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Under Najib, Malaysia has not only become a global kleptocracy, it has also become a kakistocracy – a government by the worst people

I am shocked at the arrest of DAP Penang Exco Member, Phee Boon Poh by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over alleged letters issued by his office involving an illegal factory in Seberang Prai.

I have known Boon Poh for more than 30 years since 1986, when I first contested in Tanjong parliamentary constituency in Penang. In 1990, Boon Poh was first elected as DAP Penang State Assemblyman for Bagan Jermal and in 2004, he was elected Penang State Assemblyman for Sungai Puyu and Leader of Penang Opposition State Assemblyman. When the DAP formed and led the Penang State Government in the 2008 and 2013 General Elections, Boon Poh had been a Penang State Exco member since 2008.

I have always known Boon Poh in the past three decades as a hard-working down-to-earth political leader, who has always kept himself close to the pulse of the people. Dedicated to the cause of justice, freedom and the welfare of the people, regardless of race or religion, Boon Poh is a practical idealist, who is not afraid to take up the people’s causes although this make him unpopular with the powers-that-be.

If Boon Poh is corrupt, produce the evidence and by all means arrest and charge him. But I do not believe that Boon Poh belongs to the breed of corrupt political leaders who corruptly enriches himself from politics.

We in the DAP belong to a different breed of people from the political leaders in UMNO and Barisan Nasional – we are in politics because of what we can achieve for the people and country and not for what we can achieve for ourselves from politics, while UMNO and Barisan Nasional leaders are in politics basically for what they can get from politics and not what they can contribute to society and Malaysians.

This is why I believe that Boon Poh is the latest victim of corrupt power play, and instead of eradicating corruption, the MACC has become an instrument to white-wash corruption at the highest political levels, especially to white-wash the 1MDB scandal which has turned Malaysia overnight into a global kleptocracy and the 1MDB culprits, like “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” or “MO1”.

Under Najib, Malaysia has not only become a global kleptocracy, it has also become a kakistocracy – a government by the worst people!

If a public officer, whether politician or civil servant, is to be arrested not because of tens of millions of ringgit of cash and other valuables found in his home as in Johor or hundreds of millions of ringgit of cash or other valuables stashed in his house as in the case of Sabah, but because of letters that his office had sent, in Boon Poh’s case involving an illegal factory, then there will not be any municipal councillors, state executive councillors, Ministers, even Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister left in the country!

There is no need to create vacancies in Federal, state and local government offices with MACC nabbing people in connection with letters, but let the MACC launch a nation-wide campaign to nab national and state government leaders with disproportionate wealth and income, who live lavishly well beyond their known means of income, and there will not be enough prison or lock-up spaces in the country to fill the influx of arrests!

Malaysia is supposed to celebrate the 60th National Day anniversary this year to mark Malaysia’s attainment of Merdeka on August 31, 1957.

In the past two years, Malaysia’s international reputation plunged to the lowest depth in the nation’s 60 year history as we are regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy.

The Prime Minister and the Umno/Barisan Nasional government not only has no political will to clear or cleanse Malaysia of the international infamy and ignominy of a global kleptocracy, the major institutions in the country, including the MACC, are doing their utmost to whitewash the international 1MDB money-laundering scandal and 1MDB culprits like “MO1” and victimise and penalise Malaysian political leaders who dare to oppose Malaysia becoming a global kleptocracy.

Today, Boon Poh has become a victim of such a campaign and arrested in the name of fighting corruption. I expect more victims of such campaigns to whitewash the 1MDB scandal and 1MDB culprits like “MO1” in the run-up to the 14th general election.

Today, Malaysia is not just a grand kleptocracy, it has become a kakistocracy – a government by the worst people in Malaysia, the most unscrupulous and unprincipled.

Let us remember the pledge in the Merdeka Proclamation 1957 and the Malaysia Proclamation 1963 that the nation “shall be for ever a sovereign democratic and independent State founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of its people and the maintenance of a just peace among all nations”.

If Malaysia is true to this pledge in the double Proclamations, Malaysia will never become a global kleptocracy, let alone a kakistocracy.

Let words go out from Pekan Nenas tonight, that all patriotic and right-thinking Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or politics, are united in wanting to ensure that Malaysia does not become a kleptocracy and kakistocracy.

Let us launch a nation-wide campaign of “Love Malaysia, Save Malaysia, Change Malaysia” culminating in a new Malaysian government in Putrajaya in the 14th General Election!

DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah
Speech by Lim Kit Siang at the Pekan Nenas DAP General Elections Preparatory Dinner held at Pekan Nenas on Friday, 11th August 2017 at 10 pm