DAP Christmas Day Message By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 24.12.2016.
This year has been a challenging one with an economic downturn which is expected to continue next year. However, Malaysians should not give up on pursuing a democracy that promises them both freedom and economic prosperity, which must include economic opportunity, employment, education, social security, adequate health care and human security.
A democracy that promises both freedom and economic security must work for 30 million Malaysians, not just for the wealthy or the power elites and their cronies. The European Union once offered a vision of this democracy with their ‘four freedoms’, the freedom of movement of goods, people, services and capital over borders. However economic stagnation and social disruption, exacerbated by the refuges crisis has caused the four freedoms to unravel and perhaps even break down.
There is a need to look at freedom from the perspective of values that is universal and common to all. In this regard the four freedoms enunciated by US President Roosevelt is particularly pertinent – freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. These four freedoms underpin the establishment of the United Nations.
When we assess the state of Malaysia under these four freedoms, Malaysia is clearly a failed state. Fear is used to silence and intimidate those who dare to voice out or to use the politics of race, religion and extremism to distract attention from the economic suffering and failure, corruption and high cost of living.
Non-Muslims are concerned about their rights and the status of the Federal Constitution following the proposal of adopting Islamic laws that is more aligned with hudud-like laws. The recent passage of laws by the Perlis state government permitting unilateral conversion to Islam by one of the Muslim parent, ignoring completely the rights of the non-Muslim parent, has only reinforced such concerns.
Those who oppose the corrupt and abuses of basic human rights are punished. Malaysians are now suffering the consequences of rising cost of living due to the corruption crisis of the RM52 billion 1MDB scandal and RM4.2 billion donation scandal leading to the imposition of GST and sharp drop in the value of the ringgit, and fear is used as the weapon to distract attention from the BN government’s failures.
Even condemning the genocide of innocent civilians is selective and hypocritical. Both the Prime Minister and PAS President condemned the Myanmar government for their atrocities on the Muslim Rohingyas but why did they remain silent by not condemning Iran for the human tragedy unfolding in Aleppo. The PAS President, who is also the vice-president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), was condemned by the IUMS itself for attending an international conference in Teheran at a time when Iran is responsible for the killings in Aleppo and Syria.
Malaysians must continue to shine the light by standing up for the four freedoms of freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. These four freedoms will ensure not only a functional democracy but also its benefits of economic prosperity and security for all.
LIM GUAN ENG