Millions of Malaysians burst into tears in the late night of 9 May 2018. Many, including myself, couldn’t believe our eyes when we learned of the news: We are changing the federal government of Malaysia for the first time in history.
There have been too many occasions in the past where I heard people were on the brink of giving up on Malaysia. When jobs were scarce, wages were suppressed, crime rates were high, corruption was condoned, and hatred was fanned, the government was indifferent to the Rakyat and many of us lost the courage to imagine for change.
I belong to the May 5th generation. We were told that everything is possible if there is a will and if we persevere. As one of the youngest candidates fielded in GE14, I pressed on the idea of “audacity to imagine” in all my speeches. It’s important to first have the audacity to imagine before we can have solid action plan. Had we stopped imagining, we would never have created changes that we now have today.
Most, if not all, problems have solutions that we could pursue. As far as Malaysian politics is concerned, the solution to problems start with the will to solve them. It seemed tough before, but with the decision made by Rakyat on 9 May 2018, I know now we can do it.
We will see reforms in institutions, where their rightful functionalities will be restored and improved. We will see reforms in economics, where hardworking Malaysians will be rewarded fairly and adequately. We will see reforms in politics, where responsible governance with integrity will be safeguarded and become the norm. We will see reforms in our society, where Malaysians will not regarded as divided and separated because a government that cares for all Malaysians has just been elected. We will see a brighter future for our children now, because our government is one that upholds the principle of “Care Is King” instead of “Cash is King”.
There are people around me who have waited for decades to witness a two-party system come true in Malaysia. The younger generation today, including those elected as representatives must always bear in mind that everything we achieved today did not come easy–everything was fought hard by our forefathers. We play an important role in complementing the leadership of Pakatan Harapan with fresh opinions and newly minted grit to realise a better Malaysia.
Changing the government is only the first step. The process of building a progressive, prosperous, harmonious, just and fair Malaysia will be an ongoing process, and we must not lose our focus along the way.
Let us look forward to a new Malaysia. Our chapter begins today.