I will contest the DAP CEC election but will not aim for any front-line leadership position and am prepared to be defeated in a party election where I have given over 55 years of my life in pursuit of the Malaysian Dream

I will contest the DAP Central Executive Committee election in June this year and am prepared to be defeated in a party election where I have given over 55 years of my life in pursuit of the Malaysian Dream.

I am not aiming for any front-line leadership position.

I want to reiterate that DAP does not advocate any de-Chinese, de-Malay, de-Indian, de-Kadazan or de-Iban policy. We stand for the very opposite, as we want Malaysians to accept that Malaysians will have multiple identities – ethnic, religious, linguistic, cultural, regional - but first and foremost that they are all Malaysians.

I want to thank Datuk K.Y. Chan and Tony Pua, the DAP MP for Damansara, for this idea of Theatre Impian which they had worked for over two years as a labour of love, solidarity, idealism and patriotism but they had kept me in the dark until last month, just before the launching of Theatre Impian.

Theatre Impian captured the substance of what we had fought for over half a century, in pursuit of the Malaysian Dream for all Malaysians regardless of race, language, religion or region to be united to make Malaysia a world-class great nation.

There are many forces in the country which want to see me crushed and obliterated and the Malaysian Dream defeated.

I have said in my 55 years of political struggle that I was born, grew up and will die in Malaysia. I never expected to be an octogenarian. But one thing is sure, I will die in Malaysia and not in any other land.

Last month, there was the Alaska Summit and historic clash between China and the United States, and there were many reports about the Chinese diaspora – one of the biggest diasporic populations in the world numbering over 70 million people of diverse backgrounds.

The Malaysian Chinese, however, do not belong to the Chinese Diaspora as they are part of the Malaysian Diaspora - comprising not only Chinese, but also Malays, Indians, Kadazans and Ibans.

I have visited many countries, including several trips to China, but I never felt home except when I was on Malaysian soil.

I want Malaysian Chinese, like other Malaysians whatever their race, religion, language, culture or region, to be treated as first-class Malaysian citizens. This is the only way to realise the Malaysian Dream.

I want all Malaysians, regardless of race, language, religion or region, to be able to fulfil their potential in Malaysia and do not have to migrate to other lands to do so, whether United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the United States to help to make these nations great.

I want them to stay in Malaysia to make Malaysia world-class great!

I visited Sekinchan four days ago on Sunday.

Five years ago, on June 18, 2016, Pakatan Harapan lost badly in two parliamentary by-elections – one in Sungai Besar and the other in Kuala Kangsar.

The Pakatan Harapan candidate in Sungai Besar by-election, Azhar Abdul Shukor of Amanah lost by a majority of 9,191 votes while in Kuala Kangsar, Ahmad Termizi Ramli of Amanah lost by a majority of 6,969 votes.

There was gloom and doom about prospects of political change for the 14th General Election which must be held in two years’ time by May 2018.

In fact, the ruling administration was so emboldened by the victories in the two parliamentary by-elections that it took several new measures in the following two weeks after the by-elections to strengthen itself, including the sacking of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir from UMNO and the suspension of Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal as UMNO member; a major purge in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) involving the two top men in the MACC; and the arrest on two trumped-up charges of corruption against the DAP Secretary-General and then Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

In the Sungai Besar parliamentary by-election, DAP even lost in the Sekinchan state assembly seat held by the present Selangor Speaker, Ng Suee Lin, who had won it for three terms – first time with a wafer-thin majority of 344 votes in the 2004 General Election, the second time with an even smaller majority of 190 votes in the 2008 General Election, the third time with a comfortable majority of 2,239 votes in the 2013 General Election.

But in less than two years in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018, we converted the gloom and doom of June 2016 into a high watermark for political change in Malaysia when we shocked Malaysians and the world with the first peaceful and democratic transition of power in six decades of Malaysian nationhood.

We are now in that political nadir as in June 2016 with Malaysians disillusioned and disappointed about the political process, with despondency and hopelessness pervading the land.

The high hopes and expectations of the 14th General Election to restore Malaysia as a world-class great nation - in the words of Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman to be “a beacon of light in a difficult and distracted world” - had not been fulfilled.

Instead of five years of institutional reforms and political, economic, social and educational changes to strongly anchor Malaysia as a world-class great nation, the Pakatan Harapan Government was toppled by the Sheraton Move conspiracy after 22 months, ushering in a backdoor, undemocratic and illegitimate government which suspended Parliament as it was unsure that it could continue to command the support of the majority of MPs in Parliament.

Can we rekindle, re-inspire, re-energize and re-motivate hope and inspiration in the Malaysian Dream for the country to be a world-class great nation by ensuring that the 15th General Election can fulfil the high but dashed hopes of the 14th General Election for reform and salvation?

I say yes. We can. We have done it before. The darkest hour is just before the dawn. All we need are conviction, stamina, commitment and perseverance to pursue the Malaysian Dream.

I have said that we must learn the lessons of the 22-month Pakatan Harapan Government.

One important lesson is to be more conscious of the power of lies, fake news and false information in the internet era of social media which can create a “new reality” which is completely opposite to the truth and facts.

For instance, many still believe the lies that I had said that one must learn Jawi to be a Malaysian and that DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng had declared that he was not a Chinese when he was appointed Finance Minister.

Or the lies that the Pakatan Harapan had arrested 12 people for alleged Tamil Tiger (LTTE) involvement or refused to recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC).

I had told our two State Assemblymen, P. Gunasekaran from Negri Sembilan and G. Samninathan from Malacca that it was DAP’s efforts in government which led to their release at the end of February 2020, or they would be detained for a long time if they were not freed before the Sheraton Move.

On the UEC certificate, this is what the Buku Harapan says:

“Pakatan Harapan will undertake to recognise UEC certificates to enter public institutions of higher learning (IPTA) provided that applicants have a credit in Bahasa Melayu at the SPM level. For this purpose, the UEC certificate will be assessed to be equivalent to the existing general qualification for entry into IPTA.”

At the DAP Retreat in 2019, the then Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said the Pakatan Harapan government was committed to the pledge to recognise the UEC certificate to enter public institutions of learning, after an assessment.

But the Pakatan Harapan government did not have five years to fulfil its election pledge as it was toppled after 22 months by the Sheraton Move conspiracy.

There are those who advocate a return to the past, when the DAP was in the Opposition.

One of the lessons of the 22-month Pakatan Harapan government is that it is in government that one can get things done.

We must aim to return to power in the 15th General Election and I urge all Malaysians to give full support to Pakatan Harapan and the Pakatan Harapan Prime Minister-designate, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The Malaysian Dream movement must continue, based on the principle that power must be used to unite Malaysians to ensure that their common interest of having a better life in terms of economy and jobs, education, housing, health, transport, environment, respect for religious and cultural diversity, parliamentary democracy, the rule of law, separation of powers, good governance, public integrity, press freedom, human rights, can be met to be a world-class great nation, and that we must reject the thesis of “Power for Power’s sake”.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri