Sheikh Omar Ali as DAP/PH candidate for the Johore State Assembly seat of Paloh

I have the honour to announce in the presence of Johor DAP and Pakatan Harapan leaders that the Johor DAP Assistant Publicity Secretary Sheikh Omar Ali is the DAP/Pakatan Harapan candidate for the Johore State Assembly seat of Paloh in the forthcoming 14th General Election which is expected within days.

The opening of the DAP/PH election centre in Paloh today is most symbolic and meaningful, for DAP Paloh has restored a burnt shophouse which had been abandoned for over two decades into a hive of activity for political change not only for Paloh but also for the Johor State and the Malaysian nation.

Just as a shophouse burnt down and abandoned for two decades could be transformed into a centre for political change for the town, state and country, the 14th General Election is the most crucial and critical general election in 61-year history of the nation to save Malaysia from hurtling along the trajectory of a failed, rogue and kleptocratic state to fulfill the Malaysian Dream of our forefathers for the nation to be a world top-class nation respected and envied by the rest of the world as an international showcase as to how a small and diverse nation of many races, languages, religions and cultures could unite, progress, prosper and achieve excellence in every field of human endeavor!

But today, Malaysia has fallen down the ladder of nations, forfeiting international respect and esteem, reviled worldwide as a global kleptocracy!

DAP was formed 52 years ago not to fight for any single race, language, religion or culture, but for all races, languages, religions and cultures which have made Malaysia their home.

“Instant Asia” is not a tourist or publicity gimmick to attract tourist dollars, but a Malaysian fact of life.

Let me outline the three principles which have guided me and the DAP in the past five decades:

Firstly, we are in politics because of the Malaysian Dream, which is shared by many Malaysians down the decades who have undivided love and loyalty to Malaysia – to build a nation where all Malaysians, regardless of their different racial, religious, cultural or regional backgrounds, are united and feel as one because they are Malaysians and proud to be a Malaysian, and where Malaysia can leverage on the best of the diverse races, cultures, religions and civilizations which meet in confluence in Malaysia, to be a top world nation in different fields of human endeavour.

Secondly, DAP has always been a party for all Malaysians and never a party for any one race, one language, one religion or one culture. The objectives of DAP Party Constitution is very clear – it forbids any DAP leader or member to fight for only one racial, linguistic, religious or cultural group but to serve all Malaysians, regardless of race, language, religion or culture.

No person can be a Malaysian leader if he or she is against any one race, language, religion or culture or concerned only about the rights and interests of only one community – as Malaysian leaders, we must set an example of rising above the racial, linguistic, religious, cultural and regional differences in the country to serve the common national weal.

Thirdly, Malaysian who had supported DAP loyally and consistently in the past half a century did so not because they want a Chinese Malaysian or an Indian Malaysia, as they know that DAP never advocated a Chinese Malaysia, Indian Malaysia or Malay Malaysia, but because of the Malaysian Dream to build a Malaysia where all citizens, regardless of race, language, religion, culture or region, have a rightful place under the Malaysian sun.

The UMNO/Barisan Nasional stole the 13th General Election when with only 47% of the popular votes cast, it controlled 60% of the parliamentary seats which allowed Datuk Seri Najib Razak to be the first minority Prime Minister of the country.

Now, the UMNO/BN coalition is set to steal the 14th General Election with further gerrymandering in the new constituency redelineation rammed through Parliament on Wednesday, which received the royal assent yesterday and has become law!

Now, the UMNO/BN coalition hopes to steal the 14th General Election with some 40% of the popular votes.

With ithe Election Commission’s help, there is the worst gerrymandering in the nation’s history, with the present Petaling Jaya Utara parliamentary constituency turned into Damansara and increased from its present 85,000 voters to almost 150,000 voters, which will have four times more voters than Sabak Bernam and about 10 times that of Putrajaya.

Through such worst gerrymandering in Malaysian history, the UMNO/BN coalition hope to steal 10 parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia and some half a dozen state assembly seats in Johor, so that they could continue in power in the state and nation.

But if there is a swing of 10% of the Malay voters and 5% of the non-Malay voters from UMNO/BN to Pakatan Harapan in the 14GE as compared to 13GE, then the chances are good that Pakatan Harapan will be able to defeat the undemocratic designs of UMNO/Barisan Nasional and will not only be able to form the Federal Government but also the Johor State Government as well.

Let us ensure that just as DAP in Paloh can restore a burnt, disused and abandoned shophouse to be a hive of activity for political change in the country, DAP and Pakatan Harapan can succeed to Save Malaysia and bring about the first peaceful and democratic change of government in Johore and Malaysia.

(Speech at the opening of the DAP Paloh General Election Centre in Paloh, Johor on Friday, March 30, 2018 at 5 pm)

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