The Port Dickson parliamentary by-election is the most important by-election in the nation’s 61-year history.
It is not a battle between the Pakatan Harapan candidate, Anwar Ibrahim, designated as the eighth Prime Minister of Malaysia after Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s tenure as the seventh Prime Minister, and six other candidates ranged against him in the by-election.
It is the sequel to the historic battle of the 14th General Election of May 9, 2018, a battle of the future versus the past as the second step in the struggle of a New Malaysia to be born to give Malaysians a second chance to reset nation-building policies.
What would have become of Malaysia if former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had been right about the outcome of the 14th General Election, when he was so sure not only of winning big, but even to recapture two-thirds parliamentary majority which UMNO/BN lost a decade ago in the 12th General Election in 2008?
We would have rushed headlong in the trajectory towards a rogue democracy, a kakistocracy where Cabinet Ministers cannot differentiate between turtle eggs from ordinary eggs, a global kleptocracy and a rogue state where people can disappear into thin air, fall to their death from the 14th floor of a building while under official custody, even murdered without any inquiry of the real motives; where it a crime to steal foodstuffs because of poverty but not a crime to steal tens of billions of public funds out of sheer greed and moral turpitude; and where the No. 1 law officer of the state is none other than the No. 1 outlaw in the state!
Malaysia is the confluence of the great religions and civilizations of the world, but the country has lost its moral compass that the national institutions of the state can accept Malaysia becoming a global kleptocracy and a rogue state without batting an eye-lid.
But ordinary Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans or Ibans have had enough and made the historic decision on May 9, 2018 to Save Malaysia and to give Malaysia a second chance to reset nation-building policies in the country to unite the citizenry and be a model nation, or in the words of Tunku Abdul Rahaman, a “beacon of light in a disturbed and distracted world”.
The Port Dickson by-election on Saturday is therefore an important building block in the making of a New Malaysia, which cannot be accomplished in 100 days or five months, but will take a decade or two.
All right-thinking Malaysians must have the Big Picture and Long-term Vision to take ownership of this task to create a New Malaysia. We will stumble and make mistakes – but the direction is clear.
While time is required to fulfill Pakatan Harapan’s election pledges to repeal all repressive and undemocratic laws – the Senate sabotage of the repeal of the Anti-Fake News Act illustrates the problems that have to be faced – I agree with the Hakam President, Gurdial Singh Nijar that there should be a moratorium of all charges under the repressive laws as well as the suspension of all death sentences.