Call on people of Johor to ensure a high voter turnout on March 12 to ensure DAP can retain all 14 State Assembly seats and Pakatan Harapan’s “big tent” can win some 30 seats to form the next Johore state government to continue institutional reforms started in the 14th general election

DAP started in the Johor state general election from a very low point. Many do not expect the DAP to retain half the 14 seats won in the previous general election and there were even those who expect the DAP to be wiped out completely in Johor on March 12, especially under the Covid-19 pandemic which had been rampaging for more than two years and the very restrictive SoPs.

The public morale of the DAP and Pakatan Harapan was low because for more than two years, the Malaysian public had been fed with the false information, fake news and negative propaganda that the 22-month Pakatan Harapan government was a failure and disaster, when in fact, it was the beginning of institutional reforms started in the 14th General Election in 2018 to make Malaysia a world-class great nation.

The Pakatan Harapan government was given five years to fulfil its election promises, but it was toppled undemocratically and unconstitutionally after 22 months.

Nowhere in the world is it possible for fulfil in 22 months what was promised in five years. If in the first half of the five-year term, the Pakatan Harapan government was slow in implementing its election pledges, this process could be accelerated and made up in the second half of the five-year term – but this was made impossible because of the Sheraton Move conspiracy which toppled the Pakatan Harapan government in February 2020.

The time to pass judgement whether Pakatan Harapan had failed in its promises to bring about change in a New Malaysia after five years is in the 15th General Election and not after 22 months.

I had a private meeting with the then Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad in mid-2019 where I emphasised the importance to implementing the Pakatan Harapan election pledges, and that for whatever reason, an election pledge could not be implemented, the PH government must be frank with the people and explain the reasons. Mahathir agreed and a PH manifesto review committee was set up to monitor the implementation of the PH election pledges.

I had intended to meet the Prime Minister again after the mid-term of the five-year Pakatan Harapan government to review the implementation of the PH election pledges, but this was made impossible because the Pakatan Harapan government was toppled after 22 months by the Sheraton Move conspiracy.

For half-a-century, Malaysia was in national decline, losing out to one nation after another – Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Vietnam. We created a Malaysian Diaspora with over a million Malaysians all over the world to make other countries great, when they should be in Malaysia to make Malaysia a world-class great nation. Instead, because of the inequalities and injustices of past policies, we have more than a million Malaysians of all races outside the country.

It is delusionary to talk about political stability when we force more than a million of the best, brightest and talented Malaysians overseas because of the inequalities and injustices of our policies. There must be a change of nation-building policies, whether political, economic, educational or social, and this is what the Pakatan Harapan had promised to do in the “miraculous” decision in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018.

Can we reignite hope and confidence in the Pakatan Harapan and the promises of Malaysia as a world-class great nation, instead of ending up as a kleptocracy, kakistocracy and a failed state?

This is what the Johore state general election on March 12, 2022 is all about.

In my 55 years in Malaysian politics, I have been demonised as anti-Malay and anti-Islam. There is no basis for such allegations, as a Malaysian patriot who believe in being “Malaysian First” cannot be anti any race and religion in the country as the first pre-condition of being a “Malaysian first” is to accept Malaysia as a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation.

Under the PH government, I have been accused of being betraying the rights and interest of the Chinese in Malaysia over the Jawi issue.

My stand on Jawi down the decades has not changed at all – that it should not be made a compulsory subject forcing all students to learn the subject, but should be optional whether one wants to learn Jawi or not.

I learnt Jawi in 1969 when I was detained under the Internal Security Act in Muar Detention Centre, but this was from my free choice, not as a result of compulsion on anyone’s part.

How have my stand on Jawi stand change over the years, particularly under the 22-month PH government?

Another example of the falsehoods, fake news and negative propaganda which had been bombarding the people for the past few years was the allegation that the DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng had said that he was not a Chinese.

This is an outright falsehood. Guan Eng never denied that he is a Chinese. He was stressing that he was a Finance Minister of the Pakatan Harapan government for all Malaysians and not just for the Malaysian Chinese.

Many people believe these falsehoods, fake news and negative propaganda which had been the staple diet of the army of paid cybertroopers in the social media to mislead public opinion.

We must counter and debunk these lies and falsehoods so that Malaysians do not have a misconception of DAP and DAP leaders.

For the first time in the 65-year history of elections in Malaysia, we are having an election where a major political party is elevating “shamelessness” as a public good, where its political leaders need not have moral standards or guilt for making Malaysia as a kleptocracy, where political leaders cannot differentiate between what is right and wrong, what is corruption and abuse of power and what is not.

Is this going to be the fate of Malaysia – far from becoming a world-class great nation but doomed to become a kleptocracy, kakistocracy and a failed state?

What is happening in New York in the criminal trial of former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng for corruption in the billion-dollar 1MDB scandal is relevant to the Johor general election on March 12, 2022.

Former Prime Minister Najib Razak is the chief UMNO campaigner in the Johore general election for this is part of the UMNO plan to force early 15th General Election so that he could be the 10th or 11th Prime Minister of Malaysia.

He has advocated a policy of “shamelessness” in Malaysian politics, as he has no compunction over the billion-dollar 1MDB scandal which has made Malaysia infamous in the world as a kleptocracy.

In Parliament, he even said that not a single sen of public funds had been used by the government to repay the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) debts, which has been rebutted as untrue by the present and previous Finance Minister, and the DAP MP for Damansara, Tony Pua, has given notice to refer Najib to the Parliamentary Committee of Privileges for misleading Parliament.

Najib believes that he has the support of the Malays in the “Apa Malunya BOSSku” campaign, which will be tested in the Johore general election on March 12. Now he wants the non-Malays to support him in the “Apa Malunya BOSSku” campaign.

I believe that all the great civilisations and religions of the world want their leaders, in fact the people, to have moral standards and can differentiate between right and wrong – to have a feeling of shame where they have lost their moral compass – and not to end up as a society where political leaders have no sense of shame at their corruption and abuses of power.

Malaysia is undergoing a moral crisis – for both the Malays and non-Malays.

A renown ed Islamic scholar, who was Rector of the International Islamic University of Malaysia has written a book on “Corruption and Hypocrisy in Malay-Muslim Politics – The Urgency of Moral-Ethical Transformation” where he said he was “disgusted, appalled and sickened” by corruption and hypocrisy of Malay and Muslim political leaders.

This is why I do not believe that the Malays is in full support of the “Apa Malunya BOSSku” campaign.

Schools and society should not be diverted from their primary task to make future generations able to differentiate between right and wrong and never to lose the moral compass in life.

Half-way the Johore general election, it is not clear which coalition has the upper hand.

It is important that there should be a high voter turnout on March 12 not only to ensure that DAP can retain the 14 State Assembly seats, but that the Pakatan Harapan and “big tent’ approach can win at least 30 seats to form the next Johore state government.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri