The plethora of political and economic crisis plaguing the country is symbolized by the ringgit falling to over 4 to a US dollar and 2.84 to a Singapore dollar today when 50 years ago the Malaysian ringgit was at par with the Singapore dollar.
There is gloom on the economic front, as apart from the worst devaluation of the ringgit in 17 years since August 1998, the stock market has continued to plunge across-the-board, foreign-exchange reserves have dropped below US$100 billion for the first time since 2010 and foreign capital is exiting the country at an unprecedented rate.
But economic woes are not Malaysia’s only problems.
Malaysia is also suffering from the worst crisis of confidence and the government with a minority Prime Minister has never been so fractured today as at any period in the nation’s 58-year history – evident from the ugly stand-off between the Police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (which I had described as the “nine days of madness in Putrajaya), the sacking of the Attorney-General and the Deputy Prime Minister, the reshuffle to produce a 1MDB Cabinet and a new wave of attack on the independence and professionalism on the key national institutions.
There is not only a fractured government, but also a fractured UMNO, for nobody believes that Datuk Seri Najib Razak has the support of three million UMNO members, although he has the support of the UMNO party machinery!
The time has come to end the political and economic crisis confronting Malaysia – for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or party affiliation to stand on the common platform as Malaysians to save Malaysia from hurtling towards a rogue and a failed state.
We must stop Malaysia from becoming a rogue state and protect and uphold our Constitutional guarantees of democracy, rule of law, human rights of free speech and assembly.
We must halt Malaysia from becoming a failed state because of rampant corruption, socio-economic injustices, collapse of governance, unbridled racial extremism and religious intolerance and bigotry.
This is why Malaysia needs a National “Save Malaysia” Summit involving all political parties and NGOs with one and only one agenda – to save Malaysia from becoming a rogue and failed state.
Let all national elders in the country contribute in this National “Save Malaysia” Summit – former Prime Ministers like Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah, former Deputy Prime Ministers like Tun Musa Hitam, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, political and NGO veterans like Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, Datuk Seri Daniel Tajem, Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, Rev Paul Tan and many others.
In this connection, I call on the government to release Anwar Ibrahim from Sungai Buloh prison to fully participate in a National “Save Malaysia” Summit to prevent Malaysia from becoming a rogue and failed state.
(Speech at the DAP Petaling Jaya “1MDB Titanic – New Hopes Brighter Future” fund-raising dinner at the MBPJ Civic Hall on Wednesday, 12th August 2015 at 9pm)