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Scandal-hit M’sia now ‘sick man of Asean’, says Kit Siang
Published:  Jan 15, 2016 11:47 AM
Updated: 9:53 AM

Malaysia is now the "sick man of Asean" following the many scandals and challenges faced by the nation from last year, lamented DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang.

"Malaysia is seriously sick and the only way for the country to be healthy, vibrant and vigorous again […] is the cure of a change of government in the 14th general election," Lim said in a speech in Ipoh yesterday.

An indication of how sick Malaysia is, he said, lies in how people are punished for questioning the RM2.6 billion that had landed in Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's accounts and the 1MDB issue.

His own six-month suspension from Parliament for questioning Najib on the RM2.6 billion is a prime example of this, said the Gelang Patah MP.

Najib's administration can even blatantly break its promise to explain the two scandals on the last day of the Dewan Rakyat budget meeting on Dec 3 without any repercussions, he pointed out.

Parliament has again proven its irrelevance when it could do nothing to demand accountability from Najib's administration on these two scandals, he said.

Ringgit indicator of ills

Lim provided five other signs of Malaysia's "advanced frailty and sickness", that is, economic decline, educational decline, sports decline, nation-building decline and corruption in the country.

He reminded that about 50 years ago, Malaysia was the second most developed country after Japan in Asia, but now our nation has been overtaken by Taiwan and South Korea and risks falling behind even further.

"The value of the Malaysian ringgit is one eloquent indicator of our plight.

"The situation has got so bad that the Malaysian ringgit is not accepted in Hatyai in neighbouring Thailand," he said.

Malaysian educational institutions of the past were among the best in the world, with University of Malaya being one of the world's top universities at one time, he said.

However, he said, Malaysia's public educational system has "become a joke", with the country's universities dropping out of the world rankings.

Malaysia even used to be a top football nation in Asia, he said, but today we are ranked only 38 places away from the bottom in the Fifa rankings.

Tops in injustice, corruption

An example of nation-building decline, he said, is the case of M Indira Gandhi, a Hindu mother whose children were unilaterally converted to Islam by her ex-husband.

"The outrageous injustice on Indira from Ipoh who had been forcibly separated from her daughter for seven long years since (the latter) was only an 11-month-old baby highlights the gross decline in human rights and dignity in our country in the past six decades," he said.

Last but not least, corruption is "rife and rampant" in the country, he said, pointing to Malaysia being ranked third for the world's "worst corruption scandals in 2015".

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