Does Malaysia want to be the first nation in the world to have a kleptocrat to return to power as the 10th or 11th Prime Minister of Malaysia?

The biggest joke in the 14-day Johore general election is the statement by the Johor Barisan Nasional (BN) chief Hasni Mohammad that Singapore could be more developed if it was led by UMNO.

For the last 27 years from 1995 to 2021, Singapore ranked among the top 10 countries in the world in the annual Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) while Malaysia fell from the rank of 23rd position in 1995 to 62nd position in 2021. Malaysia is expecting to drop further in the TI CPI 2022.

If UMNO was in Singapore, there was no way for the island republic to be among the top 10 countries in the world in the last 27 years for integrity, transparency and accountability.

The most shameless event in the 14-day Johor general election is the way former Prime Minister, Najib Razak, is campaigning in the state to get the support of both the Malay and non-Malay communities for his “Apa Malu BOSSku” campaign.

If Najib succeeds in his “Apa Malu BOSSku” campaign, he will be the first kleptocrat in the world to return to power as the 10th or 11th Prime Minister of Malaysia, an act which had not happened in any other country.

We will know tomorrow whether Najib will succeed in his “Apa Malu BOSSku” campaign, with Malaysia beating the Philippines where the son of another kleptocrat, Marcos, is contesting the current Philippines presidential election.

After the 13th general election in 2013, where Najib lost two-thirds BN parliamentary majority for the first time, the Malaysian Chinese were asked: “Apa Lagi Cina Mahu?”

The Chinese in Malaysia, like all Malaysians whether Malay, Indian, Kadazan or Dayak, want all citizens to be equal citizens as provided by the Malaysian Constitution and the Rukun Negara.

Malaysia cannot become a successful world-class great nation unless all Malaysians have a “Malaysian first” outlook and mentality and accept Malaysia as a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation, as well as the fundamental nation-building principles embedded in the Malaysian Constitution and Rukun Negara – constitutional monarchy, the separation of powers, the rule of law, respect for human rights, integrity and good governance.

All Malaysians regardless of race, religion and region, must have a common Malaysian Dream, to halt the national decline of the past half-a-century losing out to one nation after another – Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Vietnam.

Over a million of the best and brightest Malaysians have been forced in the past half-a-century to migrate to the four corners of the world because of the many injustices, inequalities and iniquities in Malaysia, forming the first Malaysian Diaspora.

We do not want to create a second Malaysian Diaspora, where another million of the best and brightest Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, migrate overseas because they see no hope in preventing Malaysia from becoming a kleptocracy, kakistocracy and a failed state.

This is what the Johor state general election tomorrow is all about and why every vote counts.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri