To improve Malaysia’s ranking on the Social Progress Index is to further Karpal’s legacy

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Malaysia needs more towering Malaysians like Karpal Singh to save the nation from the fate of a failed, divided and kleptocratic state.

Karpal has inspired Malaysians on justice, the rule of law, human rights and good governance as seen by the large crowds at two events to commemorate the tenth anniversary of this untimely passing a decade ago – the Karpal Singh Legacy Walk at Persiaran Karpal Singh and the Honouring Karpal Singh Forum– both in Penang yesterday.

I have no doubt that Karpal would be glad at DAP’s victory in the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election, especially for two reasons:

Firstly, despite the lies, falsehoods and disinformation about the DAP being anti-Malay and anti-Islam, DAP had been vindicated as a party for all races, religions and cultures because this is the only road for Malaysia to be again a great world-class nation; and

Secondly, Anwar Ibrahim, the Prime Minister of the Unity Government, needs more time until the 16th General Election to prove and demonstrate that he is most suitable and ideal person for be Prime Minister for a plural nation like Malaysia to bring about institutional change and reforms.

One thing I have learnt from over five decades’ involvement in Malaysian politics is that things cannot change overnight and that institutional reforms cannot happen immediately.

We operate a democratic system of governance and not carrying out a French Revolution of 1789 when those who disagreed were guillotined.

The next three years are probably the most critical for the country, whether we regain our position as a great world-class nation or we continue our decline and end up as a failed, divided and kleptocratic state.

Malaysia cannot do worse in the next three years to improve our ranking on the annual Social Progress Index. Since 2011, when the Social Progress Index on various dimensions of social progress was first released, Malaysia had been ranked in the forties and fifties.

Would the Unity Government have the courage and commitment to bring Malaysia to be among the first 30 countries in the Social Progress Index – the fourth country in Asia?

The return of the country to the fundamental objectives of Malaysia, as spelt out in the Malaysian Constitution and the Rukun Negara, would be to further Karpal legacy, leading to the improvement of Malaysia’s ranking on the Social Progress Index.

It will be against Karpal’s legacy, and I will be equally shocked and outraged, if
a former Prime Minister is freed or allowed to complete his term of incarceration at home although he has a string of outstanding cases in court, and without any contrition or apology for his colossal wrongs to the nation and people.

I urge Malaysians to be always conscious of Karpal’s legacy and there is no better way to do this than to improve Malaysia’s ranking on the Social Progress Index.

– Lim Kit Siang

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