Two years ago, the hopes and dreams of the majority of 11 million Malaysian voters who voted in the 13th General Elections for a new Federal Government and a new Prime Minister in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim were frustrated by a undemocratic electoral system resulting in the appointment for the first time in the nation’s history of a “minority” Prime Minister.
On Thursday, on 7th May, in Permatang Pauh by-election, the voters of Permatang Pauh must continue to lead the country to keep these hopes and dreams for change alive and to achieve what Malaysians had failed to achieve in the 13GE two years ago – to form a new Federal Government with Anwar Ibrahim as the Prime Minister in the 14GE.
Malaysia will never become a normal democratic country unless we can effect a peaceful transition of federal power through the electoral process instead of regarding it as a national catastrophe, and there can be no meaningful change of political, socio-economic, educational and whole range of nation-building policies unless there is such a political change.
The movement for change must be based on the formula to unite and mobilise all Malaysians, regardless of race – Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans and Ibans – and regardless of religion – Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs – as Malaysia’s future can only secured and advanced by an inclusive political campaign which has a place of dignity and honour for every Malaysian under the Malaysian sun.
On Nomination Day ten days ago, I had highlighted five key issues for the by-election, viz:
1. An unequivocal condemnation on behalf of 30 million Malaysians for the continued persecution of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and a categorical call for Anwar’s immediate release from jail.
2. Rejection of the 6% GST imposed on April 1;
3. Condemnation of the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal – deploring Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s failure to come to Permatang Pauh to explain the many questions about the scandal raised both by PR and UMNO leaders, including former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir.
4. Censure the growing repression in the country, the latest being the mass arrests after the peaceful May Day anti-GST demonstration in Kuala Lumpur.
5. To “Save Malaysia” from the failures of Najib’s nation-building policies, with the country faced with the worst racial and religious polarization under his administration.
These five key issues must remain uppermost in the minds of Permatang Pauh voters on Thursday when they cast their vote for Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in the by-election.
(Speech at the Permatang Pauh by-election ceramahs on Monday, 4th May 2015)