Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the 13th General Elections where Malaysians had hoped to see a change of federal government in Putrajaya for the first time in the 56-year history of the nation.
Unfortunately, although Pakatan Rakyat secured the support of the majority of the national electorate, with 52% of the national voters voting for PR, Barisan Nasional continued to occupy the citadels of power in Putrajaya because of unfair electoral practices, gerrymandering and unfair redelineation of electoral constituencies.
The past one year has brought greater disillusionment to the people who wanted to see political change to bring Malaysia back to the pursuit of the Malaysian Dream for all Malaysians by bringing the country back to the tracks of justice, the rule of law, democracy, good governance, excellence and prosperity which Malaysia had strayed from for more than 40 years.
The latest global survey on the average broadband speed is another index to highlight the continued regression and retrogression of Malaysia instead of progress way ahead in the forefront in th world in various aspects of national achievements.
According to the new global survey, the average broadband speed in Malaysia is slower than Vietnam and Cambodia in the region, and barely ahead of Myanmar.
Almost three times slower than Vietnam, Malaysia at 5.48 Megabits per second (Mbps) was ranked a low 126 out of 192 countries surveyed from May 2013 to April this year in the recent Net Index conducted by Ookla – a global broadband testing and web-based network diagnostic applications company that compares the download, upload and line quality of broadband connections.
Zooming to the number one spot was Hong Kong with a speed of 78.3 Mbps. Singapore sped to second placing at 66.6 Mbps while South Korea was ranked fourth (53.77Mbps), the United Kingdom 23rd (26.85Mbps) and the United States, 32nd (23.9Mbps).
With 5.48 Mbps, Malaysia’s is slower than Brunei (5.51 Mbps), Cambodia (5.9 Mbps), Vietnam (14.2 Mbps), Thailand (18.9 Mbps), China (19.5 Mbps), Taiwan (39.3 Mbps), Japan (41.5 Mbps), South Korea (53.77 Mbps), Singapore (66.6 Mbps) and Hong Kong (78.3 Mbps). Myanmar registers 5.0 Mbps, Laos 4.5 Mbps, Indonesia 4.3 Mbps and Philippines 3.5 Mbps.
This is a far cry from the promises made when the former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad launched the Multi-media Super Corridor in the mid-90s for Malaysia to become an information superpower by becoming one of the premier IT hubs in the world.
The MSC had become a great failure for Malaysia has failed the quantum leap to become an information superpower, when our broadband speed is of snail-speed variety, with Malaysia losing out even to countries like Brunei, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and China which would have been completely unthinkable when MSC was launched some two decades ago.
In broadband speed, education, economic justice, the rule of law, respect for human rights and good governance, Malaysia is trailing behind more and more countries, which have hastened in the past one year.
Even more worrying, nation-building or the creation of a united Malaysian nation out of the diverse races, religions and regions has never suffered such a serious blow as in the past year, despite the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia policy and international campaign for a Global Movement of Moderates.
However, on the eve of the first anniversary of the 13GE last May, Malaysians are torn on the one hand by grave disillusionment with Najib for a year of failed policies and on the other hand, the dire prospect of a break-up of Pakatan Rakyat over hudud law.
The latter possibility cannot be taken lightly although it has only descended on the country like a political tornado in a matter of weeks.
The overwhelming majority of the voters who voted for Pakatan Rakyat in the 13GE did so for change of government and political and nation-building policies, and not for hudud. Furthermore, those who do not support hudud law in the country do so not because they are anti-Islam but because the Malaysian Constitution provides for a secular democratic nation.
Pakatan Rakyat would not have continued to deny the Barisan Nasional two-thirds parliamentary majority if hudud was an agenda for Pakatan Rakyat in the 13GE.
There can be no doubt that all the three PR parties of DAP, PKR and PAS would have suffered serious electoral losses if hudud had been an issue in the 13GE.
In Johore for instance, DAP would not have won 4 Parliamentary and 13 State Assembly seats, PAS might have lost all the four State Assembly seats while PKR might have lost the one parliamentary and one state assembly seat in Johore.
Malaysians want Pakatan Rakyat to grow from strength to strength and to achieve the political transition of a change of federal government in Putrajaya in the 14GE, but if hudud becomes a major issue, Pakatan Rakyat may go the way of the previous Barisan Alternative.
Then all the three present component parties of DAP, PKR and PAS will all be the losers. The only winners will be UMNO and the Barisan Nasional parties.
This will be an unmitigated disaster for all Malaysians.
(Media Conference Statement in Batu Pahat on Sunday, 4th May 2014 at 2 pm)