Kit Siang: Pakatan not ‘unmitigated disaster’ but hampered by BN legacy problems, time for new start

Prime Minster Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng arrive in Parliament for the tabling of Budget 2020 on October 11, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Prime Minster Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng arrive in Parliament for the tabling of Budget 2020 on October 11, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration is not an “unmitigated disaster” but had been prevented from meeting expectations due to legacy problems left behind by former ruling coalition Barisan Nasional, DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang said today.

The Iskandar Puteri MP also said it was time for Malaysians to begin anew and work to unite and make their country world class so it can be an example to the world that racial, religious and cultural diversity can work to proper a nation forward.

“While the 17-month government of the Pakatan Harapan has fallen below expectations, it is definitely not an ‘unmitigated disaster’,” he said in a statement, referring to academic Lim Teck Ghee’s description on Friday of the period after the 14th general election as being an “unmitigated disaster” for the reform movement.

Kit Siang said the PH government had not expected the “massive and deep-rooted nature and scale” of the economic and financial disasters that were left behind by the BN administration in the form of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal, as well as the alleged corruption and abuse of power in key institutions such as Tabung Haji, Felda, Felcra and MARA.

“While the massive and deep-rooted nature and scale of the legacy of the previous Barisan Nasional government had prevented the Pakatan Harapan government from immediately and fully implementing its pledges and promises, the trajectory of institutional reform is set and there must be no turning back to the kleptocracy, injustices and repression of the past,” he said.

Professor Lim Teck Ghee said during a public forum on Friday that the 17-month PH administration has been ‘disastrous’. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Professor Lim Teck Ghee said during a public forum on Friday that the 17-month PH administration has been ‘disastrous’. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

Kit Siang noted that the PH presidential council had however already established a special committee under Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong to review PH’s manifesto in the 14th general election, as part of the coalition’s commitment to implement promised reforms.

The DAP leader said Malaysia had in the past month experienced the spreading of “lies, fake news and hate speech” that appear to be aimed at inciting racial and religious polarisation as well as conflict which he said appeared designed to spark another racial riot like that on May 13, 1969.

The Batu Pahat-born Kit Siang said DAP had been targeted in the past few days with such lies and hate speech to portray it as the purported “modern Communist in Malaysia”, pointing out an example of a Facebook post that he said had untruthfully make claims that he was born in China or had worn a Communist uniform or had sheltered Communists.

Kit Siang said Malaysians should quit wasting their energy on lies and hate speech, but should instead “rise as one united people to demonstrate our commitment and resolve to transform Malaysia into a top world-class nation of unity, justice, freedom, excellence and integrity”.

Kit Siang said Malaysians should also unite to resolve the country’s grave problems of poverty and gross inequality which had yet to be resolved by the New Economic Policy — an affirmative action, social reengineering policy aimed to lift the lives of poor Malays in the 1970s that was supposed to end after 20 years.

“Malaysians must make a new  start — to unite the energies and resources of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion and region, to pull Malaysian up by the bootstraps to be a top world-class nation in as many fields of human endeavour as possible and defeat the plots and schemes of those who want to tear Malaysia apart by causing another May 13, 1969 racial riots,” the DAP leader concluded.

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