2021 New Year Message by MP for Iskandar Puteri, Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah on 31st December 2020:
Malaysians need a vaccine in 2021 for a new national consensus to return to the quest to become a world-class great nation and to stop the country from hurtling towards the abyss of a kleptocracy, kakistocracy and a failed state
Malaysians hardly noticed that today is the last day of the 30-year plan – Vision 2020 to be a fully developed Malaysia, which is united, confident, moral, ethical, democratic, liberal and tolerant, caring, economically just and equitable, progressive and prosperous and in full possession of an economy that is competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.
The magnitude of the failure to achieve Vision 2020 can be gauged from the failure to achieve the nine central strategic challenges by the year 2020, viz:
- Establishing a united Malaysian nation made up of one Bangsa Malaysia.
- Creating a psychologically liberated, secure and developed Malaysian society.
- Fostering and developing a mature democratic society.
- Establishing a fully moral and ethical society.
- Establishing a matured liberal and tolerant society.
- Establishing a scientific and progressive society.
- Establishing a fully caring society.
- Ensuring an economically just society, in which there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation.
- Establishing a prosperous society with an economy that is fully competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.
Today, “liberal” has become a dirty word and the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has even declared war against liberalism and secularism, the cornerstones of Merdeka Constitution 1957, Malaysia Constitution 1963 and Rukun Negara 1970.
Malaysians seem to have forgotten both the five nation-building principles of Rukun Negara (to the extent that we have Ministers in Cabinet who reject the Rukun Negara) and its Preamble which, among other things, committed the country to achieve “a more perfect unity amongst the whole of her society” and guaranteed “a liberal approach towards her rich and varied cultural traditions”.
As a result, we have never been able to be “a beacon of hope in a difficult and troubled world” as aspired by Bapa Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman in the founding years of the nation.
At the end of Vision 2020, we are again haunted by the controversy whether Muslims can wish their Christian friends ‘’Merry Christmas”, while the new Indonesian Minister of Religious Affairs, Yaqut Cholil Quomas, wished Christians “Merry Christmas”, visited a Christian Church and sent a message to all Indonesian religious communities “to make religion a source of inspiration, a source of peace and to spread mutual love”.
2020 has been an annus horribilis for all the countries in the world because of the Covid-19 pandemic with over 83 million Covid-19 cases, over 1.8 million Covid-19 fatalities and with a daily increase of over 720,000 cases – all signs that the worst is yet to come in the first half of next year.
The United States of America has been reduced to a third-world country by the Covid-19 pandemic, exceeding over 20 million Covid-19 cases, over 350,000 fatalities and registering record-high daily increase of 234,550 cases yesterday.
If we had succeeded in our past visionary plans, we would have acquitted ourselves better in the war against the Covid-19 epidemic and not be among the worst countries in ASEAN in fighting the epidemic.
We will start the 2021 new year ranked as No. 73 among countries with highest cumulative total of Covid-19 cases (110,485), and surging ahead to be among the top 30-40 countries with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases.
Singapore started its roll-out of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine with healthcare workers yesterday to be the first Asian country to begin an inoculation campaign against the coronavirus. Together with vaccines from other pharmaceutical sources, it expects to have enough vaccine doses for all 5.7 million people by the third quarter of 2021.
Malaysia’s first batch of vaccines will arrive only in February or March, and there are no known plans as to when Malaysia will have enough vaccines for the entire population.
Malaysia, however, needs a vaccine in 2021 for a new national consensus to return to the quest to become a world-class great nation and stop the country from hurtling towards the abyss of a kleptocracy, kakistocracy and a failed state.
Since 1970, the GDP of Malaysia has increased 90 times but Indonesia has increased by 117 times, Vietnam 122 times, China 163 times, Singapore 175 times and South Korea 178 times. After the past 50 years, both Singapore and Vietnam have overtaken Malaysia in having larger GDPs.
Malaysians must learn the lessons why we are straggling behind other countries.
We must forge ahead with a new national consensus to return to the quest of a world-class great nation and escape the fate and ignominy of a kleptocracy, kakistocracy and a failed state.
The first step is for all Malaysians to agree that they must regard themselves as Malaysians – and that the slogan for all Malaysians must be “Malaysians Unite” and not “Malays Unite”, “Chinese Unite”, ”Indians Unite”, “Ibans Unite” or “Kadazans Unite”.
Only then can we achieved a Bangsa Malaysia as envisioned by the failed Vision 2020.
Lim Kit Siang
MP for Iskandar Puteri