Challenge to Penang, as the first front-line state for the Malaysian Dream, to secure the highest voter turn-out in the country in the 15GE

The greatest fear in the 15th General Election is a low voter turn-out on Polling Day on 19th November 2022.

I challenge Penang, as the first front-line state for the Malaysian Dream where is justice, freedom, equality, prosperity and better life for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, to again create history by securing the highest voter turn-out in the country in the 15th General Election – both for a parliamentary constituency for Jelutong and for a state.

This will not be an easy task as there are 21 million voters in this general election, with those between 18-21 years old and voting for first time, accounting for 1.4 million, together with the problem of the general election being held in the monsoon season of heavy rain and serious floods.

There is a survey that says that the voter turnout on Polling Day will be very low, lower than in previous general elections, and lower than in the Malacca and Johor state general elections. This is bad news.

Let it be the task of every voter to tell their neighbours and friends that they must vote on Polling Day to make a decision that will affect their children and children’s children in terms of politics, economics, education, employment, health, housing, environment and culture.

We want Malaysia to be among the best countries in the world, and not to be a second-rate mediocre country after six decades, or a failed state like Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe when Malaysia celebrates our Centennial in another four decades.

I was in Papar in Sabah a few days ago and one resident said he had visited and admired Penang. Penang is admired by other regions in Malaysia as a model state and it should continue as a model for rest of the country.

At the launching of the Sabah DAP election machinery in Kota Kinabalu, I spoke of the three scenarios for the 15th General Election: one, where UMNO and Barisan Nasional win the 15GE and forms the Federal Government of Malaysia; secondly, no coalition wins a majority and the country enters a very confused and chaotic situation post-Nov. 19; and thirdly, Pakatan Harapan wins the 15GE and Anwar Ibrahim becomes the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia.

The three weeks since the dissolution of Parliament on Oct. 10 have seen a sea-change in the political mood of the country, and even those who at first are indifferent or disenchanted with politics since the Sheraton Move are beginning to realise that six decades of racial programming cannot be changed overnight in the democratic process and that Rome was not built in a day.

One significant difference in this sea-change in the political mood of the country of the last three weeks is the lessening of the possibility of the first option – i.e. UMNO and Barisan Nasional winning the 15GE and forming the Federal Government; and the heightening of the possibility of the third option, i.e. Pakatan Harapan winning the 15GE and returning to Putrajaya, with Anwar Ibrahim becoming the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Our greatest challenge in the 15th General Election mood is to reignite hope among Malaysians that instead of deteriorating into a failed and rogue state, with the greatest kleptocracy in the world, we could generate a political tsunami that Malaysia is still save-able and worth saving on Polling Day on November 19, 2022 to become a great world-class plural nation – in the midst of heavy rain and serious flooding during the campaign.

From my 57 years of political experience, there is no anti-Malay, anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Kadazan or anti-Dayak or anti-Islam, anti-Buddhist, anti-Hindu or anti-Christian sentiments on the ground, although some political parties are trying to drum up the sentiments that the Malays and Islam in Malaysia are under threat.

Let all Malaysians be pro-Malaysia – every citizen must be pro-Malaysian Malay, pro-Malaysian Chinese, pro-Malaysian Indian, pro-Malaysian Kadazan, pro-Malaysian Dayak as well as pro-Malaysian Islam, pro-Malaysian Buddhism, pro-Malaysian Hinduism and pro-Malaysian Christianity in fulfilment of the Malaysian Dream for Malaysia to be a great world-class plural nation.

(Speech by DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang in Penang at the launching of the Jelutong DAP election machinery on Thursday, 3rd November 2022 at 7 pm)

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