YESTERDAY (March 18) marked the 57th anniversary of the registration of the DAP by the Registrar of Societies (ROS).
This should be an occasion for the reaffirmation of the Malaysian Dream by Malaysians and there is no better occasion to do so than in the forthcoming general election in the six states of Penang, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.
Let the state polls in July or August be a reaffirmation of the Malaysian Dream to show that it is not only strongly supported in Penang, Selangor and Negri Sembilan but receiving more and more support in Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.
The pursuit of the Malaysian Dream had been a long, arduous and uphill struggle.
I was twice detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) – spending 35 months in detention – and I was charged and convicted in court under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) in pursuit of the Malaysian Dream.
The best definition of the Malaysian Dream is contained in a 54-year-old police official secrets document on my interrogation during my first ISA detention in May 1969 when I was held in the Kuala Selangor police lock-up after I voluntarily flew into Kuala Lumpur on May 17, 1969.
I must thank the former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tun Hanif Omar who got the document declassified in 2020 when I sued him for defamation.
The document contained my political stand which was the substance of the Malaysian Dream:
(a) That Malaysia is a multi-racial, multi-lingual, and multi-cultural society, and that a viable Malaysian nation can only be formed if all the races and groups in the country are given an equal stake in the Malaysian sun.
(b) That in a multi-racial society like Malaysia, violence and any ideology of force as for instance advocated by the CPM (Communist Party of Malaysia) can only lead to the disintegration of the country because it quickly degenerates into racial conflict. I therefore deplored force and violence of all forms.
(c) That in a multi-racial society, if any racial group feels it is backward, either educationally, economically, culturally, linguistically, or politically, then racial antagonism will be created. Every attempt must be made to remove these imbalances between the races and groups.
(d) That poverty is not a communal problem. It is a socio-economic problem. To regard poverty as a racial problem is to increase racial antagonism in this country.
(e) That democratic socialism can close the gap between the haves and the have-nots of all races.
(f) That Malaysia needs a clean, honest, efficient, incorruptible, and effective government.
(g) That only parliamentary democracy can prevent a racial clash. Any other form of government will only lead to racial mistrust.
(h) That communism is unconducive in a multi-racial society like Malaysia.
I have remained true and consistent in these goals and principles of the Malaysian Dream throughout my political life of over half a century.
I have been MP in five states: Kota Melaka (1969-1978); Petaling in Selangor 1(978-1982); Kota Melaka (1982-1986); Tanjong in Penang (1986-1999); Ipoh Timor (2004-2013), Gelang Patah in Johor (2013-2018) and Iskandar Puteri in Johor 2018-2022).
All the five parliamentary constituencies of Kota Melaka, Petaling, Tanjong, Ipoh Timur and Iskandar Puteri have become strongholds in the pursuit of the Malaysian Dream but this is inadequate.
This is given that we do not want just five parliamentary constituencies or 40 parliamentary constituencies to become strongholds in the pursuit of the Malaysian Dream but we want the whole country to be in pursuit of the Malaysian Dream.
The question is whether the new UMNO leadership can play a leading role in the pursuit of the Malaysian Dream for the country to reset and return to the original nation-building principles which the nation’s founding fathers (including the first four UMNO presidents) have written into the Federal Constitution and the Rukun Negara (National Principles). – March 19, 2023