In the 13th General Election in 2013 three years ago, Malaysians regardless of race and religion were never so united in wanting to bring about a change of Federal Government, which would be regarded as unthinkable and impossible just five years earlier before the “political tsunami” of the 12th General Election in 2008.
Although the majority of voters voted for change of Federal Government, the undemocratic and unfair electoral system allowed Datuk Seri Najib Razak to become the first minority Prime Minister in the country because he won some 60 per cent of the parliamentary seats with only some 47% of the popular vote.
Many Malaysians have become disappointed, disenchanted and given up hope that there is a possibility of democratic change in Malaysia, and have voted with their feet with a surge of migration in the past three years.
The greatest challenge in Malaysia today is to ensure that Malaysians can hope again that change of Federal Government, which was within a whisker of achievement in the 13GE, is still possible and realizable in the 14th General Election even if it is held in July/August next year.
The past three years of the second term of Najib’s premiership marked Malaysia plumbing to the depths of international image and esteem, with the world looking askance at Malaysia in achieving a new status as a globally corrupt nation making regular world news for the nation’s first global financial scandals – the RM55 billion 1MDB and Najib’s RM4.2 billion “donation” twin mega scandals – despite repeatedly attempts to deny or suppress such disclosures by a panoply of laws inside the country.
Never has there been so much hatred and divisiveness in Malaysia which are disseminated with impunity, such as categorizing Malaysians into “kafir harbi” and “kafir zimmi”, which is not only against the very concept of Malaysian nation-building and the fundamental features of the 1957 Merdeka Constitution and 1963 Malaysia Agreement, but what is most unprecedented, an usage which is defended by the Prime Minister’s Office.
The UMNO propagandists and their cybertroopers are doing their worst to incite hatred and divisiveness among Malaysians, generating distrust among the diverse races and religions in the country.
Such irresponsible tactics reflect on their desperation and not on their confidence that they are the sure winners in the 14th General Election.
If we can debunk the lies and falsehoods that the future and fate of Malays are inextricably tied to the victory of UMNO in general elections; that the claim that if UMNO loses in the 14GE,the Malays will lose political power in Malaysia is a blatant falsehood; then the conditions are there for a change of Federal Government and for Malaysia to become a normal democratic country where the people can change governments without national catastrophes or disasters.
(Speech at the Bercham DAP Dinner in Bercham, Ipoh on Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 8.30 pm)