Can the 12th Malaysia Plan really be a Game-Changer?

Ngeh Khoo Ham, the Member of Parliament for Bruas who was Perak DAP Chairman and former Perak State Assembly Speaker, turned 60 years old today.

He said in WhatsApp together with an old photograph of DAP leaders campaigning on the “No to 911, Also No to 929” issue twenty years ago on a pick-up truck showing among others Ngeh, Fong Po Puan (then MP for Batu Gajah), Nga Kor Ming (then State Assemblymnan for Pantai Remis and later former Deputy Speaker and MP for Teluk Intan) and myself:

“My birthday will always remind me of our ‘No to 929’ campaign. Up this pick-up truck is another 929 birthday boy, Sdr Teh Hock Ke.

“Lao Da was always in the forefront round the country for various programs and campaigns. He has all the energy and always seem tireless. He often gets his sleep when travelling in the car.

“For the younger generation, pick-ups, Hilux or a small lorry was often our stage for various programs.

“’No to 929’ campaign did not gain much attention but not so after the above event at Pasir Pinji Ipoh market. Police prohibited members from distributing the ‘No to 929’ leaflets.

“Laoda who was having breakfast with some of us upon hearing that, left the breakfast table and went out to give the police officer the leaflets! He was arrested 😱. Opposition leader in Malaysia arrested for distrusting leaflets!

“Immediately, it became national & international news. ‘No to 929’ campaign became a news item bcos of Laoda and not bcos of the declaration made by Tun M at the Gerakan party convention.

“The second time arrests were made when we wanted to launch ‘No to 929’ balloons at Dataran Merdeka. Kui Lun, myself and some others were arrested. Thanks to the police for helping make our ‘No to 929’ campaign a success 🥳. Sedikit sejarah 🙏”

A DAP MP commented:

“20 years later, PAS is in federal government and we have to face a United Malay-led government 😫”.

Ngeh responded:

“I don’t believe that. New generation will not buy Pas’ brand in 20 yrs. It is no longer laku.”

This is what I said in the WhatsApp:

“Memories. Reminder to us all that battle for a liberal and secular multi-religious Malaysia will span many generations with ups and downs. We need stout-hearted people with grit and gumption for the long haul.”

Parliament is now debating the 12th Malaysia Plan.

The 12MP has three themes, four policy enablers and 14 game changers.

But can the 12MP really be a game changer?

Had the previous five-year Malaysia Plans been game-changers?

If so, Malaysia would not have become one of the worst-performing nations in the world in the Covid-19 pandemic with over two million cases and over 26,000 Covid-19 deaths.

We have today lost out to Singapore and Vietnam in Gross Domestic Product when in 1970, Singapore had only 51% of Malaysia’s GDP and Vietnam 74% of Malaysia’s GDP.

In the past half-a-century, Malaysia had lagged behind other countries and become more divisive, discriminatory and restrictive in our policies.

Even the word “liberal” has become a dirty word, the reason why the Rukun Negara, dedicated to fostering national unity, preserving a democratic way of life, creating a just society where national prosperity can be enjoyed equitably, building a liberal attitude towards the rich and diverse culture and building a progressive society that will use science and technology and dedicated to the five nation-building principles of belief in God, loyalty to King and country, supremacy of the Constitution, the rule of law and good behaviour and morality, is increasingly being looked askance.

If the 12th Malaysia Plan is really to be a Game Changer, it should usher in a Malaysia where Keluarga Malaysia covers all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics.

Otherwise, Keluarga Malaysia only highlights division and not unity.

Can the 12th Malaysia Plan really be a game-changer?

(Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Parliament on Thursday, 30th September 2021)

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