Four questions for the Parliamentary Opposition Leader

The seven-week Parliament beginning today is as much a make-or-break session for Anwar Unity Government as it is a test whether the 74-MP Opposition bloc can promote unity in a plural society and restore Malaysia as a first-rate world-class nation.

The Anwar Unity Government has started on the right footing in its first 52 days in office, vindicating what Anwar Ibrahim promised after he was appointed the 10th Prime Minister by the Yang di Pertuan Agong that he would not compromise on good governance, the anti-corruption drive, judicial independence, and the welfare of ordinary Malaysians.

Now is the time for the hopes to begin to become reality — how start achieving the national unity from the diversity of ethnicities, languages, religions, cultures and civilizations that meet in confluence in Malaysia and to reset and make Malaysia a world-class nation guided by democracy, the rule of law, good governance, anti-corruption, and a global economic, education, and social system.

But it is also an acid test whether the 74-MPs Opposition bloc can be a trusted and loyal opposition to support the Anwar unity government to end the very polarised ethnic and religious relations in Malaysia, give a new meaning to “Unity in Diversity” from the various ethnicities, religions and cultures that meet in confluence in Malaysia by deepening the understanding of Malaysians in the five nation-building principles of Rukun Negara.

This is why the inaugural speech of the Leader of Opposition, Hamzah Zainuddin, in the Royal Address debate tomorrow is important, in setting the tone for the Opposition in the 15th Parliament — whether the Opposition will put national priority over coalition priority and offer support to the objectives of the Anwar government to unite a very polarised plural society along racial and religious lines and reset to return to the original nation-building principles of the nation’s founding fathers for Malaysia to become a first-rate world-class nation.

The first question is why Hadi Awang or Muhyiddin Yassin is not the Parliamentary Opposition Leader.

The second question is whether the Opposition will use Parliament to purvey the divisive and toxic politics of lies, falsehoods, fake news, race and religion and whether the Opposition Leader will repeat the most preposterous lies and falsehoods in Parliament, as for example that the DAP is anti-Malay, anti-Islam, communist, and promoting Islamophobia.

The third question is whether the Opposition will give full support to all measures to promote good governance, the anti-corruption drive, judicial independence, and the welfare of ordinary Malaysians, as for example:

Good Governance — MPs place national interests above their self-interests and are prepared to make sacrifices for the country to form a good, clean, honest and efficient government. making public the report and recommendations of the Eminent Persons Council to the Pakatan Harapan Government about institutional reforms in 2018 and the establishment of an Ombudsman.

Anti-Corruption Drive — Set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Corruption as to how Malaysia became a kleptocracy, losing out to more and more countries in TI CPI since 1995 and how Malaysia can become one of the top countries in the world in public integrity on the anti-corruption front as well as to adopt a new Malaysian National Anti-Corruption Plan to place Malaysia among the top 30 countries in the world in public integrity.

Judicial Independence — Legislation to remove all Executive influence on judicial appointments, as amendment to the Judicial Appointments Committee Act to remove any Executive influence on the appointment and promotion of judges in Malaysia.

People’s Welfare — Malaysia achieving its ambition to be a tiger economy (which it nearly achieved previously), with jobs and high wages for Malaysians, minimum wage for workers, and world class education, economic and social system, together with a policy to discourage talents emigration.

National Unity — Malaysia becomes a world example of a plural nation achieving unity in diversity, harmony and understanding among diverse ethnicities, languages, religions and cultures — an “Instant Asia in Malaysia”.

The fourth question is whether the 15th Parliament would be used by the Opposition to primarily foment another Sheraton Move political conspiracy to topple the Anwar government and usher in a third “back-door” government.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Veteran