The last mile


— Liew Chin Tong
The Malaysian Insider
Jul 02, 2012

JULY 2 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was today slapped with an additional charge in addition to two existing ones over the April 28 Bersih rally.

Fifteen years ago today, on July 2, 1997, the Thai government was forced to float the Thai baht after failing to defend it from attacks, sparking an unprecedented Asian-wide crisis. Contagious free falls in Asian currencies led to economic meltdowns and political crises subsequently.

Hence the start of the Malaysian epic tragedy of political and economic stagnation. It was the beginning of the end of sort for Barisan Nasional’s political monopoly. It exposed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s emperor-with-no-clothes game.

After a painfully long 15 years, Malaysia is now a nation in waiting for change. And, we are walking the last mile of a long, tedious journey.

Chow Kon Yeow, MP for Tanjong, has called Anwar a “bakal perdana menteri” (future prime minister) in an interview with a Penang-based Chinese newspaper recently, to which Anwar half-jokingly replied that he has had that title for the last two decades.

When the Thai baht was floated, Anwar was acting prime minister, supposedly to succeed Dr Mahathir soon after. Instead Anwar was sacked, detained, beaten to near death in custody by the then national police chief in September 1998 and imprisoned, only to be released six years later in September 2004.

For the past 15 years, instead of being accorded a level playing field to vie for national leadership, much of Anwar’s time was wasted in prison cells and court rooms for charges that would never be levelled at a political opponent in a genuine democracy.

But this is not just about Anwar. This is about all of us. I was just 20 when the worst-ever haze clouded the Malaysian skies in July 1997. The haze still troubles us 15 years later, similar to that of our political stalemate.

To say our economy has stagnated is an understatement. And, we know the human cost of an economy which does not unleash its full potential. We know the effect to society when government fails to distribute fairly.

Whether the general election is called within this year or by April next year, it does not matter anymore.

The month of June has come and gone. We, the people, can declare a victory of sort because our resolve for change has scared Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak from calling the much-touted June election.

The next general election is not just about the conclusion of the tumultuous post-2008 years or a platform for Najib to look for political legitimacy. The 13th general election is the one that we bid farewell to Malaysia’s ancien régime.

Not only Pakatan Rakyat, representing the voice of the majority, must win the next general election and consign Barisan Nasional to the opposition, we must win with a convincing majority.

Not only do we want to reclaim our nation from cronies, pirates, thieves, racists and gangsters, we must go beyond just tweaking the current opaque system.

The last decade-and-a-half was a sad episode in our history. It is our collective onus to update the nation’s visions with new mindsets, paradigms and frameworks that will shape the lives of millions of Malaysians for the better.

This is our historic opportunity to do the right things, together, in the last mile of a long walk that began 15 years ago. — The Rocket

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  1. #1 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 3 July 2012 - 12:52 am

    The last mile to good riddance to bad rubbish – UMNO and its baggage of MCA< MIC < PBB etc.

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 3 July 2012 - 7:48 am

    ///This is our historic opportunity to do the right things, together, in the last mile of a long walk that began 15 years ago. — The Rocket///

    Finally, Malaysians see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  3. #3 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 3 July 2012 - 8:27 am

    My suggestion for PR campaign line in the coming GE:

    Apa susah sangat tidak makan rasuah? Selamatkan Malaysia

  4. #4 by PoliticoKat on Tuesday, 3 July 2012 - 10:49 am

    And after GE13, comes the long and painful task of rebuilding.

    Don’t try to sugar coat it, but rebuilding Malaysia after over 40 years of abuse will be difficult.

    I hope everybody realizes that Pakatan winning will not suddenly make everything okay. We have decades of recovery. And some follies of BN will hunt Malaysia for over a generation. PKFTZ which is RM12.5 billion, will take decades to pay off. An entire generation of Malaysia workers will have to pay taxes just to get this Elephant off Malaysia’s back.

    We will also need to find a way to recover lost asset from BN and co. They are sitting on at least a RM 1 trillion, given how much money was illegally taken out Malaysia over the decades

    And there are expensive white elephants like Proton that need to be addressed. Is there anything that can be salvaged. Can Proton become a regional car manufacturer in order to capture a sustainable market. Which will be difficult as the Detroit of the East, Thailand is next door.

    PK may find that winning GE13 is the easily part. BN will likely leave PK a very bill after they ran off with the money.

  5. #5 by MooMoo on Thursday, 5 July 2012 - 1:04 pm

    The destiny of Malaysia lies in the hands of Malaysians themselves. It’s their choice and they must bear the FULL responsibility for their decision in the GE13. Their future (and their family) is in their hands!

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