15th General Election is the most important general election in the nation’s history as it is the last chance to save Malaysia from being a second-rate mediocre country

The 15th General Election on November 19, 2022 is the most important general election in the nation’s 65-year history.

This is because it is the last chance to save Malaysia from being a second-rate mediocre country and instead of deteriorating to become a third-class failed state like Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe by Malaysia Centennial, fulfil our potential to become a great world-class plural nation.

I have devoted 57 years of my life to Malaysian politics, including 15 months in Muar at the Muar Detention Centre in 1969-70, but I have not given up on the Malaysian Dream where all Malaysians, regardless of whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans or Dayaks, or whether Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, can find a better and more fulfilling life in Malaysia – whether political, economic, social or in the environment field.

We have not fulfilled our Malaysian Dream in the last six decades.

Instead of we have lost out economically to one country after another – Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and Vietnam. Unless we buck up, we will lose out to more countries.

We must recognise that Malaysia is in deep trouble, reflected from the value of our Malaysian ringgit, when we were one Malaysian Ringgit to one Singapore dollar in 1965 but which has devalued to one Singapore Dollar to 3.345 Malaysian Ringgit.

Is it because Singapore has more talents and skills than Malaysia? It cannot be so, because Singapore is great today because of Malaysian talents and skills who have gone to the island republic to make a living!

Why can’t they stay in Malaysia to make Malaysia great and to realise the Malaysian Dream for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region?

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.

Sultan Nazrin of Perak’s warning last month to Malaysians not to be in denial and not to perform “mental acrobatics to deny the existence of the corruption ‘elephant’ that is vividly happen in front of our eyes” is most apt and timely.

This is because we are at the point where Malaysians must decide whether to unite to save the country from the catastrophe of corruption and kleptocracy or surrender to corruption and allow the country to be a failed and rogue state and a kleptocratic regime.

In the first annual TI CPI in 1995, Malaysia was the top OIC country, but in the 2021 TI CPI, we have lost out of five OIC countries, namely United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Brunei, Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Will UMNO President, Zahid Hamidi, Bersatu President, Muhyiddin Yassin and PAS President, Hadi Awang agree that the next 2022 TI CPI report, which will be released next January, will be even worse than the 22 months of TI CPI under Pakatan Harapan Government?

Why is this so? Is it the fault of BN, PN or PH?

I ask all Malaysians to ask themselves two questions when they cast their vote on Nov. 19, 2022: firstly, whether Malaysia can be saved; and secondly, whether Malaysia is worth saving.

Malaysia is still “save-able” and worth saving. If Malaysia is not save-able or not worth saving, then that is the end of the story,.

But Malaysia has not reached the stage of a totally broken, divided and failed nation although we have fallen considerably from our expectations of a world-class great plural nation.

Malaysia is at the confluence of the four great civilisations in the world – Malay/Islamic, Chinese, Indian and Western.

Can Malaysia leverage on the best values and virtues of these four great civilisations to make Malaysia, using the words of Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman, “a beacon of light in the difficult and distracted world”?

If we can do so, Malaysia can still be a great world-class plural nation and save the country from being a kleptocracy, kakistocracy, a failed and rogue state in the next three to four decades.

This is the challenge of the 15th General Election on 19th November 2022.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Veteran