Reply to Terence Netto who cannot see the moral fog in the land which had produced the “Malu Apa BossKU” phenomenon - testimony that decades of moral and religious education had been a failure as Malaysians cannot differentiate right from wrong

Veteran journalist Terence Netto wrote “Kit Siang’s lurch into a moral fog” yet he cannot see the moral fog in the land which had produced the “Malu Apa BossKU” phenomenon - testimony that decades of moral and religious education had been a failure as Malaysians cannot differentiate right from wrong.

Rest assured Terence, there is no lurch into a moral fog and no moral relativism on my part. Black is black and white is white, but don’t ignore the vast shades of grey.

The three witches at the opening scenes of Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth cried “Fair is foul and foul is fair/Hover through the fog and filthy air” – a situation we who love Malaysia must prevent the country from becoming.

Malaysia has lost her way in nation-building that we have now Cabinet Ministers who do not accept the basic nation-building principles in our Constitution and the Rukun Negara – whether it be the rule of law, separation of powers, good governance, meritocracy or Malaysia as a plural society.

Recently, a Malaysian Malay leader asked: “Could it be that after being given all sorts of crutches, the effect has been to make the Malays weak and insecure, and most noticeably, lacking in resilience? What has led to this lack of confidence? It seems that when the Malays were facing real challenges, such as fighting for independence, our resilience was so much stronger.

“As ease and comfort and quality of life improved, confidence and resilience abated. These observations call for sincere self-reflection – instead of picking fights with perceived enemies, we should look inwards and try to better ourselves instead of blaming all of our ills on others. We seem to be scared of our own shadows.”

Are we capable of a truly National or Malaysian Narrative, a National Agenda which is not a Malay agenda or a non-Malay agenda but a Malaysian Agenda that takes into consideration all Malaysians and which fights poverty and inequality without discrimination, respecting the Constitution.

All is not lost.

There is the beginning of an awareness among Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region that only a Malaysian Agenda can leverage on the values and virtues of the four great civilisations which meet in confluence in Malaysia to make Malaysia a world-class great nation instead of losing out to one nation after another, as happened in the last half-a-century which sparked the first Malaysian Diaspora, where over a million of the best and brightest Malaysians emigrated worldwide to make other nations instead of Malaysia world-class and great.

Malaysia is struggling to get out of the trajectory of a kleptocracy and kakistocracy.

Yes, the “Malu Apa BossKU” phenomenon flies in the face of efforts to get Malaysia out of the trajectory of kleptocracy because of the monstrous mega multi-billion dollar 1MDB financial scandal and other scandals, but there are also signs of Malaysia returning to the basic nation-building principles and policies the nation’s founding fathers have agreed upon like the supremacy of the rule of law.

These conflicts are best encapsulated in the Azimah judgment in the former Attorney-General Mohamad Apandi’s defamation suit against me.

I have said that the Azimah judgment is a must-read for all prospective Attorney-Generals but I want to correct myself, as it is a must-read for all Malaysians who still believe and hope in Malaysia, who despair but do not give up their aspirations that Malaysia can be a better place for our children and children’s children, rejecting corruption, abuses of power and discrimination by returning to the founding nation-building principles and policies of Malaysia.

I am last person to want to compete with “Malu Apa BossKu” movement to “launder” Najib’s reputation.

I will want Najib to serve his jail sentence as handed down by the courts as an example to all Malaysian leaders to stay far away from corruption and kleptocracy.

But despite the slim chances, if Najib could not only condemn the 1MDB scandal and deplore Malaysia being turned into a kleptocracy, but to declare that the “Malu Apa BossKU” movement is a new infamy for Malaysia, would Terence Netto agree that this will be a worthwhile effort?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri