A question which is also an indictment

There are those who think that it is naïve for me to pose the question: Will the Opposition play its role as an honest, constructive and loyal Opposition to the Constitution and Rukunegara instead of trying its utmost to polarise and divide Malaysians through the politics of race, religion, fake news and hate speech?

This is a question which is also an indictment.

I had not expected any answer from the Opposition and there was none. In the new Internet era of 24-hour news cycle, the two-day total Opposition silence to my question on Tuesday is very eloquent and conclusive proof that the Opposition will continue to be dishonest, destructive and disloyal to the Constitution and Rukunegara so that it could divide Malaysians through the politics of race, religion, fake news and hate speech.

I have always believed that in any democracy, the Opposition has an important role to play to provide the necessary check and balance to prevent abuse of power and other deviations, but it must be an honest, constructive and loyal Opposition – not to the government of the day, but to the country and the basic nation-building documents like the Constitution and the Rukunegara.

I have never believed that to be an effective Opposition, one must be dishonest, destructive and disloyal to the Constitution and Rukunegara which best describe the present Opposition.

Although my question was also an indictment of the Opposition, it was never meant to be attempt to explain why the Pakatan Harapan Federal Government is losing the perception war to the Opposition. This calls for a another treatment on another occasion.

UMNO never expected to be in the Opposition as it had never expected to lose power in the 14th General Election. In fact, the UMNO leaders were more worried about their prospects in the 13th General Election than in the 14th General Election.

This was why the historic result of the 14th General Election came like a bolt from the blue and UMNO leaders were completely taken by surprise that in the “morning after”, they were no longer in the seats of power in the Federal Government and several State Governments.

When it dawned on the UMNO leaders that they had been evicted from power, they consoled themselves with the notion that the new and disparate coalition Pakatan Harapan coalition would not last long and would implode within months.

When this disintegration and implosion of the Pakatan Harapan did not take place, UMNO went through its first crisis with many of its elected representatives jumping ship.

But UMNO steadied and consolidated when UMNO leaders discovered a new modus operandi to undermine the Pakatan Harapan coalition by fully exploiting the social media polarising the nation with the politics of race, religion, fake news and hate speech, aided by the shameful “Bossku” phenomenon and the new Muafakat Nasional coalition with PAS, resulting in a series of by-election victories which appear to convey the message that the Pakatan Harapan coalition was going to be at best a one-term government.

But this new lease of political life could prove to be ephemeral and misplaced if the Pakatan Harapan coalition restored public support and confidence with the delivery of Pakatan Harapan promises in the 14th General Election, which is why I had described the year 2020 as a “make-or-break” year for Pakatan Harapan and New Malaysia.

Hence the need to speed up the disintegration and of the Pakatan Harapan coalition. These are among the reasons for the latest spate of conspiracy theories – of statutory documents being collected from Members of Parliament to form a new Federal Government, the proposed confidence motion of Tun Dr. Tun Manathir as Prime Minister, and the various combinations and permutations of the new numbers game.

What is totally unprecedented in six decades of Malaysian history is the emergence of a coalition founded upon the concept of a basically one-race government, which goes against the principles of Malaysian nation-building of a plural society of diverse races, religions, languages and cultures.

The advocates of a basically one-race government are tinkering with future of Malaysia, rejecting the dream of decades of Malaysian Prime Ministers, including Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, and great Malaysians patriots regardless of race or religion, for the nation to be top world-class nation – relegating Malaysia not to a mediocre nation but a failed state and to become the Venezuela of South-east Asia.

Venezuela is in the thick of a terrible political, socio-economic and humanitarian crisis. Once one of the 20 richest countries in the world and the richest in Latin America with free education and free medical services for her citizens, it is now poor, backward, broken and bankrupt state, with some 14 per cent of Venezuelans (4.5 million) having left the country in despair.

The humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has affected the life of the average Venezuelan on all levels. By 2017, hunger had escalated to the point where almost seventy-five percent of the population had lost an average of over 8 kg (over 19 lbs) in weight, and more than half did not have enough income to meet their basic food needs.

In the latest international media report on Venezuela, the seven-year crushing depression in the Latin American country caused by massive corruption, incompetence and mismanagement has even led to the reversal of the infant mortality rates which had been falling since the 1940s.

The Opposition does not mind Malaysia becoming the Venezuela of South East Asia, so long as the Pakatan Harpaan Federal government coalition is toppled.

In fact, one of the current Opposition leaders had couched the political future of Malaysians as to be a choice to be goat-herders or pig-herders.

This is not the future for Malaysians. Pakatan Harapan does not want Malaysians to choose between becoming goat-herders or pig-herders, but to acquire excellence and mastery over science and technology in the information age and the world of A.R. so that Malaysia can become a top world-class nation.

Malaysia is the confluence of four great civilisations in the world – Malay/Islamic, Chinese, Indian and Western.

We can play an active role to leverage on the values and qualities of these four great civilisations to build a great Malaysian nation and a better world – even to recast the 2005 United Nations Initiative of Alliance for Civilisations into a genuinely universal collaboration of all the great civilisations of the world.

Instead of leveraging on the best qualities of our diverse population to become a top world-class nation in unity in diversity, anti-corruption, economic progress and democratic freedoms, Malaysians can succumb to the dishonest, destructive and disloyal politics of the Opposition to become a failed state and the Venezuela of South East Asia .

MP FOR ISKANDAR PUTERI
Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 13th February 2020