective of the DAP remain constant and unchanged – a Malaysia where every Malaysian, regardless of race, religion or region, can feel proud to be a citizen, with Malaysia recognised internationally as a top world-class nation.

From our very start in 1966, we are a political party not for the Chinese, Indians, Malays, Kadazans, Ibans, Orang Asli but for all Malaysians.

DAP veterans have still a role to play – to help the new generation of DAP leaders to overcome the challenges of today so that Malaysians can have a better tomorrow.

One of our objectives in New Malaysia after winning federal power in Putrajaya on May 9, 2018 is to transform Malaysia from a global kleptocracy into a leading nation of integrity in the world.

By this, I mean Malaysia must be able to occupy the top 30 places in the annual Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) instead of oscillating between No. 50 to No. 62 under the premiership of Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and getting worse placing with increasing years.

Malaysia will not be able to improve on its TI CPI ranking as to be placed within the bracket of the first 30 nations by the 15th general election in 2023, but I expect annual improvements in both the TI ranking and score every year leading to the target of Malaysia in the top 30 nations’ bracket hopefully by before the 16th General Election in 2028.

I may not be around to see Malaysia achieve this goal of Malaysia being ranked within the top 30 nations in TI CPI, but this is a goal worth struggling for and achieving.

I have been accused by the proponents of klepto-theocracv that I had accused all Muslims as corrupt.

How could this be, when in the recent 2018 TI CPI, there are five Muslim countries which preceded Malaysia which was ranked No. 61 – namely Brunei 31, Qatar 33, Oman 53, Jordan 58 and Saudi Arabia 59!

It is most unfortunate that after the 14th General Election of May 9, 2018, the advocates of “klepto-theocracy” have arisen to get Malaysians to use race and religious lens to see developments in the country, instead of using Malaysian spectacles and perspectives.

We must not allow the divisive and destructive doctrine of “klepto-theocracy” to succeed or Malaysia will forever remain a divided nation, with race pitted against race and religion against religion, trapped in the trajectory of a failed, rogue and kleptocratic state!

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri