Former Malaysian Bar President, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan’s expose that UMNO youth Chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuku’s “10 reasons for Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to remove DAP and PKR from power” failed the fact-check test which produced no evidence to support them will not discourage the continued dissemination of lies, fake news and hate speech and more lies, more fake news and more hate speech to incite inter-racial and inter-religious polarisation and conflict in post-14 GE Malaysia.
Ambiga said she had 50 reasons why UMNO should never come back to power. Now she had 51.
The spread of lies, fake news and hate speech to incite inter-racial and inter-religious polarisation and conflict seemed to be the only strategy of the Opposition to counter the promises of Pakatan Harapan for a New Malaysia to become a top world-class nation of unity, justice, freedom, excellence and integrity.
I had hoped that the Malay Dignity Congress could lead the way for a Malaysian campaign to achieve a Golden Age for Malaysia as a top world-class nation of unity, justice, freedom, excellence and integrity and prove to the world that Malaysia is a success story from the confluence of the four great civilisations in the world – Malay/Islamic, Chinese, Indian and Western – instead of a basket-case of a failure from the Clash of Civilisations.
These hopes were misplaced.
But those who had had hoped that the Malay Dignity Congress would help to destroy the Pakatan Harapan government had been disappointed, and Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, must continue to be united, loyal to the principles of the Constitution and Rukunegara, patriotic, mature, visionary about Malaysia becoming a top world-class nation and never lose hope in resetting nation-building policies to achieve a New Malaysia.
A good example is the proposal by the Umno deputy president Datuk Mohamad Hasan to Mahathir to pull Bersatu out of Pakatan Harapan and team up with Umno and PAS for the sake of Malay unity in the aftermath of the Malay Dignity Congress and Mahathir’s immediate dismissal of the proposal.
Mahathir rightly said that Malaysia is a multi-racial country and it will not be right for the government to consist of members of one race.
He added: “We are not interested in forming a new government. Malaysia is a multi-racial country and since independence we have had government with all races in it.
“This is a reality of this country and all the races have rights in our country.”
It is most unfortunate and depressing that the Malay Dignity Congress has come out with resolutions which llke Asyraf’s “10 Reasons” do not stand up to any fact-check or scrutiny.
How can any restoration of dignity or any race or nation be based on lies, fake news and hate speech?
Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, must look into the challenges of the future instead of being misled by a misleading image of a past based on fake news and hate speeches.
This is the World Bank’s commentary on China’s economic development on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Chinese People’s Republic:
“Since initiating market reforms in 1978, China has shifted from a centrally-planned to a more market-based economy and has experienced rapid economic and social development. GDP growth has averaged nearly 10% a year—the fastest sustained expansion by a major economy in history—and more than 850 million people have lifted themselves out of poverty. China reached all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 and made a major contribution to the achievement of the MDGs globally. Although China’s GDP growth has gradually slowed since 2012, as needed for a transition to more balanced and sustainable growth, it is still relatively high by current global standards.
“With a population of 1.4 billion, China is the world’s second largest economy. It has contributed around 30% of global growth in the past eight years.
“Although China has made impressive economic and social development gains, its market reforms are incomplete, and its per capita income remains that of a developing country and only about a quarter of the average for high-income countries. The country is on track to eliminate absolute poverty by 2020 according to China’s current poverty standard (per capita rural net income of RMB 2,300 per year in 2010 constant prices). However, there are still an estimated 372.8 million people below the “upper middle income” international poverty line of $5.50 a day.
“Rapid economic ascendance has brought on many challenges as well, including high inequality (especially between rural and urban areas), challenges to environmental sustainability, and external imbalances. China also faces demographic pressures related to an aging population and internal labor migration.
“China’s rapid economic growth exceeded the pace of institutional development, and there are important institutional and reform gaps that it needs to address to ensure a sustainable growth path. Significant policy adjustments are required for China’s growth to be sustainable. Managing structural reforms and related risks will not be straightforward given the complexity, size, and global importance of China’s economy.”
Forty years ago in 1978, Malaysia’s per capita GDP was more than ten times that of China. Today, China has nearly caught up with Malaysia’s per capita GDP – as in the 2018 International Monetary Fund (IMF) ranking of nations based on per capita GDP, China is placed No. No.67 out of 156 nations with a per capita GDP of US$9,608, as compared to the 63rd placing for Malaysia with a per capita GDP of US$10,942.
Should’nt this be one of the top agendas of the Malay Dignity Congress as to why Malaysia had lost out in the race for economic development, losing out not only to China, but to other countries including India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, not to mention Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan – and what future is in store for Malaysia if Malaysians are not prepared to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps?
Instead of restoring the dignity of the Malays, the Malay Dignity Congress has brought greater indignity, dishonour and shame to Malays and Malaysia when there was not a word of reference to the great infamy for close to a decade when Malaysia became a global kleptocracy.
Lies, falsehoods, fake news and hate speech cannot restore the dignity of any race or nation.
Asyraf’s “10 Reasons” have invented a new fake news and hate speech designed to incite inter-racial and inter-religious polarisation and conflict – blaming the DAP for ICERD and the Rome Statute, when DAP leaders were themselves caught by surprise by these two developments.
Asyraf’s lies, fake news and hate speeches are the real threats to Malay and Malaysian dignity and the reasons why strong corrective action are necessary and imperative to prevent fake news and hate speech to incite inter-racial and inter-religious polarisation from destroying Malaysia.