DAP Johor State Assemblyman for Pekan Nenas Yeo Tung Siong told me just now that Ayer Baloi tonight breaks record with the biggest crowd ever in history, signifying the powerful public support for Gerakan Harapan Baru and hopes for political change after nearly six decades of UMNO/Alliance/Barisan Nasional rule.
However, we want to create history not only in Ayer Baloi but in Johore and the whole of Malaysia in the forthcoming 14th General Election – when we are not only setting our sights on the Federal government in Putrajaya but also the state government in Nusajaya.
For over half a century, Johore had been regarded as an impregnable fortress for UMNO/MCA/MIC coalition and an invincible UMNO/Barisan Nasional “fixed deposit state”.
UMNO/BN leaders were so arrogant that they even talked about Johore being a “zero-opposition” state until such cockiness were buried by the historic Pakatan Rakyat breakthrough in the 13th General Election in 2013, winning 18 State Assembly seats – one seat short of denying UMNO/BN two-thirds majority in the Johore State Assembly.
But now Pakatan Rakyat is no more and the country needs a new Islamic political party which is all-embracing and inclusive which can unite not only Muslims and Malays but also non-Muslims and non-Malays, in other words, with all Malaysians to achieve the Malaysian Dream of ensuring that all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, are entitled to basic human rights and dignity as citizens of a modern society.
It is a shame that Pakatan Rakyat, despite the promises of the 13th General Election in Johore and other parts of Malaysia, winning 52% of the popular vote, is dead and no more because one of its component parties has lost its political plot – not only failing to be nationally inclusive, unable to unite Malays and Muslims let alone unite non-Malays and non-Muslims, it is also unable to unite all its leaders, members and supporters.
Pakatan Rakyat may be dead and buried, but the hopes and aspirations of Malaysians for political change are not dead and buried, and with the great public support for Gerakan Harapan Baru not only in Johore but in other states of Malaysia, these hopes and aspirations for change have been brought back to life, continuing to be very much alive, valid and relevant, throbbing as strongly as ever in the hearts of all patriotic Malaysians.
Mat Sabu tells me that a new political party will emerge from Gerakan Harapan Baru in the nexf few weeks.
This will be another milestone in the political history of Malaysia, for the formation of a new inclusive and open-minded Islamist political party will mark the culmination in the realignment of political forces in the country and the advent of a new political coalition to replace Pakatan Rakyat – whether Pakatan Rakyat Baru, Pakatan Rakyat 2.0 or any other name to be decided – to carry the torch for a Malaysia Baru.
Should Malaysians continue to hope for political change?
Time in fact is running out for Malaysia. The country urgently needs a great and supreme effort by all patriotic Malaysians to save Malaysia from becoming a failed state.
Our southern neighbour, Singapore, will be celebrating its 50th National Day anniversary in another two days.
A comparison of the achievements and attainments of the two countries after 50 years is a salutary reminder that Malaysia has fallen far behind, and Malaysians regardless of race, religion, region even politics, must not allow the country to continue lag behind Singapore or other countries.
Although some UMNO Ministers regard our education system, primary, secondary and tertiary as world-class, even better than the education systems in United Kingdom, Germany and United States, even ordinary UMNO/BN members do not believe them.
International educational tests have repeatedly shown that our primary and secondary school students are three to five years behind the best countries in the world in terms of educational standards and excellence.
In contrast, Singapore’s primary and secondary education and her universities are recognised internationally as world-class.
Why has Malaysia fallen so far behind Singapore in the field of education? Or iin economic development or nation-building?
Let us look at our respective currencies. Today, we have the sad and shocking development of the Malaysian ringgit tumbling to a new low since it was unpegged from its fixed rate of 3.80 to the US dollar in 2005 – with the ringgit today valued at 3.91 to the US dollar or 2.82 to the Singapore dollar.
The devaluation of the Malaysian ringgit, which was at par to the Singapore dollar 50 years ago, to 2.81 to the Singapore dollar is a harsh verdict of Malaysian nation-building in the past 50 years, and why all patriots must unite to save Malaysia from hurtling towards a Third World status when we should have already become a First World nation.
This was why this morning, DAP, PKR and Gerakan Harapan Baru Members of Parliament and leaders including Mat Sabu, Dr. Hatta, Khalid Samad who are here tonight, visited the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Putrajaya to show our support and solidarity to MACC to carry out anti-corruption responsibilities.
Never before has the country seen a more fractured government, which is even warring against itself, with the Police arresting MACC officers, as well as top officers in other agencies like Bank Negara Malaysia and the Attorney-General’s Chambers coming under attack.
All this is related to the scandals of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, with regard to the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal and the Wall Street Journal report more than a month ago about RM2.6 billion deposited into Najib’s personal bank accounts.
RM2.5 million – with six zeroes or a seven-figure number – is already too big figure for ordinary Malaysians but RM2.6 billion – with nine zeros or a 10-figure number – is completely beyond the comprehension of ordinary people to grasp its magnitude.
In developed countries which we hope to join in five years time in 2020, Prime Ministers who have RM2.6 billion deposited into their personal banking accounts must immediately be able to give satisfactory explanation to demonstrate their propriety and integrity, or they have only two options before them – resigning or going to jail!
This is the crisis which has engulfed Malaysia, causing not only a fractured government – with one department warring against another – but also a fractured UMNO and Barisan Nasional, for I believe ordinary UMNO and BN members cannot accept the Prime Minister’s failure to provide satisfactory explanation and accountability for both scandals concerning the 1MDB and RM2.6 billion deposited into Najib’s personal accounts.
Malaysians must think of how to save Malaysia from becoming a failed state even before the 14th General Election which will only be held in another two years.
This is why despite our political differences, I am prepared to work with Tun Mahathir and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to “Save Malaysia” but not to “Save UMNO”.
(Speech at the Gerakan Harapan Baru rally at Ayer Baloi, Pontian, Johore on Thursday, August 5, 2015 at 11.30 pm)