Call on the people of Malacca to use the Malacca general election on Saturday to launch a “Centennial Save Malaysia Campaign“ for Malaysia to stop the regression of past half-a-century and to become a world-class great nation by 2057
Thirty-seven years ago in 1984, the UMNO Malacca State Government wanted to demolish Bukit China with 12,500 graves of various communities – mostly Chinese but there are also Malay and Portuguese graves – for commercial development to build shopping complexes and condominiums.
DAP launched a “Save Bukit China campaign” and united not only the people of Malacca, of also of Malaysia, comprising all races and religions, to preserve the Bukit China cemetery hill as a Malaysian national heritage site.
The campaign started on a pessimistic note, as there were many naysayers who said that the campaign was bound to fail as it was not possible to stop the Malacca State Government which had announced its plan to demolish Bukit China to give way to commercial development.
We organised ceramahs not only in Malacca, but throughout the country to explain the aims of the “Save Bukit China campaign” and we organised many functions throughout the country to explain the injustice of the Malacca State Government to demolish the 400-year old cemetery hill.
Many who joined the “Save Bukit China campaign” were harassed and intimidated, and even arrested and charged in court, but eventually, the unity of the people was too mighty even for the Malacca State Government to ignore and the Bukit China cemetery hill stands today as a symbol of what could be achieved if the people are united behind an issue.
Today, we face a bigger crisis.
On Saturday, the Malacca voters go to the polls in the Malacca general election which will have far-reaching implications and consequences for the future of politics and nation-building in Malaysia.
I understand the disappointment, hopelessness and even desolation felt by many in the land that the Pakatan Harapan had not introduced many institutional and structural reforms and changes in Malaysia.
But they forget that Pakatan Harapan Government had only 22 months although it had a mandate to govern for five years before it was robbed by the Sheraton Move conspiracy which ushered in two backdoor, illegitimate and undemocratic governments under two Prime Ministers, Muhyiddin Yassin and Ismail Sabri.
I myself am not happy with the rate of institutional reforms and changes under the 22-month Pakatan Harapan government, and if this rate had continued after the mid-term of Pakatan Harapan government at the end of 2020, I would have done my best to ensure that the Pakatan Harapan government did its utmost to implement the institutional reforms and changes promised in the Pakatan Harapan general election manifesto.
In fact, I already had a meeting with the then Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to express my concerns about the tardiness of Pakatan Harapan to implement the general election pledges, but before more could be done, the PH was toppled by the Sheraton Move conspiracy in February 2020.
In the last few days, we have the revelation and confession from Muhyiddin that he had been opposing institutional reforms promised during the general election, vindicating my statement to our Gadek candidate, Saminathan Ganesan, that if he had been released from the trumped-up charges of terrorist connection with the Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers, he was likely to be incarcerated for quite some time after the Sheraton Move conspiracy in February 2020.
But one fact is undeniable. Malaysia had not lived up to its promise to be a world-class great nation as Malaysia had been overtaken by one country after another in the past half-century – Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Vietnam.
The 22-month Covid-19 pandemic has exposed an unpleasant reality – we are even losing out to Indonesia which is fast closing the development gap between the two countries.
If Malaysia does not wake up and bestir itself to greater accomplishments, in a decade or two, young Malaysians will be going to Indonesia to find work instead of the other way around.
I therefore call on the voters of Malacca, on the occasion of the 37th anniversary of the Save Bukit China Campaign, to use the Malacca general election on Saturday to launch a “Centennial Save Malaysia Campaign“ for Malaysia to stop the regression of the past half-a-century and to become a world-class great nation by 2057.
Malaysia cannot become a world-class great nation in a year or two, or even in a decade or two. It is going to be a great challenge for Malaysia to become a world-class great nation in 36 years’ time in 2057.
This is not going to be an easy challenge, but with the success and in the spirit of “Save Bukit China” which could mobilise and unite the diverse peoples in Malacca and Malaysia for a common mission, I belive that this not an impossible mission.
I do not hide my worry that the voting turnout on Saturday for the Malacca general election may be a historic low, which will be a bad sign for the “Centennial Save Malaysia Campaign” to become a world-class great nation by 2057.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the voting turnout in Jordan was 30% and in Algeroa 29%.
Let the people of Malacca shock Malaysians on Saturday by producing over 70% or even over 80% voting turnout – which will be a wonderful start to the Centennial Save Malaysia 2057 Campaign to become a world-class great nation.
I will not be around in 2057 to see whether Centennial Malaysia 2057 succeeds in becoming a world-class great nation, but we should start this campaign atop the Bukit China hill, among the remains of our ancestors, where we can not only look back at Malacca’s 600-year past history but dare to look into the 100-year future to pursue the Malaysian Dream.