Malaysia needs a reset, says Lim Kit Siang

KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 – Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics, must unite to save Malaysia from the fate of a failed state, says DAP veteran and Member Parliament for Iskandar Puteri, Lim Kit Siang.

Responding to a recent article in an international media, entitled: “Malaysia is staggering down the road to failed statehood”, he said Malaysia should be saved from such a fate and called for a roundtable of political and civil society during the upcoming anniversaries of the country’s 64th National Day on August 31st and and 58th Malaysia Day on Sept. 15.

While Malaysia is not a failed state yet, it could take that path, he said in a statement issued today.

“Malaysia has failed to live up to the promises of Merdeka in 1957 and the formation of Malaysia in 1963  for the country to be an example and showcase to the troubled world as to how diverse races, languages, religions, cultures and civilisations could successfully co-exist and integrate to build a united, harmonious, purposive, democratic, just, progressive and prosperous nation –  a top world-class nation.”

Graphics courtesy of Ministry of Health.

Kit Siang said Malaysia had regressed in its fight against the 18-month long Covid-19 pandemic.

On Saturday, Malaysia reported its highest number of daily Covid-19 cases at 9,353 and 87 deaths which brought the number of people who had died from the virus to 6,067 and total number of infections in the country to 827,191.

Kit Siang expects the numbers to go much higher by end August.

The “Malaysia Reset” Roundtable Conference, he is suggesting, should, among others, pursue the following objectives:

1.     Reaffirm Malaysia as a constitutional monarchy based on parliamentary democracy.

2.     Uphold the five nation-building principles of Rukun Negara.

3.     Make Malaysia a normal democratic country.

4.     Restore Parliament as the highest legislative and political chamber in the land, in accordance with the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers among the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.

5.     Uphold the independence, impartiality and professionalism of the Judiciary.

6.     Ensure an independent, non-partisan, professional and efficient Election Commission.

7.     War against corruption, cronyism and abuses of power.

8.     Malaysia should become a country where the talents and expertise of all Malaysians can find fulfilment so that the nation realise the full potential in its development in all spheres of human endeavour.

9.     The fulfilment of aspirations of the people of Sabah and Sarawak for an equal place under the Malaysian sun, as spelt out in the 1963 Malaysia Agreement.

10.  A national unity mission and goal to unite all Malaysians e.g. a united and progressive Malaysian nation in 2050.

“Seventy  years ago in 1951, the founder of UMNO Datuk Onn Jaafar was told that he was “too ahead of the times” when he left UMNO because his proposal to UMNO to open its doors to non-Malays and end the race-based communalist politics was rejected.

“Fifty-five  years ago, on 18th March 1966, DAP was told that we are “too ahead of the  times” when we formed a political party dedicated towards the goal of a democratic, prosperous and just Malaysia for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region.

“Thirty-four  years ago, in December 1987, a top police official visited me  where I was held in solitary confinement for 60 days during the ISA custodial detention in my second ISA detention under Operation Lalang, and I was told that I would be formally detained and be sent to Kamunting Detention Centre, because the DAP was “too ahead of the times” although DAP principles and polices are right and good for the country – but it might take another generation for them to become generally acceptable.

“This is 2021, sixty-four  years after Merdeka in 1957 and 58 years after the formation of Malaysia – after three generations of Malaysians.

“Are we still  “too ahead of the times” to expect Malaysians to think of themselves as Malaysian first, and their other ethnic, religious, cultural, linguistic and regional identities second?”

However, Kit Siang said a “Malaysia Reset” is only possible if two conditions are met:

“Firstly, Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics reach a consensus to strive to achieve Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman’s aspiration for Malaysia to be “a beacon of light in a difficult and distracted world”; and

“Secondly, for Malaysians to stop thinking of themselves merely as Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans, Orang Asli but  to start thinking of themselves as Malaysians!”