Kit Siang: PH government did make mistakes, Malacca Election is an opportunity for a review the mistakes

Kit Siang: I have never said Dr M was corrupt
Pic: New Straits Times

By Lim Kit Siang

I was sent by DAP to fly the DAP flag in Malacca and stood as a candidate for the then Bandar Melaka parliamentary constituency in 1969.

I believed that I had discharged the trust and the mandate of the party to the best of my ability from 1969-1986 when I was for three terms MP for Bandar (and then Kota) Melaka and Malacca State Assemblyman.

In my years as elected representative of Malacca, I had raised in Parliament the grievances and legitimate expectations of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region – whether the economic, political, social and cultural expectations of the Chinese in Malaysia, the plight of the padi farmers and the Felda settlers, the impoverishment of the estate labourers, the grievances of the Orang Asli or the legitimate grievances of the Sarawakians and Sabahans.

I remember that although the thought of becoming a Minister at the age of 30 was tempting, I had no hesitation in rejecting the MCA proposal from the then MCA President, Tun Tan Siew Sin for DAP’s dissolution and join MCA for Chinese Unity as we are not just Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans or Kadazans, we are first and foremost Malaysians.

After the 1986 general election, where I campaigned in Penang to be the front-line state for change and a better Malaysia, Lim Guan Eng took over as the MP for Kota Melaka.

He continued the DAP battle for all Malaysians, and went to jail and was disqualified as a Member of Parliament for fighting the cause of an underaged Malay girl – for DAP is committed to the well-being and welfare of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region.

This is the first time, and remain the only case, of a political leader going to jail and sacrificing his MPship for championing the cause of a Malaysian involving another race.

That we are first and foremost Malaysians, and not just Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans or Orang Asli, must remain at the very core in the battle for the Malacca state general election on Nov 20, 2021 which is being forced on the Malacca voters in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Malacca state general election on Nov. 20 is a forerunner to the 15th General Election which must be held less than 19 months away by May 2023.

DAP Malacca workers in the Malacca general election must always work not for Malacca alone, but for a better Malaysia.

We do not know what is in store in the 15th General Election.

The 14th General Election had been a game-changer.

Who would have expected the invincible and the unbeatable UMNO to be toppled in the 14th General Election in 2018, giving way to a Pakatan Harapan government?

Malaysians expected a lot of changes with the establishment of the Pakatan Harapan government, but they were disappointed when the Pakatan Harapan government was toppled by the Sheraton Move conspiracy which ushered in a backdoor, undemocratic and illegitimate government – one followed by another in the last two years.

The Pakatan Harapan government was slow in the start, and before it could initiate many changes, it was toppled in 22 months by the Sheraton Move conspiracy. The Pakatan Harapan government thought it had five years to fulfil the Pakatan Harapan election pledges but it was toppled before it could develop the momentum for wide-ranging reforms and changes.

But the Pakatan Harapan government did make mistakes and the Malacca state general election is an opportunity for a review of these mistakes.

All Pakatan Harapan leaders and workers must remain humble and modest in the election campaign to restore confidence and hope for a Malaysia which, in the words of Bapa Malaysia,Tunku Abdul Rahman could be a “beacon of light to a difficult and distracted world” – which sums up the Malaysian Dream of all Malaysians.

(Speech by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang at the launch of the DAP Malacca General Election Machinery at DAP Malacca headquarters on Sunday, 24th May 2021 at 5 pm)



*The views expressed are those of the author. If you have any questions about the content, copyright or other issues of the work, please contact Newswav.

This post first appeared on Lim Kit Siang‘s blog.

Malays are Not Poor

Zaid Ibrahim no longer chairman of firm he founded | Malaysia | The Vibes
Pic: The Vibes

By Dato’ Mohd Zaid bin Ibrahim

Tajuddin Rahman, a senior Umno MP has proposed that a new policy be enacted to help the Malays. The current National Development Policy, he opined, has not been successful, despite the current budget allocating RM11.4 billion for Bumiputra programmes. The attack on the National Development Policy is aimed at Dr Mahathir Mohamad who in the 1990s wanted Malays to excel through privatisation and to move the country towards commerce and industries. Tajuddin lamented the Malays are still poor and objected strongly to this policy of cash handouts made popular by Najib Razak. These cash handouts, he said, have not uplifted the Malays. Another Umno leader from Sabah criticised the small allocation for development for Sabah and Sarawak; he wanted more.

Tajuddin’s call for a new bumi policy begs this question: What more do these Malay heroes in Parliament want? What sort of special upliftment do they expect the Malays to get year in year out? A race-based budget is just not done anywhere else in the world – and yet the Malays are still poor?

The truth is Malays are not poor anymore. There are some who are but there are other poor people in the country too. Why not talk about them? If you drive from Penang along the North-South Highway ; you can count more than four hundred billboards depicting  the success of Malay / Muslim products and businesses. The Malay Muslim direct selling companies selling Muslim products – textiles, cosmetics, foods, services, Aqiqah  and many more – are generating revenue of billions of Ringgit.

How can you say Malays are poor? They received cash from the government at regular intervals. If you stop in Kuala Lumpur and play golf in the most expensive golf clubs in the country and ask the caddie master how many golfers are Malay, he will tell you more than seventy percent of them are Malay. You then drive south and stop over at Johor Premium Outlets in Johor Bharu. You will see those buying the Calvin Klein jackets, Hugo Boss shirts and Ferragamo shoes are predominantly Malay. Talk to the cashiers in the outlets, and you are convinced Malays are no longer poor.

The poor are not the Malays these leaders spoke about in Parliament but the poor quality leaders the Malays have elected, who regularly make silly decisions for selfish reasons.  It’s the poor quality Ministers who asked for “extras” from government contracts, ostensibly to take care of party expenses that make us poor. It is ridiculous for the supplier of services to be asked to quote more than the cost he was willing to do, so that party members can be happy. It’s called “donation” in this country, but corrupt practice anywhere else in the world.

This government that frowned upon Najib’s kleptocracy is in fact equally dirty in their dealings with public money. Government contracts are freely awarded to cronies and helpers, so long as the so-called party expenses are taken care of. Its clear that Malay-based institutions are poor – in the sense of being devoid of decency and uprightness. The departments and Ministries are headed and peopled by Malays but they do not follow the rules. They followed what the ministers want, and we all are poorer for it.

The bureaucracy is bloated and is no longer affordable. It is also killing fresh initiatives but this government still recruited new staffs to make full use of public money for friends and neighbours to savour government expenses. Ministers, regardless of portfolio, are able to appoint the full works of Advisers and Directors – such as a Cultural, Financial, Economic Advisers, Sports, Medical and Unity Advisers – since they have to project the right image in all aspects of Malaysian life to foreigners.

Taking full advantage of public money without shame is what makes Malay institutions poor. Some of the Malays they talk about in Parliament are poor, but so are the Indians, the orang Asli, the Chinese and the Dayaks. Why talk of poverty as if others don’t matter?

I hope our members of Parliament do not use the word Malays and Bumiputras too freely without giving serious thought to their meanings and implications. Do not be afraid to speak the truth about the moral depravity of our leaders.

When leaders no longer care about honesty and integrity; they will cease to care about the interests of ordinary Malaysians who need help. No policy change can do much good. It will be just another wasted effort even if you replace development policy with something more esoteric.

*The views expressed are those of the author. If you have any questions about the content, copyright or other issues of the work, please contact Newswav.

This post first appeared on Zaid Ibrahim‘s Facebook page.