by Liew Chin Tong
The 13th General Election is not merely the end of the 12th Parliament which met since 28th April 2008. It is a time for all Malaysians to put an end to Barisan Nasional’s 58-year rule from 1955 (after winning the self-government election conducted by the British).
It is not just about voting for or against the premiership of Dato’ Seri Najib Razak. It is about us Malaysians saying ‘NO’ to the corrupt, racist, cruel (zalim) and destructive dominance of Mahathirism since 1981. Both Prime Ministers Najib and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi have not been able to depart from Mahathir’s dominance.
Malaysia has waited long enough for change.
For decades, Malaysians are divided and ruled over by Barisan Nasional which in turn enriches its leaders in the name of helping the poor. We in Pakatan Rakyat unite to fight Barisan Nasional to bring forth a new future, a Malaysia that is democratic and just.
GE13 has many firsts. For the first time in history, the Opposition in the form of Pakatan Rakyat is a solid coalition representing all communities while Barisan Nasional is a coalition in name but in practice is left with a divided UMNO, surviving on the help of government machineries and BN-controlled media. All BN component parties have lost its electoral strength while UMNO’s racial agenda is no longer appealing even to the Malays as it is in their name that the wealth of the nation are stolen to benefit a selected few.
For the first time in history, while Barisan Nasional is in doing one after another policy flip flop and engaging in double speaks, Pakatan Rakyat issued policy recommendations and mini-manifesto defining our principles, policies and approaches many years before an election. In December 2009, we issued the Common Policy Framework; in December 2010, we announced the Buku Jingga; in January 2012, we unveiled Tawaran Jingga; and today, we assembled here to witness a historic commitment “Manifesto Rakyat: Pakatan Harapan Rakyat.”
Pakatan Rakyat aspires to see Malaysia achieving greatness by dignifying her people and by building the bridges of economic solidarity among her diverse people, supported by a clean, democratic and just government.
Dignity – We believe that we are all brothers and sisters in the eyes of God. We are created differently so that we can appreciate our diversity and not to harm each other. Diversity is Malaysia’s strength and not weakness. Having a government that dignifies all Malaysians, the whole is much larger than the sum of each of us.
In the chapter of “Rakyat Bersaudara”, Pakatan Rakyat intends to build a nation that uplifts all, see our diversities as the nation’s assets and promotes a deep sense of humanism so that Malaysia can move forward proudly and not stuck in the primordial debates of race and religion, as preferred by UMNO.
Economic solidarity – in the chapters of “Ekonomi Rakyat” and “Kesejahteraan Rakyat”, Pakatan Rakyat articulates a new vision for Malaysia. Malaysia is blessed with great natural resources and a great people of diverse backgrounds. If we can do away with corruption and cronyism, there is enough to go around for everyone to live a decent and dignified life.
We believe that a better-off Malay can take care of the economic interest of an Indian or a better-off Chinese can take care of the livelihood of poor Malays.
In fact, it was Pakatan Rakyat that was the first to draw attention to the fact that 60 percent of the population are living with a monthly household income of less than RM3,000. It is a major failure of Barisan Nasional’s economic policies which favours cronies at the expense of the larger public. Failing to address fundamental issues in the economy, BN opted to give BRIM to hide its failure.
Pakatan Rakyat expounds comprehensive reforms to our economy to create a “rising tide to lift all boats”. We want to end the dependence on unskilled foreign workers and encourage automation, technological upgrade and innovation so that we depend less on raw labour but more on brains. Productivity, wages and skills have to grow in tandem to ensure that everyone benefits from growth. Only a clean government not danced to the tune of rent seekers and cronies can raise the country and the people to the next level at once.
Clean, democratic and just government – and, finally, the sacrifices of Pakatan Rakyat leaders, members and supporters at the hands of BN’s brutal persecution machine built in us a shared belief: that when we run the next government, the dark days of political persecution shall never happen again to anyone. In its stead, a democratic society with clean governance built upon justice shall be the order of the day.
Malaysia can be like any other normal democracies in the world where freedoms are guaranteed, rights are respected, democratic processes are the norms.
For too long, Malaysia has been a nation in waiting for change.
Forget about those who tells you that we won’t win GE13 and must wait until GE14. Ini kali lah! It is now or never. Malaysia cannot wait for another five years of destruction and wastage by Barisan Nasional. It is not just our material resources are wasted. It is our people, their livelihood and their life aspirations that are being wasted.
Ini kali lah! It’s time for change. It is now or never. Malaysia deserves better. -The Rocket