MPs must be long-distance runners, by relay or otherwise, in pursuit of the dream of a better Malaysia for our children and children’s children

I contested the Bukit Bendera parliamentary constituency in the 10th General Election on Nov. 29, 1999 and was defeated – the first time I was defeated since I took part in parliamentary elections in 1969.

The Barisan Alternative of DAP, KeAdilan, PAS and PRM failed in its objective to end the UMNO/BN political hegemony by ending its two-thirds majority in Parliament!

I resigned as DAP Secretary-General, a post which I had held for 30 years from 1969-1999 when I was detained in Muar during my first Internal Security Act arrest, and spent two months to get public feedback and mulling as to whether I have outlived my political usefulness or whether I should continue in the frontline in the democratic battle for justice, freedom, equality, educational excellence, human rights and national unity out of our multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural diversity.

On 13th February 2000, I announced that I would soldier on in the frontline and continue my commitment in pursuit of the Malaysian Dream in the cause of a new Malaysia of justice, freedom, democracy and good governance.

It was the right decision or I would not be in the frontline not only to end the UMNO/BN political hegemony, but bring about the “political miracle” of the toppling of UMNO/BM government and its replacement by a Pakatan Harapan government on May 9, 2018.

But before Pakatan Harapan government could deliver on all its election pledges of change and institutional reform, it was toppled by the undemocratic, unconstitutional and illegal Sheraton Move political conspiracy, which produced two “backdoor” unconstitutional governments of Muhyiddin Yassin and Ibrahim Sabri.

There are now complaints that not all the election pledges of Pakatan Harapan were implemented in 22 months before its fall.

I myself am not happy with the pace of delivery of the 22-month Pakatan Harapan Government, but nowhere in the world is there a government which could achieve in 22 months what was promised for five years.

A government could be slow in the first half a five-year programme to bring about reform and institutional change, but this pace of change and reform could be speeded up in the second half of the five-year programme.

I saw the then Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad in mid-2019 to impress on him the need to fulfil the Pakatan Harapan election pledges and that if there are election pledges which could not be implemented, the Pakatan Harapan should be frank with the electorate and publicly explain the reasons.

I was sure that the electorate would be reasonable and would understand the frankness. Mahathir agreed.

I had hoped to see the Prime Minister in the mid-term (when Anwar Ibrahim would have taken over) on the fulfilment of the Pakatan Harapan election pledges, but in February 2020, the Sheraton Move political conspiracy toppled the Pakatan Harapan government after 22 months.

I had thought after the Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council Meeting on February 21, 2020 (where Mahathir promised to step down as Prime Minister after APEC meeting at the end of 2020) would resolve all the uncertainties but it became a different story when the Sheraton Move conspiracy took place after the Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council meeting.

One effect of the Sheraton Move is the disappointment, disillusionment, despondency and even hopelessness of voters with the democratic process as they had hoped that the miraculous change of government in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018 would bring about far-reaching change and reform.

But what were promised was for five years and we had only 22 months. In the initial period, the Pakatan Harapan government encountered opposition, resistance to new ideas, and even sabotage – like the DAP wanted to go against the Malays, Islam and the Royalty by demanding the ratification of ICERD when DAP Ministers and leaders knew nothing about it.

We are running a democratic process and we cannot chop the heads like in a revolution those who do not execute the new government’s instructions. Time must be taken to explain that the new government’s ideas and policies were good for the country.

Members of Parliament must be long-distance runners, by relay or otherwise, in pursuit of the dream of a better Malaysia for our children and children’s children – for the Malaysian Dream to become a great world-class plural nation, whether in politics, economics, employment, education, health, housing, culture or sports.

I believe all Malaysians, regardless of whether they are Malays, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Dayak or Muslims, Buddhiests, Hindus, Christians, have a common objective – they shed tears, sweat and even blood to ensure that their children and children’s children have a better life in Malaysia.

This is the core of the Malatysian Dream for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region.

We must develop this long-term vision among Malaysians.

I am now 81 years old. Although I am withdrawn from front-line politics, I still believe in the Malaysian Dream and will use every ounce of my energy in pursuit of the Malaysian Dream.

(Media Statement by DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang when accompanying Pakatan Harapan candidate for Bukit Bendera, Syerleena Abdul Rashid on a visit to Rifle Range flats in the company of former MP for Bukit Bendera, Wong Hong Wai and Penang State Assemblyman for Pulau Tikus, Lee Chun Kit on Friday, 4th November 2022 at 5 pm)

  1. No comments yet.

You must be logged in to post a comment.