12 July 2018 marks the 23rd year of the passing of P. Patto, DAP firebrand, politician extraordinaire, defender of justice, fighter for the oppressed, comrade, friend, husband and father.
This year will also be etched in Malaysian history as the year that brave Malaysians voted for the unknown, voted for change, adding this to the many achievements of Malaysians who have come far, together, to fight tyranny, injustice, corruption and all in all to topple a kleptocratic regime.
P. Patto had a dream. A Malaysia for every Malaysian child to hold his and her head up high under the Malaysian sun, to be given equal opportunities under the Malaysian sun and to be treated equally under the Malaysian sun. To be judged based on character and not on the colour of skin, race or religion.
And on the 9th of May, Malaysians from all walks of life, rich and poor, able and disabled, men and women, young and aged, from all ethnicities, tribes and religion and even those living abroad spending a fortune to fly home, travelling on land beckoning the call to serve their nation, to their respective ballot boxes, made P. Patto’s dream come true. That the 14th General Election, the mother of all elections truly brought Malaysians together. And together, peacefully, overthrew a 60 year old BN regime.
P. Patto, like many who are no more with us today were leaders who put their Malaysia above themselves, sacrificing their lives for one just cause, to bring Malaysia back on the right course; to bring Malaysia back to her glory days and more.
He always spoke with the future in mind – that his sacrifices and suffering fighting the then tyrant regime, pouring his heart and soul into his party work and political work and in his 23 years in politics would contribute to nation-building, to create a cohesive and inclusive society so that no one is left behind in a new Malaysia, so that regressive laws become a thing of the past, so corruption will be weeded out systemically and systematically, so that there is no room, freedom nor opportunity for anyone to abuse power while being in power, to stand up to defend the voiceless and defenceless and to be a beacon of hope when all hope is lost.
The seeds of valour, conscience and guided by a strong sense of justice that had been planted by P. Patto and like minded men and women like him through their baptisms of fire have borne fruits today with Malaysians, as architects, engineers and builders, working together to fix their broken nation into becoming a big tree to shade her people with love, justice and equality.
We reap now what was sowed at a time when tyranny and a reign of terror ruled the land, by P. Patto, Karpal Singh, V. David, Fan Yew Teng, Lau Dak Kee, Chian Heng Kai, Ahmad Nor and many others fighting head on and headstrong – not for fame, power or fortune, but for Malaysian children, for generations to come to be proud of their New Malaysia.
Thank you Papa, for giving us all hope in a time of hopelessness and darkness and the courage to dream of a day that Malaysians will become the greatest nightmare of a power hungry Government in doing the impossible – CHANGE.
Your dream of a Malaysian Malaysia is today a reality.
P. Patto was truly a visionary and a man ahead of his time who gave his life to make the Malaysian Malaysia dream a reality.
Rest now Papa, Malaysians have heeded the call to rescue Malaysia.
Till we meet again, Papa. Missed dearly but never forgotten.
“He dies as he had lived, with his principles intact,
Even his fiercest rivals, find hard to attack,
Such was the man, with service as his motto,
Such was the man, my good friend Patto” ~ the late Thomas S.H. Lee