Today is the last day of Dewan Rakyat proceeding on which a lot of hope had been invested and lost – whether the country can redeem itself to have a government which is legitimate with the people’s mandate, and not illegitimate and established through the backdoor.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had survived the confidence test in Parliament by a razor-thin majority but he has not won the confidence of Malaysians or the international community.
In two weeks’ time, we will see the end of the 30-year Vision 2020 which envisioned a nation which is united and encompasses all aspects of life, from economic prosperity, social well-being, educational world-class, political stability and psychological balance.
The nine strategic challenges of Vision 2020 read today like an indictment of the failures of Malaysian nation building after six decades –
1. To establish a united Malaysian nation made up of one Bangsa Malaysia.
2. To create a psychologically liberated, secure and developed Malaysian society.
3. To foster and developing a mature democratic society.
4. To establish a fully moral and ethical society.
5. To establish a matured liberal and tolerant society.
6. To establish a scientific and progressive society.
7. To establish a fully caring society.
8. To ensure an economically just society, in which there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation.
9. To establish a prosperous society with an economy that is fully competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.
Today, Malaysia has a new badge of infamy – as we have just overtaken China in cumulative total of Covid-19 cases, with Malaysia positioned as No. 79 with 87,913 cases while China is ranked No. 80 with 86,770 cases (worldometers.info), when China with 1.4 billion population has 40 times the population of Malaysia.
It is the latest sign that Malaysia is fast falling behind other countries.
South Korea is ranked No. 90 with 45,442 cases; Hong Kong is ranked No. 131 with 7,804 cases; Thailand ranked No. 152 with 4,261 cases; Vietnam is ranked No. 169 with 1,405 cases; Taiwan ranked No. 176 with 749 cases; Cambodia ranked No. 189 with 362 cases.
Why are we not in the company of these countries instead of becoming among top 30-40 countries in the world with the most cumulative Covid-19 cases in the pandemic, led by the new “third world” country in public health, the United States of America, which has over 74 million cases and over 314,000 fatalities, with India as second with close to 10 million cases and over 114,000 fatalities and Brazil third with over 7 million cases and over 183,000 fatalities.
When the Malaysian voters voted out the seemingly invincible Barisan Nasional and toppled Najib Razak as Prime Minister in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018, the Pakatan Harapan Government embarked on the long hard task to transform Malaysia from a global kleptocracy and leverage on Malaysia’s diversity of races, languages, cultures, religions and civilisations into a world-class nation in integrity and in various fields in human achievement.
But the Pakatan Harapan government was short-lived as it was toppled by the Sheraton Move conspiracy which brought Malaysia back to the trajectory of a kleptocracy, kakistocracy and a failed state.
Yesterday, three DAP women MPs, Yeo Bee Yin (Bakri), Teo Nie Ching (Kulai) and Hannah Yeoh (Segambut) said in a joint statement that Malaysians need “a new hope”.
Whatever the setbacks and letdowns, Malaysians must never give up hope to build a just, prosperous, dynamic and world-class plural Malaysia.
Malaysians need a new national consensus to make Malaysia great again.
We must return to Bapa Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman’s founding vision of the nation as a “beacon of light in a disturbed and distracted world”.
We cannot be such a “beacon of light” if Malaysia becomes a global kleptocracy, a kakistocracy or overtake China in cumulative total of Covid-19 cases.
Malaysians must dare to dream and hope, and be agents and drivers of change to save the country from (i) racial and religious intolerance and extremism, (ii) corruption and (iii) to show the world that Malaysia is show-case of the success of Alliance of Civilizations instead of a failure from the Clash of Civilisations.
Malaysians must work on a new national consensus for all Malaysians.