DAP Malaysia 2011 New Year Message by Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur on 1 st January 2011:
Let us teach our children hope and build their confidence that they can be as good as they want and not be inferior merely on account of the colour of their skin
In capping 2010 with a glorious victory in the regional AFF-Suzuki cup for the first time in 21 years, football gives all Malaysians a strong reminder that there is no substitute for excellence and performance. An ASEAN football trophy that once belonged to Malaysia, football became the laughing-stock for Malaysia when we forgot the importance of striving for performance and the need to deliver excellence where there are no corrupt practices or favouritism.
At the same time, our football victory reminded us that Malaysians can excel regionally and perform with excellence. Let us therefore teach our children hope and build their confidence that they can be as good as they want and not be inferior merely on account of the colour of their skin.
Malaysians despair when some politicians tell our children that they can never be good enough, that they need special rights and favours to survive. How do we build up a child's confidence if we instil this sense of inferiority that they need special assistance, especially when this special assistance never comes?
Malaysian parents are anguished that no matter how well their child performs, he will never be chosen on account of the colour of their skin. How do you explain to your little girl why she can not get a place into a premier institution even though she scores good results?
Have we not learnt our lessons for not harnessing our human talents and tapping their expertise? Do we want to see more Malaysians migrating as more than 2 million have done so since 1957? Look at the success of Singapore in surpassing Malaysia for the first time this year as the 3rd largest economy in ASEAN after Indonesia and Thailand.
Despite having no resources, Singapoare GDP this year as grown to US$210 billion compared to Malaysia's US$205 billion. We have failed as a country to grow the size of its economy and lost out in the race towards economic competitiveness. Malaysia is 478 times the size of the republic and its population, at 27 million, 5 times larger than its tiny neighbour's 4.8 million. Can Malaysia catch up when last year, Singapore's GDP per capita was US$36,537 (up from US$512 in 1965) compared with Malaysia's US$ 6,975 (US$ 335 in 1965)?
We can if we start building human talent and retaining them. We must give hope that our children can live better than their parents. Let us inspire hope by stressing on performance not privilege, expertise not entitlement and integrity not corruption.
Let us be bonded by our common aspirations for justice, freedom, truth, democracy and social welfare for the weak and poor. Let us build a future for our children to live in a cleaner, greener and smarter Malaysia.
*Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary General & MP for Bagan