Malaysia started New Year on good and proper footing — let us make Malaysia great again where abuses of power, corruption, and kleptocracy are no more associated with Malaysia

Malaysia started the 2023 New Year on a good and proper footing.

The old year of 2022 ended with an unprecedented stretch of 15 days in double-digit figures for the Covid-19 pandemic cases and 19 consecutive days in single-digit figures for Covid-19 deaths — with even one day (Christmas Day on Dec. 25) with zero death.

On the political front, we ended five years with four Prime Ministers and look forward to political stability in the next five years with one Prime Minister.

At long last, there is hope that Malaysia can be great again.

The 10th Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, has laid out the charter for his unity government in his 2023 New Year’s Eve Message in making economic revival and improving the living standards the top priority of his government.

Malaysians look forward to his 2024 New Year’s Eve Message to hear the progress report of his government’s efforts to restore investor confidence to draw funding and to create new high-paying jobs as well as his pledge to lead a clean, honest, efficient, and corruption-free administration.

Anwar has promised that he would not compromise on corruption and that no preferential treatment will be given if any of members of his administration is convicted of graft.

I fully back his zero-tolerance policy for corruption and his commitment to recover billions of ringgit which were “unloaded” by the nation’s former leaders to ensure that at least some of the funds taken are returned to the people.

As Anwar said, there are still among the rakyat who earns RM40 a day but then there were those among those takers who took RM4 mil (a day).

Equally important to revive Malaysian economy and to ensure a clean, honest, efficient, and corruption-free government is to unite Malaysians for the Malaysian goal.

I applaud his message that Muslims should consider Muslims as brothers in religion and non-Muslims as their brothers in humanity to build a Malaysia which could be a “a beacon of light in a difficult and distracted world”.

We must defend democracy and freedom of expression, but we must show zero-tolerance to lies, falsehood, and fake news exploiting race and religion to divide Malaysians.

We must show the world how plural nation like Malaysia can build a common future with unity, understanding, and harmony out of the diversity of ethnicities, languages, religions and cultures.

This lesson is much needed in an increasingly smaller global village with the vast changes in information technology

Let all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, and region be Malaysian First to make Malaysia great again where abuses of power, corruption, and kleptocracy are no more associated with Malaysia.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Veteran