2020 is pivotal to determine whether Malaysia Baru belongs to all Malaysians whether in the urban or rural areas, young or old, male or female, and ensure a better future for our children. There is some optimism that 2020 will be a better year than 2019, especially with better prospects of a resolution to the trade war between US and China.
However, there are also those who are disillusioned by misinformation, fake news or lack of real progress. Many acknowledge our success that Malaysia is now no longer a global kleptocracy, but the people’s expectations are higher.
DAP and PH leaders must counter these obstacles by being willing to listen to all Malaysians and work harder to bring about the democratic and human rights reforms, as well as the economic progress that the people desire. Much hinges on 3 factors, namely the state of the economy, the delivery of PH promises in the PH General Election Manifesto, and supporting a smooth transition of power from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after the APEC Summit in November 2020.
Malaysia is making good progress on the economy as confirmed by the international ratings agencies’ reaffirmation of our credit ratings at A3/A- and the increase in foreign investments. However, whilst their concerns about the economy has receded, there are doubts about the political situation. For this reason, it is imperative that these doubts be erased by making 2020 the year when PH begin to deliver on all its remaining unfulfilled promises.
We must be wary of racists and religious extremists trying to regain power they had earlier lost through corruption and economic mismanagement, by targeting non-Malays and non-Muslims. Using a dangerous, divisive and destructive formula that opposes funding for vernacular schools with some even calling for it to be closed down, boycott non-Muslim products and businesses, bar non-Muslims from becoming Cabinet Ministers; dispossess Indians and Chinese the right to vote, show outright contempt for the religious practices of non-Muslims and spread vicious lies against non-Muslims that is justifiable just because they are non-Muslims.
Malaysia has no place for those devoted to religious hostility, racial division and command economies and must choose national unity and harmony, promote private enterprise and invest in talent diversity. Only economic growth can lead to more quality jobs, higher purchasing power, better health care, public transport and schools, good connectivity, less corruption and shared prosperity. Let us focus on the economy and delivering on promises that can reduce the cost of living of Malaysians!