After the trashing at the Tanjong Piai by-election in Johor, Pakatan Harapan veteran politician Lim Kit Siang says it is time to buckle up and deliver on the promises.
“Pakatan Harapan received a thrashing in the Tanjong Piai by-election because the voters were disappointed by the record of Pakatan Harapan government in the last 18 months to implement the agenda for a New Malaysia in the 14th General Election Manifesto, and what is worse, the belief that the Pakatan Harapan government in Putrajaya had gone back to the bad old ways of the previous Barisan Nasional government.
“They were wrong, but Pakatan Harapan failed to communicate and to convince them that their disappointment and disillusionment while understandable were completely misplaced,” Lim said in a speech.
He said The Economist saw Malaysia as one of the “ovation countries of the year 2018”, but did not spare the country as a disappointment with the slow pace of reform.
The Economist said, “If PH does not get the economy going, it may wind up in opposition for a few years; if it does not refurbish Malaysia’s democracy, it may be out of office for a generation.”
Lim said Malaysia is at crossroads – “to move forward to be a top world-class nation with an inclusive nation-building policy leveraging on the best qualities of the diverse races, religions, languages and cultures or to be relegated to the trajectory towards a failed, rogue and kleptocratic state obsessed by divisive and intolerant race and religious politics. Malaysia made a good start in the last 18 months to build a New Malaysia where Malaysia can become a top world-class nation.”
He said the PH government had made strides with several good and important appointments.
“But more must be done,” he warned, adding that it is time for a major review of Pakatan’s promise of a New Malaysia.
He urged the government to be frank with the people and tell them where the coalition went wrong on its promises because he believes Malaysians will appreciate the frankness.
He reminded the coalition that its five-pillars for a New Malaysia must be implemented. They are:
· Reduce the people’s burden;
· Institutional and political reforms;
· Spur sustainable and equitable economic growth;
· Return Sabah and Sarawak to the status accorded in Malaysia Agreement 1963; and
· Create a Malaysia that is inclusive, moderate and respected globally.
“There is also a need to review the modus operandi of Pakatan Harapan and the four component parties.
“I do not agree for instance with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s expression that the Pakatan Harapan’s Manifesto is not a bible.
“Or with the flying car proposal as a government project or the detention of 12 Malaysians for alleged links with the non-existent Tamil Tigers Liberation Front,” he said.
He called for ways to allow the Pakatan parties to voice their dissent from existing government policies and measures without being seen as Opposition-minded or motivated by an ulterior objective to bring down their own government.
“The alternative is too dire to consider – as it would involve the death of the Malaysian Dream and a sad and heart-aching end to Malaysian nation-building,” he said during a speech at the Perak DAP State Convention in Ipoh on Sunday, November 24, 2019. -/TISG
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