When the country achieved Merdeka in 1957 and Malaysia was formed in 1963, we had a national vision expressed in the 1957 Merdeka and 1963 Malaysia Proclamations.
Bapa Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, called on everyone in the country “to work and strive with hand and brain to create a new nation, inspired by the ideals of justice and liberty – a beacon of light in a disturbed and distracted world”.
The Merdeka and Malaysia Proclamations outlined the pursuit of the great dream of a Malaysia of Excellence, Justice, Integrity, Compassion and Freedom, pledging that we “shall be for ever a sovereign democratic and independent State founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of its people and the maintenance of a just peace among all nations”.
Have we achieved our Malaysian Dream in the past 60 years?
From “a beacon of light in a disturbed and distracted world”, we have ourselves become a “disturbed and distracted” nation.
The greatest “distraction” for the ongoing UMNO General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur, beating war-drums for the impending 14th General Election, is none other than the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal, which catapulted Malaysia in three years into a global kleptocracy – to the extent that Malaysia has become even the butt of jokes of corrupt African nations!
Although the United States Attorney-General Jeff Sessions castigated Malaysia at an international conference for the crime and kleptocracy of the 1MDB scandal on the eve of the UMNO General Assembly, no UMNO leader or delegate was sufficiently patriotic to call on UMNO to be in the forefront to take belated measures to clear and cleanse Malaysia of the international infamy and ignominy of a global kleptocracy.
In his opening speech at the UMNO General Assembly this morning, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he wanted UMNO to continue to rule the nation, not only in the next 30 years, but for another 1,000 years.
This is not the mindset of a democrat, but a Maharaja or Maharaja-wannabe.
A democrat accepts the principle that the people are the final arbiters of which political party or coalition rules the country, and accepts the verdict of the people in a general election as to which party or coalition is to form the government of the day.
The voters will not be threatened with chaos, unrest or whatever horrifying consequences if they vote for a change of government, nor will any government or party leader boasts of ruling a country “for a thousand years”. Hitler’s Nazi Third Reich aimed to rule for a thousand years but it collapsed after 12 years. I wonder whether Najib will call Hitler a democrat.
The 14th General Election is critical and crucial test whether Malaysia is capable of becoming a normal democratic country to make the country a top world achiever in every field of human endeavour.
Countries which are normal democratic countries, like in Europe, United States, Australia, Canada, the United States, and in Asia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, India, Philippines and increasingly Indonesia, everyone accepts the democratic principle that the government-of-the-day is decided through the ballot boxes, and there are no political leaders who aspire to become “maharajas” or “maharaja-wannabes” with “thousand-year rule” visions.
Is Najib prepared to prove that he is a democrat by declaring that he would accept the democratic verdict of the people in the 14th General Election and will peacefully and democratic hand over power if this is the decision of the Malaysian voters in the 14th General Election?