The 12th Malaysia Plan – Prime Minister and former Prime Ministers

While the Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri was stonily reading from the tele-prompter his 12th Malaysia Plan speech to launch the 12th Malaysia Plan in Parliament yesterday, I cannot but look at two former Prime Ministers, one who had presented two five-year Malaysia Plans in Parliament and one who must have thought he should be at the lectern delivering the 12th Malaysia Plan speech if not for the sabotage by his erstwhile political comrades just over a month ago.

They were seated on the same row, although one place apart – but they had no contact or interaction with each other and for both, the other former Prime Minister could be as far away as in a foreign land.

The former Prime Minister who had presented five five-year Malaysia Plans in Parliament from 1981-2001 was absent or it would be most interesting to speculate what was going through his mind during Ismail’s speech.

There was another Member of Parliament who should be presenting the 12th Malaysia Plan if not for the Sheraton Move conspiracy in February 2020 which negatived the mandate by the electorate in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018 and ushered Malaysia into an era of illegitimate and backdoor governments, using all sorts of tricks and stratagems to keep such a government alive – including the declaration of an unconstitutional emergency.

Would his chance to be Prime Minister come in the 15th General Election, whether in 2022 or 2023?

Be that as it may, Malaysia is in a new political landscape as a result of confidence-supply-reform (CFR) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri and Pakatan Harapan leaders, Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng, Mohamad Sabu and Wilfred Madius Tangau on 10th September 2021 so that all Members of Parliament can single-mindedly focus on winning the war against the Covid-19 pandemic which had caused over two million Covid-19 cases and over 25,000 deaths, and reset institutional and parliamentary reforms to pave the way for economic, social and national recovery.

Malaysia faces a new challenge with the launch of the 12th Malaysia Plan yesterday.

Can Malaysia rise like a phoenix to triumph over the setbacks and disasters of the past or will it end up as a kleptocracy, kakistocracy and a failed state as forewarned by the Covid-19 pandemic where Malaysia ended in the past year as one of worst-performing nations in the world?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri