Anwar Ibrahim is a superior candidate for the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia than Zahid Hamidi, Ibrahim Sabri, Muhyiddin Yassin or Hadi Awang

The 15th General Election is a parliamentary election to form the Federal Government in Malaysia and not to form the State Government in Sarawak.

At present, there are only three coalitions which could form the Federal Government in Putrajaya after the 15GE Polling on November 19, 2022: firstly, the UMNO-Barisan Nasional coalition, secondly the Perikatan Nasional coalition of Bersatu and PAS; and thirdly, the Pakatan Harapan coalition of PKR, DAP, Amanah and UPKO.

The candidates for the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia are quite clear: Zahid Hamidi or Ismail Sabri of the UMNO/BN coalition; Muhyiddin Yassin or Hadi Awang of the Perikatan Nasional coalition of Bersatu and PAS or Anwar Ibrahim of the Pakatan Harapan coalition.

There is no doubt that from the slate of candidates for the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim is a superior candidate as compared to Zahid Hamidi or Ismail Sabri of UMNO/BN coalition, Muhyiddin Yassin or Hadi Awang of the Perikatan Nasional coalition.

The Malaysian voters rejected the UMNO-BN coalition in the 14GE in 2018, because the UMNO/BN leaders have betrayed the original nation-building principles of Malaysia to be a great world-class plural nation and, in the words of Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman, to be “a beacon of light in a difficult and distracted world”.

Instead of being “a beacon of light in a difficult and distracted world”, we had added to the “darkness” in the world by becoming a “kleptocracy at its worst” with not only the monstrous 1MDB scandal, but many other financial scandals with the latest the RM9 billion littoral combatant ships (LCS) scandal.

What is worse, the UMNO/BN coalition stands for “Ketuanan Melayu”, when after six decades of Malaysian nation-building, we should be talking about “Ketuanan Malaysia” and “Malaysian First” although we remain Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans or Dayaks.

Zahid Hamidi claims that the UMNO/BN coalition has achieved great things for Malaysia, then let him explain the following developments:

1. In 1965, one Singapore dollar was worth one Malaysian ringgit. After sixty years, one Singapore dollar is now worth RM3.3 Malaysian ringgit. Does Zahid call this progress?

2. Since the early years of nationhood, we have lost out to Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and Vietnam? At the rate we are going, to will lose to many other nations? Why is this so?

3. When Transparency International (TI) started its annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI) in 1995, we were way ahead of China, India and Indonesia. Since then, China, India and indonesia have closed the gap of a clean and honest government, and it is likely that China will overtake Malaysia in the TI CPI in this decade, and India and Indonesia will overtake Malaysia in the next decade. Why is this so?

4. We had good schools and universities in the early decades, but they now lose out to other countries with Malaysia in the bottom third of world in maths and science education.

Zahid says that Ismail Sabri will be the Prime Minister if the UMNO/BN coalition wins. I do not think that Ismail Sabri fully trusts Zahid, although he has to pretend that Zahid will be true in his words.

Do we want Muhyiddin the “back-stabber” or Hadi Awang, the extremist Islamist to be Prime Minister – Hadi who says that corruption among Muslims is all right but not among the non-Muslims?

Both the other two coalitions do not embrace Malaysia as a plural society of diverse races, languages, religions and cultures. Only Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Harapan embrace the concept that Malaysia must be for all races and religions who have made a home in Malaysia, that for Malaysia to become a great world-class nation, we must unite all races, religions and regions in the country.

This is why Anwar Ibrahim is the superior candidate to be the 10th Prime Minister as compared to the other candidates from the other two coalitions – UMNO/BN and Perikatan Nasional.

The 15GE may end up like the 14GE – with UMNO/BN in the lead before the GE but not so after

The 15th General Election on Nov. 19, 2022 may end up like the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018 – with UMNO/Barisan Nasional in the lead before the poll but not so when the results were out.

In the 14GE, I campaigned for the toppling of the UMNO/BN government throughout the country but if you asked me on the morning of Polling Day on May 9, 2018, I would not say that Pakatan Harapan would end the UMNO/BN political hegemony on that day.

The UMNO President and Prime Minister at time, Najib Razak, was himself very confident not only of victory that day, but of a two-thirds parliamentary majority win until the end of Polling on May 9, 2018.

But the Malaysian voters, whether in the country or in the Malaysian Diaspora world-wide, made a supreme effort and startled not only Malaysia but the world with a change of government on May 9, 2018.

We are now in the same position in the 15GE.

The UMN0/BN coalition believes that they are in the lead but the decision is not in their hands, but in the hands of the Malaysian voters in the country and worldwide – whether we start anew by a reset and a return to the original nation-building principles for a plural society, or we become a kleptocracy, kakistocracy and a failed and divided state by Malaysia’s Centennial in another four decades.

I am 81 years old and have devoted 57 years of my life in pursuit of the Malaysian Dream – a Malaysia where there is freedom, justice and a good life for all Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans or Ibans.

Whether we are Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans or Ibans, whether we are Muslism, Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists or Christians, we sacrificed and shed tears, sweat and blood for the same goal – to ensure that our children and children’s children have a better life than ourselves.

I will not be around on Malaysia’s Centennial but I will go all out to pursue the Malaysian Dream until my last breath.

Although I am not in the front-line of politics, I will devote every ounce of my energy in the cause of the Malaysian Dream, starting with the objective to make Anwar Ibrahim the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia to begin the process of Malaysian national healing and renewal so that we can become a world-class great plural nation and not a kleptocracy, kakistocracy, a failed and rogue state on Malaysia’s Centennial.

This is what the 15GE on 19th November 2022 is all about – about the future of Malaysia and not to save leaders of UMNO and BN from being charged in court and go to jail!

Like most Malaysians, I am disappointed that the 22-month Pakatan Harapan could not do more – but it is impossible to achieve in 22 months what we wanted to do in five years.

We never expected to be betrayed by the Sheraton Move conspiracy.

But have the 22-month Pakatan Harapan government been a total failure. If so, Najib will not be in jail now and UMNO and BN leaders in fear of being charged for corruption and going to jail

We must renew our hope for a better Malaysia and let us do it on Nov. 19, 2022!

Lim Kit Siang DAP Veteran