I am honoured to be invited to launch one of the Tommy Thomas’ two books today: “Anything But The Law”.
We see Tommy as the “Lawyer’s Lawyer” in his book “Abuse of Power”, while his other book “Anything But The Law” we see Tommy as the “Politician’s Politician”.
I want to tell Tommy that the world of politics beckons to him and it is never too late or too old to take the plunge into the political maelstrom for freedom, justice and good governance. Come and fight the good fight!
Tommy has suggested a few minutes of jolly, joyous and light-hearted moments for the occasion but it will be hard to think of an occasion where one cannot be more sober or even somber about our national situation.
Only yesterday, a Deputy Prime Minister who was summarily sacked from his high office some seven months ago was suspended as Deputy President of UMNO, fully vindicating the recent description of the parlous situation of the country by the longest-living former Deputy Prime Minister, viz:
“Within the last few years …life in Malayaia is turning upside down and inside out, that makes it difficult to keep calm! In government and politics particularly, behaviours seem to be based on the struggles that prioritise personal individual survival of the fittest. The end seems to justify the means and anything, anything goes. The dividing line between good and bad, right and wrong, seem blurred.”
The former DPM whose political party position was suspended yesterday warned of the making of a new dictator and called on the rakyat to rise up to oppose tyranny and wrongdoing and to Save Malaysia.
Even the former longest-serving Prime Minister is on the same wavelength, warning that the country is moving in the direction of the North Korean regime.
Another former Deputy Prime Minister, who is currently in incarceration, has rightly cautioned that the only way to implement true change is to address the crisis of confidence that the country is facing, and that mere fixation on an individual will not achieve this purpose – a deficit of trust in the judiciary, the media as well as the country’s democratic institutions and not just the Prime Minister or an individual.
This is now recognized by the latest DPM-casualty, who thought that the country’s “black episode” is making Malaysians more mature and the need for reforms in the country’s laws and political institutions and not just the mere rejection of one individual.
Even the longest-serving former Prime Minister seems to be talking a new lingo, when he said:
“I think the time has come when parties do not matter anymore. This is a problem affecting the nation.
“I want everybody to act as citizens who are concerned with what is happening in this country. As a citizen, it does not matter whether you are for the opposition or the government.
“Now it is time to act as citizens, irrespective of party affiliations or loyalties.”
I said last week on my 75th birthday, that my only wish is to see a realignment of progressive political forces to save Malaysia and to keep faith with the Malaysian Dream of an united, inclusive, moderate, democratic and prosperous Malaysia.
I have said enough since year about a Save Malaysia campaign which transcends race, religion, region, political parties and individuals and our efforts to see this goal come to fruition.
We do not want Malaysia to become a rogue and a failed state.
We must involve all Malaysians in “Save Malaysia” effort so that Malaysia can get back our lost national bearings.
Just as Nelson Mandela was released in 1990 to take part in the great task of national reconciliation in South Africa, Anwar Ibrahim should also released to take part in the “Save Malaysia” campaign.
Malaysia’s condition today reminds me of Yeats’ The Second Coming:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
The time has come for the best in Malaysia to act with full conviction to Save Malaysia, and I have no doubt that Tommy Thomas will be in the forefront of the “Save Malaysia” campaign.
(Speech at the launch of Tommy Thomas’ book “Anything But the Law” at Le Meridien, Kuala Lumpur in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 27th February 2016 at 5pm)