Kit Siang’s New Year resolution: Can 2024 mark first year with no exploitation of 2R issues (race & religion)?

MALAYSIANS will welcome a New Year in less than 10 days.2023 had been the worst year in the last five years because of untrammelled exploitation of the 2R issues of race and religion for political reasons.

Can we look forward to 2024 as a year where 2R issues ceased to be exploited to the fullest for political advancement of individuals and political parties but instead all national efforts and energies are focused on making Malaysia a great world-class nation?

For its first nine months, the Anwar unity government fought for its life as Perikatan Nasional (PN) turned 2023 into the worst of the last five years whereby 2R issues of race and religion were exploited to the maximum for political ends.

The Malays and Muslims in the country came under the intense and continuous pressure that they were facing a last battle to avoid extinction of race and religion and loss of country.

For the first time in Malaysia, the social media was fully exploited to spread lies, falsehoods, fake news and hate speech to cause unprecedented polarisation of race and religion in multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-civilisation Malaysia.

The six state general elections on Aug 12 were a crucial test of survival for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government as PN was confident of winning Selangor and even the Negri Sembilan state government but that this did not materialise represented the high-water mark of the Green Wave triggered by the PN in the 15th General Election (GE15).

All talk but no action

PN is in trouble. Although it still talks about replacing the Anwar unity government, the cohesion and credibility of PN have come under increasing test.

Five Bersatu MPs have declared support for PMX and talk is that more Bersatu MPs are to follow suit.

The first year after GE15 has also showcased the weaknesses and fragility of PAS electoral success, in particular:

  • The thundering silence of the PAS president Tan Sri Hadi Awang to challenges to substantiate his wild and preposterous allegations that DAP and I were anti-Malay, anti-Islam, anti-royalty, communist and spreading Islamophobia;
  • The abysmal failure of PAS leadership – whether national leaders or its MPs – to demonstrate that they do not abuse the social media to spread lies, falsehoods, fake news and hate speech in the pursuit of their political goals;
  • The shocking example of the PAS Kepala Batas MP Siti Mastura Muhammad who was not only media illiterate but cannot differentiate between truth and falsehood, right and wrong although she is a PhD holder – a reflection of the deplorable level our education system has fallen.
PAS Kepala Batas MP Siti Mastura Muhammad

The four states run by PAS and PN (Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Terengganu) are also the poorest in Malaysia. When Malaysia achieved independence in 1957, Kelantan’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita was about half that of Malaysia. After over three decades of PAS rule, Kelantan GDP per capita has fallen to less than one-third of Malaysia’s GDP per capita.

I do not think any rational and patriotic Malaysian will want to see Malaysia continue in national decline as in the last quarter of century instead of becoming a role model for the world in the sphere of inter-ethnic, inter-religious, inter-cultural and inter-civilisation dialogue.

Only Anwar and the political parties in the unity government are talking about leading Malaysia into a great future, rising up again to become an example to the world.

Why are the PN leaders of PAS and Bersatu eerily silent on reversing the national decline in the last quarter of a century?

If PN has plans and programmers in making Malaysia as a great world-class nation, they have not been revealed in the last five years.

Let PN of Bersatu and PAS do so now.

Let Malaysians know and judge their plans to make Malaysia a great world-class nation again or just confess that they have no plans whatsoever in this regard and that their only forte is to exploit the 2R issues of race and religion and to abuse the social media. – Dec 22, 2023


Retired DAP supremo Tan Sri Lim Kit Siang was Malaysia’s longest serving opposition leader of 29 years on three separate occasions.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE