The battle in the 14GE is not between Najib and Mahathir but between Najib/BN and the people of Malaysia

Firstly, I wish to thank all Malaysians, especially Pakatan Harapan and DAP leaders, members and supporters, as well as those from other political parties and organizations, for their support, concern and good wishes during my cancer operation and month-long break and recuperation.

I found however that I could not escape the demonization campaign against me, even during the five-week break.

I was in fact hospitalized on the day the MCA newspaper launched a major demonization against me, with the screaming headline: “Kit Siang as PM will create racial rift, says Liow” on December 18, 2017, quoting the MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai warning that “Racial ties among the people will be damaged if DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang becomes prime minister” and that “Lim’s ambition would steer Malaysia towards the path of ruin”.

This is the stuff of fake news and false information, the staple diet of demonization by UMNO/BN propagandists and cytrops (cybertroopers), adopted wholesale by the MCA President as I had never thought of becoming Prime Minister of Malaysia.

I continued to be demonized by the UMNO/BN cytrops as an anti-Malay, anti-Islam, responsible for the May 13 riots, a “mysterious” billionaire who threw tens or hundreds of millions of ringgit to sponsor news portal and fund cytrops, a communist, stooge of foreign powers – quite a devil, a puaka, even jembalang.

If true, we must have one of the most inefficient Special Branches in the world, but Malaysia’s Special Branch is one of the most efficient in the world. How come?

For the first time, I was even mentioned in the Prime Minister’s New Year Message, who specifically quoted me as having “long called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the forex losses between 1992 and 1994”, going back to over two decades ago.

However, Najib continued to turn a deaf ear to my repeated current calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the international multi-billion 1MDB money-laundering scandal, which had catapulted Malaysia to the infamous stratosphere of “global kleptocracies”, singled out by the United States Attorney-General, Jeff Sessions at a global forum on asset recovery in Washington last month as “kleptocracy at its worst” with the pledge that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) is working to provide justice to the victims.

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak conceded in his address at InvestMalaysia 2018 in Kuala Lumpur that there were failings with regard to 1MDB but claimed that certain quarters who wanted to sabotage the nation’s economy for political gain had amplified the issue.

Only a week earlier, on the 17th January 2018, Malaysia suffered international ignominy when the 1MDB kleptocratic scandal was one of three cases mentioned by the US Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney-General, Criminal Division, M. Kendall Day in his testimony before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs hearing on “Combating Money-laundering and other forms of illicit finance”, where it was revealed that out the US$3.5 billion worth of “corruption proceeds to date” seized or restrained under the US Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, half or more than US$1.7 billion in assets were associated with the 1MDB sovereign fund in Malaysia.

This is what Kendall Day testified at the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on Janaury 17:

“In the Malaysia matter – the largest single action ever brought under the Initiative – the Department filed a complaint in 2016 to forfeit and recover assets associated with an international conspiracy to launder more than $4.5 billion stolen from the country’s sovereign wealth fund, known as 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB.

“The Malaysian government created 1MDB to promote economic development through international partnerships and foreign direct investment, with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of the Malaysian people.

“However, corrupt 1MDB officials treated this public trust as a personal bank account.

“Between 2009 and 2015, those corrupt officials and their associates took more than $4.5 billion from the development fund in four phases.

“These funds were laundered through a complex web of opaque transactions and fraudulent shell companies with bank accounts in countries around the world, including Switzerland, Singapore, Luxembourg, and the United States.

“The funds were then used to purchase approximately $1.7 billion in assets that the Department seeks to recover, including a $261 million, 350-foot yacht; a $35 million jet; masterpieces by Van Gogh, Picasso, and Monet; and a motion picture company that used the funds to finance, among other things, the production of the films ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ ‘Daddy’s Home,’ and ‘Dumb and Dumber To.’

“MLARS (US Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles filed civil complaints targeting assets that, according to court documents, were misappropriated and diverted by Malaysian officials and their associates from 1MDB.

“In June 2017, the Department announced additional steps to forfeit and recover assets, bringing the total assets subject to forfeiture in this case to more than $1.7 billion.

“If the United States is successful in court, we will forfeit this more than $1.7 billion in property, liquidate it, and, ultimately, return as much as possible to the citizens of Malaysia.”

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission had been very busy recently, but had there been any MACC action against “corrupt officials” who took more than US$4.5 billion from 1MDB?

Or is Najib and the Malaysian Cabinet accusing the US Government (of President Donald Trump) of “sabotaging” the Malaysian economy and “amplifying” the 1MDB scandal – together with a host of other foreign countries including Singapore, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Luxembourg and Switzerland who had launched 1MDB investigations, slapped fines on financial institutions and even convicted and jailed offenders in connection with the 1MDB crimes?

One if the major developments during past month had been the Pakatan Harapan announcement of January 7 on Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad as Prime Minister-designate and Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as Deputy Prime Minister-designate, sparking a long drawn-out debate as to whether Tun Mahathir should be the Prime Minister-designate for Pakatan Harapan for the 14th General Election.

There are in fact two questions to be answered, not one, and both these questions must be answered at the same time:

Firstly, is Tun Mahathir as Prime Minister-designate the best arrangement to ensure a change of government in the 14GE?

Secondly, will a Pakatan Harapan government with Tun Mahathir as the seventh Prime Minister and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the eighth Prime Minister bring about a change of government with institutional and systemic reforms to “Save Malaysia”?

What is the use of talking about institutional and systemic reforms when it is not possible to defeat UMNO and Barisan Nasional in the 14thGeneral Election?

Similarly, what is the use of change of government in the 14th GE from Barisan Nasional to Pakatan Harapan when there is not going to be institutional and systemic reforms?

Let’s take the first question.

The 13th General Election was the high-water mark for change in Malaysian electoral history when the ruling UMNO/BN coalition lost the popular vote – winning only 48 per cent of the national vote. But Datuk Seri Najib Razak could continue as Prime Minister because the BN coalition, thanks to constituency gerrymandering and undemocratic practices, won 60 per cent of the parliamentary seats.

UMNO through its Utusan Malaysia mouth-piece asked: “Apa lagi orang Cina mahu?”

The political tsunami, which started in the 11th General Election in 2008 and continued in the 2013 General Election, was not a Chinese tsunami, but an urban tsunami of the urban Chinese, urban Indians as well as urban Malays.

They wanted to see political change in Malaysia resulting in greater democracy, justice, accountability, integrity and good governance where the voice of the ordinary people are heard, heeded and respected.

If the UMNO/BN is to be defeated in the 14GE, then the Pakatan Harapan coalition must be able to do better than Pakatan Rakyat in the 13GE, not only to sustain the voting support of those who voted for change in the 12th and 13th GE, but also to win over the rural voters who had voted and supported Najib and the UMNO/BN coalition in the 13GE, in particular the Malay and UMNO voters in the 13GE who had been responsible for UMNO winning 73 seats in Peninsular Malaysia.

Without the support of the rural Malay voters in the 73 parliamentary seats won by UMNO in Peninsular Malaysia in the 13GE, no political change, no institutional or systemic reform is possible.

Hence the Pakatan Harapan decision of Tun Dr. Mahathir as Prime Minister-designate and Datuk Seri Wan Azizah as Deputy Prime Minister-designate, and why the battle in the 14GE is not between Najib and Mahathir, but between Najib and the people of Malaysia.

Pakatan Harapan does not want only a change of government, but institutional and systemic reforms, like the repeal of all laws and agreements that violate the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Federal Constitution and the restoration of the independence, professionalism and integrity of the national institutions in the country, like Parliament, the Judiciary, the Police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Election Commission.

As PPBM President, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said in Kota Kinabalu a few days ago, the Prime Minister under Pakatan Harapan (PH) will not be similar to a Barisan Nasional (BN) Prime Minister, as the Prime Minister of Pakatan Harapan will be bound by the consensus principle and policies of the four parties in Pakatan Harapan coalition as decided by the Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council.

The question in the 14GE is not whether to choose between Najib and Mahathir but whether to be trapped in the trajectory of a failed and rogue kleptocratic state or whether to Save Malaysia by re-setting nation-building policies based on the fundamental principles of the Malaysian Constitution to build a united, democratic, competitive, progressive and prosperous Malaysia where all Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans or Ibans; whether Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and others can feel proud.

Najib not only wants to be re-elected in the 14GE, but to regain two-thirds parliamentary majority. If Najib succeeds, and in particular regains two-thirds parliamentary majority, Malaysians would have lost the option of democratic change through the electoral process and we can almost write off the 15GE and subsequent general elections.

The choice before the voters of Malaysia in the 14GE, which will be held within the next 100 days, is urgent, dire and imperative.

(Speech at the Ceramah Luaskan Harapan, Menuju Harapan at Taman Impian Emas, Skudai, Johor on Saturday, 27th January 2018 at 9 pm)

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Monday, 29 January 2018 - 9:16 am

    ITS DEFINITELY NOT A REFERENDUM BETWEEN NAJIB & MAHATHIR. IF IT WAS A REFERENDUM IT WOULD BE BETWEEN HADI AWANG AND MAHATHIR, and even then, it would be between THEIR Hadi Awang’s vision of Malaysia and Mahathir’s changed vision of Malaysia.

    Like it or not, THIS is about Malay Vs. Malay. Its about the contradiction of ultra-Malays and the original Mahathirism. Does Najib represent what the Malay Agenda the founding Malay ultras originally envisioned it to be? They made Najib, now they have problems with what they created which is about to be hijacked by Hadi Awang. Its about that.

    The rest of us are just sideshows, even Mahathir.

  2. #2 by SuperStringhg on Monday, 29 January 2018 - 6:47 pm

    Welcome back, Mr. Lim and wishing you good health and early recovery.
    Below is the clarion call of Malaysians
    This election depends on the patriots men and women of Malaysia. The whole fury and might of the UMNO/BN has been turned on YOU Now. Najib knows that he will have to break you or lose the election. If you can stand up to him, all Malaysia may be freed and Malaysians can look forward into a New Deal, New Hope that embrace justice and equality, promote freedom and share prosperity.
    But if you fail, then Malaysia, including Sarawak and Sabah States, including all that you have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of Perverted and Draconian laws. Brace yourselves to your duties, and so bear yourselves, that if Malaysia last for a thousand years, patriotic men and women will still say, This was their finest election.

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