I will not debate with Najib who should disappear from the Malaysian political scene after turning Malaysia into a kleptocracy

A former Prime Minister wanted me to completely retire from Malaysian politics since I announced my political retirement at the DAP Congress on March 20, 2022.

I am afraid that I have to disappoint him for I am retiring from competitive politics and will not stand for any election inside or outside the party, including parliamentary and state assembly election, but it is not possible to retire completely from politics as politics affects every aspect and every second of one’s life.

There are two million Malaysians above the age of 65 and three million Malaysians in the 55-64 age group, and I strongly believe that these five million senior citizens have a role to play to support the young generation of Malaysians to realise the Malaysian Dream to make Malaysia a world-class great nation.

I want to thank the MP for Bukit Mertajam, Steven Sim, for volunteering to stand in for me in the proposed debate with the former Prime Minister.

I have opted out of such politics but even more important, I will not debate with Najib Razak, as the best thing he can do if he really love Malaysia is to disappear from the Malaysian political scene after the infamy, ignominy and iniquity he had brought to the country by turning Malaysia into a kleptocracy in his years as Prime Minister.

He is only bringing more infamy, ignominy and iniquity to Malaysia by claiming that he is proud of Malaysia’s kleptocracy in the world.

I do not wish to give any platform to the disgraced former Prime Minister which will only enhance his credibility and belief that there is nothing wrong in turning Malaysia into a kleptocracy.

I want to thank the people of Bukit Mertajam and Malaysia for their support and co-operation in the last six decades in striving for the Malaysian Dream.

I have been thinking not only about Malaysia’s present position but also about the future, what Malaysia will be like when Malaysia marks its Centennial. I will not be around but we all have a responsibility about it, for we are all Malaysian patriots and want a better and successful Malaysia for our children and children’s children.

Will Malaysia become a Sri Lanka, Philippines and even a Lebanon?

In the last half a century, Malaysia nearly became a Tiger economy, but we took a wrong turn in our nation-building policies and we have lost out not only to the four Tiger economies of Taiwan, Singapore, South Kore and Hong Kong, we have been overtaken by Vietnam and in danger of being overtaken by other countries.

We stand the danger of becoming one of the most corrupt nations in Asia.

In the first list of the Transparency International (TI) annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI) in 1995, Malaysia was the least corrupt Organisation of Islamic State (OIC) nation, ranked No. 23 out 41 nations, while another OIC country, Indonesia, was the most corrupt – No. 41 out of 41 countries, even more corrupt than China, ranked No. 40.

Today, four OIC countries – UEA (ranked No. 24), Qatar (31) Brunei (35), Saudi Arabia (52) - have outranked Malaysia (62) and from the present corruption trajectory, we are likely lose out to China, India, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines in TI CPI 2030

If we are to become a world-class great nation, we must return to the nation- building principles our founding fathers have agreed in the Malaysian Constitution – constitutional monarchy, parliamentary democracy, separation of powers, rule of law, good governance, respect for human rights and national unity from our multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural diversity.

We have so lost our way in nation-building that we have now in the 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 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.”

He said the “choice is up to Malaysians” - nak duduk macam katak di bawah tempurung, to become a force to reckon within the context of the national agenda, Malaysia Baru, or to go down the path Malaysians are currently treading?

He asked: “Do we proclaim a narrative that is narrow, focused only on ourselves? Or will we pursue a truly National or Malaysian Narrative, in which we participate and play a very active role?

“The National Agenda is not a Malay agenda or a non-Malay agenda. It is a Malaysian Agenda that takes into consideration all Malaysians. That fights poverty and inequality without discrimination, respecting the Constitution.”

This is the challenge Malaysians are confronted with in the 15th General Election which must be held within a year, whether this year or next.

Malaysia needs to return to the basic nation-building principles in the Malaysian Constitution and the Rukun Negara if we are not to end up as a failed state.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri