This is the time for report cards for the first anniversary of the historic decision of the 14th General Election of May 9, 2018.
The first anniversary in two days’ time is marked by the appointment of a new Chief Justice and a new Inspector-General of Police, both important and positive developments in the building of a New Malaysia to undertake institutional reforms to establish a New Malaysia which upholds the doctrine of separation of powers, the rule of law and to restore institutional independence and professionalism.
There had been ups and downs, breakthroughs, setbacks and even failures from the Pakatan Harapan promises of the last general election, but what is most important is whether Pakatan Harapan remains committed to the promises and agenda for change for a new Malaysia and a new Sabah and prepared to learn from our setbacks and failures.
The two important appointments of the Chief Justice and the Inspector-General of Police, as well as the earlier appointment of the first Chief Justice from Sabah, represent a good end for the first-year anniversary of the historic, peaceful and democratic change for Malaysia the first time in six decades in Malaysia and first time in 55 years for Sabah.
It is easy to give way to despair at the glacial pace of change, the setbacks and even failures, best expressed by Uncle Yap in his article “New Malaysia: One Year on” in Malayiakini today, where he said:
“Now Lim is muted, and Anwar does not want to spook the Malays and one year on, the Harapan government continues to prove inept, indecisive and reluctant or incapable of fulfilling its promise of a New Malaysia.
“The shocking realisation has just dawned on me, if this Harapan government fails, what hope is there for my children and grandchildren?
“Once more, Malaysia, I cry for you.”
Let us not yet cry for Malaysia but work for a New Malaysia and a New Sabah. We do not want to fail. We want to succeed to build a New Malaysia and a New Sabah.
It had not been a bed of roses but more a crown of thorns.
But this is the time for stout-heartedness and to renew faith and commitment to build a New Malaysia and a New Sabah, where the talents and capabilities of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or socio-economic background, are developed to the fullest because of their efforts to build a New Malaysia and a New Sabah so that Malaysians can compete with the rest of the world instead of competing with ourselves.
The establishment of a New Malaysia is not going to be a walk in the park but a formidable challenge requiring great fortitude, courage, stamina and vision.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said over the weekend that there are people, including some civil servants, who want to oust the Pakatan Harapan government because of its efforts to combat corruption.
In fact, there are people, including some civil servants, who want to oust the Pakatan Harapan government in Putrajaya and Warisan-led Sabah government because of their efforts to build a New Malaysia and a New Sabah so as to return to the old regimes of corruption, abuse of power and injustices.
This is why the second year of the Pakatan Harapan Government in Putrajaya and the Warisan-led Sabah State Government in Kota Kinabalu is even more important than the first year – which was bogged down by the shocking discovery of the enormity, magnitude and depth of the various financial and nation-building scandals left behind by the Barisan Nasional government.
We are two days away from the first anniversary of May 9, 2018 to Save Malaysia. But even more important will be two days after the first anniversary, on May 11, when the Sandakan by-election will be held.
Let Sandakan by-election provide the great thrust and boost for the start of the second year of Pakatan Harapan federal government in Malaysia and Warisan-led State Government in Sabah to keep faith and to stay strong to continue the agenda of change to create a New Malaysia and a new Sabah.
Let the Sandakan voters on behalf of all Malaysian voters, through the Sandakan by-election on May 11 give a ringing reaffirmation and endorsement for a New Malaysia and a New Sabah to reduce the costs of living of the people, achieve institutional reforms, engineer economic growth, restore power to Sabah and Sarawak and to build an inclusive and moderate Malaysia and Sabah.