How many Malaysians will believe that I want to be the PM?

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MP SPEAKS | In the last 24 hours, I came across three items on the social media in the vicious demonisation campaign launched by Umno/BN propagandists and cyberbroopers in the run-up to the 14th general election to paint me as a devil, a puaka, even jembalang; that I am anti-Malay, anti-Islam; cause of the May 13, 1969 riots; a communist; a stooge of foreign powers; that I dominate Pakatan Harapan and made other leaders like Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar Ibrahim, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Muhyiddin Yassin, Azmin Ali and Mohamad Sabu into my stooges and puppets, etc, etc.

The first one was a WhatsApp visual, with the words: “The crystal ball shows that Lim Kit Siang will be Prime Minister after GE14.”

The second was a two-and-a-quarter minute YouTube visual “Apa Untong Rakyat Dengan DAP”, which demonised me garbed in a communist uniform, and accused me of causing the May 13 riots in 1969 and being the “power” behind the “DAP-led” Pakatan Harapan.

The third is the accusation that I want to be the prime minister after the 14th general election so that I can name Guan Eng as the deputy prime minister.

How many Malaysians will believe that my political ambition is to become the prime minister of Malaysia so as to appoint Guan Eng as deputy prime minister?

I have been in Malaysian politics for 51 years and the thought of becoming prime minister of Malaysia has never entered my mind.

I am in politics because of the Malaysian Dream, which I believed is shared by many Malaysians down the decades who have undivided love and loyalty to Malaysia - to build a nation where all Malaysians, regardless of their different racial, religious or regional backgrounds, are united and feel as one because they are Malaysians and proud to be a Malaysian, and where Malaysia can leverage on the best of the diverse races, cultures, religions and civilisations which meet in confluence in Malaysia, to be a top nation in the world in different fields of human endeavour.

DAP has always been a party for all Malaysians and we have never been a party for any one race.

DAP leaders represent all Malaysians

DAP leaders, who come from diverse ethnic and religious groups, never aspire to be leaders of only one ethnic or religious group, as we always see ourselves as representing all Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region.

No person can be a Malaysian leader if he or she is against any one race or concerned only about the rights and interests of only one community - as Malaysian leaders must set an example of rising above the racial, religious and regional differences in the country to serve the common national weal.

Malaysians who had supported DAP loyally and consistently in the past half a century did so not because they want a Chinese Malaysia or an Indian Malaysia, as they know that DAP never advocated a Chinese Malaysia, Indian Malaysia or Malay Malaysia, but because of the Malaysian Dream to build a Malaysia where all citizens, regardless of race, religion or region, have a rightful place under the Malaysian sun.

On the occasion of the nation’s 60th National Day anniversary this year, Malaysians must ponder deep and hard why Malaysia, in the past six decades, has failed to live up to the promise when we achieved Merdeka on Aug 31, 1957, to be “a sovereign democratic and independent State founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever-seeking the welfare and happiness of its people and the maintenance of a just peace among all nations”.

Time to reset nation-building directions

It is an occasion for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or even politics, to reset nation-building directions and policies for Malaysians to compete with the rest of the world and not to fight among ourselves to be more divided and lose out in the international race of nations for development and progress.

Malaysia has performed poorly in the international race in the past 60 years.

The case of South Korea should be a salutary reminder of how far we as a nation have fallen short of our expectations when we achieved Merdeka on Aug 31, 1957.

Sixty years ago, South Korea was very poor and backward, with a per capita GNP which is only one-third in this country. Today, South Korea is one of the richest, most developed and prosperous nations in the world.

Sixty years ago, any notion of democracy and human rights in South Korea was non-existent as it was ruled by a dictatorship. But today, the South Korean parliament could impeach the South Korean president and eight judges of the South Korean Constitutional Court could unanimously uphold the impeachment of the South Korean president by the South Korean Parliament on charges of corruption and cronyism.

Turned into a ‘global kleptocracy’ overnight

This is something which is unthinkable under the present political and justice system in Malaysia, despite the unprecedented international 1MDB money-laundering scandal that has turned Malaysia into a “global kleptocracy” overnight - unless there is a major change in the system of governance in Malaysia in GE14.

I have with me a chart of the 22-year annual Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) from 1995-2006, which shows how other countries have moved forward to become mature developed nations practising the principles of integrity and good governance, while Malaysia has stagnated, and worse, gone backwards over the decades.

In the first year of TI CPI in 1995, which listed only 41 countries, Malaysia was ranked in the middle position of number 23, with a score above the midpoint - ie 5.28 on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 10 (very clean).

China and Indonesia came in at the bottom end, with China ranked as number 40 with a score of 2.16 out of 10, while Indonesia came in last ranking number 41 out of 41, with a score of 1.94.

If Malaysia had made a decimal improvement in the TI CPI score of 0.1 point each year the past 22 years, Malaysia’s present score would have been 7.48, or roughly translated into 74.8 out of a scale increased from 10 to 100, which would have placed Malaysia in the rank around number 18 out of 176 countries.

Unfortunately, despite all “thunder and lightning” about anti-corruption in Malaysia, Malaysia’s TI CPI worsened with the TI CPI ranking falling to No 55 out of 176 countries while the TI CPI score fell below the midpoint to 49 in the new scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

In contrast, both China and Indonesia have made significant improvements in the TI CPI in the past 22 years, with China improving its score from 2.16/10 in 1995 to 40/100 with its TI CPI ranking from number 40/41 in 1995 to 79/176 in 2016 and Indonesia improving its score from 1.94/10 in 1995 to 37/100 with TI CPI ranking from 41/41 in 1995 to 90/176.

If for the next two decades, China and Indonesia improve in their TI CPI ranking and score at their pace in the past 22 years, both countries will overtake Malaysia in both the TI CPI ranking and score well before 2040, a decade before TN 2050 – Najib’s chimerical timeline for another “National Transformation” of Malaysia, from “bad, to worse, and then worst”!

It must be matter of grave concern to all patriotic Malaysians that, instead of addressing these political, economic, educational and social issues which show that Malaysia is losing out in the international race of nations in progress and development, there is instead an escalation in the politics of lies, hate and fear exploiting the primordial issues of race and religion.

The escalation of the Umno/BN demonization campaign of lies, hate and fear against me is not because I have suddenly, after 51 years in politics, become the number one threat to Umno/BN government, but an indication of the fear and even panic of some Umno/BN leaders and strategists that Umno/BN could lose GE14.

I call on all political parties to focus on how to save Malaysia from becoming a kleptocratic state and getting into the trajectory of a failed and rogue state by restoring our capability to compete with the rest of the world - and to renounce the politics of lies, curses, hate and fear, whether racial or religious.

LIM KIT SIANG is the MP for Gelang Patah and DAP parliamentary leader.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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