MP SPEAKS | With four DAP members, one a State Exco and another a State Assemblyperson still in detention for suspected LTTE terrorist connections under Sosma, and the description of an academician that the 17-month government of Pakatan Harapan is an “unmitigated disaster”, it is difficult to feel that there is anything to celebrate in this year’s Deepavali today.
The message of Deepavali, however, is an eternal one – the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.
We must never cease to hope or to succumb to hopelessness and despair.
While the 17-month-old Harapan government has fallen below expectations, it is definitely not an “unmitigated disaster”.
Harapan must be firm in its resolve and commitment to implement the reforms as promised in Buku Harapan during the 14th General Election, and this is why the Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council has established a special committee under the Deputy Defence Minister, Liew Chin Tong, to review Harapan's GE14 manifesto.
The Harapan government had not expected the massive and deep-rooted nature and scale of the economic and financial disaster left behind by the previous Barisan Nasional government. This was not only the kleptocracy of the monstrous 1MDB scandal but the massive and deep-rooted nature and scale of the corruption and abuse of power in other major institutions such as Tabung Haji, Felda, Felcra or Mara.
While the massive and deep-rooted nature and scale of the legacy of the previous Barisan Nasional government had prevented the Harapan government from immediately and fully implementing its pledges and promises, the trajectory of institutional reform is set, and there must be no turning back to the kleptocracy, injustices and repression of the past.
In the past months, the country has seen an untrammelled spread of lies, fake news and hate speech to incite inter-racial and inter-religious polarisation and conflict, as if to precipitate another May 13, 1969, racial riot within two weeks.
Our energies and time had been consumed in manufacturing and disseminating lies, fake news and hate speech on social media.
The past three days have, in fact, seen a further escalation of the irresponsible spread of lies, fake news and hate speech where many old videos, WhatsApp messages and items had been dug up and regurgitated in keeping with the latest line of attack against the DAP as the “komunis moden (modern communists) in Malaysia”
I came across the following lies, fake news and hate speech that I came from “Funan”, China when I was 16 years old, which appeared in the “Hanya Di Kelate” Facebook:
The first two paragraphs of this Facebook, like the rest of the post, are replete with lies and inconsistencies.
It was a downright lie that I came from Funan to Malaya in 1957 when I was 16-years-old. In the first place, Funan is in Cambodia and not China although there is a Funan county in the Anhui province in Eastern China.
I was born in Batu Pahat. Lee Kuan Yew never “bersekolah” (went to school) in Batu Pahat, and he was never a teacher in Batu Pahat. Also, I had never worn a communist uniform.
The Facebook posting alleged that after the Second World War, “Rumah bapak Lim Kit Siang jadi pusat komunis & mereka banyak bunuh org-org Melayu bunuh askar-askar Melayu (The house of Lim Kit Siang's father became a communist base and they killed many Malays, killed Malay soldiers).”
How could it be possible that my father and I had sheltered the communists in 1945 when we were alleged to have come from “Funan, China” in 1957?
But there is no need to respect consistency, fact or truth in a campaign of lies, fake news and hate speech as all that is needed are “Lies, Lies and Lies – the more blatant the better”!
Instead of wasting our national energies on lies, fake news and hate speech, let Malaysians rise as one united people to demonstrate our commitment and resolve to transform Malaysia into a top world-class nation of unity, justice, freedom, excellence and integrity which is a show-case to the world that we are a success story of the Alliance of Civilisations as the confluence of the great Malay/Islamic, Chinese, Indian and Western Civilisations, instead of being a basket-case of failure as a result of the Clash of Civilisations.
Furthermore, let us unite to resolve the grave problems of poverty and gross inequality in Malaysia which were supposed to be resolved by the New Economic Policy.
An International Consensus Forecast from over 1,000 sources compiled a list of the top 15 fastest-growing economies in 2019. Five nations are from Asean, four from the rest of Asia and six in Africa. Malaysia is not included in the list.
Malaysians must make a new start to unite the energies and resources of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion and region, to pull Malaysian up by the bootstraps to be a top world-class nation in as many fields of human endeavour as possible and defeat the plots and schemes of those who want to tear Malaysia apart by causing another May 13, 1969 racial riot.
LIM KIT SIANG is Iskandar Puteri MP.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.