This year Malaysians celebrate the 60th National Day anniversary to mark the historic day on August 31, 1957 when Malaya achieved Independence and set out as an independent and sovereign nation in the international community, leading to the formation of Malaysia 57 years ago on Sept. 16, 1963.
Malaysia was second after Asia in terms of prosperity and income when we achieved independence in 1957. Had we built on our advantages, assets, resources and talents in the last sixty years?
Malaysia achieved global prominence on the occasion of our 60th National Day anniversary – when we achieved the infamy of becoming a global kleptocracy.
In the November meeting of Parliament, I asked Barisan Nasional MPs whether they know the meaning of “kleptocracy”. I said “kleptocracy” is a government of 3Ps – Pencuri, Perompak and Penyamun.
Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said there is a fourth P – Penyangak.
What is most shocking is that the Najib Government has put up a great pretence – becoming a “Great Pretender” – that the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal does not exist although almost every other day, it is making waves and world headlines in other parts of the world with new developments and angles of the largest kleptocratic money-laundering in recent times.
As I said in Parliament yesterday, just google “1MDB” on any browser on the Internet, and you will get millions of results on the seacrh for “1MDB” within seconds.
This the gravity and enormity of the 1MDB scandal in Malaysia and the world.
In recent times, there has been another incident which reminded Malaysians of the regression Malaysia had undergone in the past 60 years.
Last Friday in South Korea, the Constitutional Court of eight judges unanimously endorsed the impeachment motion of the South Korean President to remove President Park Geun-hye from office over a graft scandal involving the country’s conglomerates.
Sixty years ago, when our country set out on our independent nationhood, we were well ahead of South Korea both economically and politically, with per capita GDP of South Koreans about one-third of the per capita GDP in Malaya. At that time, there was no democracy in South Korea and scant respect for human rights.
Today, South Korea is one of the richest and most developed countries in the world – with per capita GDP several times that of Malaysia. Democracy and human rights are given top priority in South Korea, to the extent that the South Korean Parliament could impeach the South Korean President, and upheld unanimously by eight judges of the South Korean Constitutional
Could Malaysians hold the top political leaders in the country to accountability and could Parliament and the Judiciary in Malaysia fearlessly uphold the rule of law, Constitutional integrity and the doctrine of separation of powers and good governance?
These are two of many reasons why Malaysia must “reset” our national policies on the 60th National Day anniversary – keeping policies and measures which are good for the country, but abandon and correct policies and measures which have caused Malaysia to lose out to countries which were behind us, both politically and economically six decades ago.
On kleptocracy, we must abandon polices which allow such a monstrous scandal to develop and bring the 1MDB scandal to an end so that Malaysia ceases to be a global kleptocracy in the eyes of the world.
This is why I call on all Malaysian youths, regardless of race or religion, to lead a “Malaysia Reset” national movement on the 60th Merdeka celebrations to make the country a world-class nation – keeping policies in the last six decades which are good for the country but abandoning and correcting policies which have caused political, economic, environmental and nation-building damages to the country.
(Speech in the “face-to-face” dialogue with youths at Bandar Sungai Long, Selangor on Thursday, 16th March 2017 at 5 pm)