DAP Chinese New Year Message (e/c)

DAP Chinese New Year Message By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 25.1.2017.

Never Give Up In Believing A Better Malaysia Is Possible, Where The Economy Works For 30 Million Malaysians And Not The Few BN Cronies, And Where Democracy Means Freedom, Justice And Integrity.

In extending Happy Chinese New Year greetings, DAP expresses sympathies to the victims of severe flooding from Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Perak, Sabah and Johor. DAP hopes that flood waters would have receded in time to welcome the Year of the Golden Rooster.

The world is facing grave uncertainty when the United States under its new President Donald Trump turns its back on fair trade, globalization and even its allies or friends. Despite the failures to address unequal growth and income inequality, fair trade is still better than no trade, globalization is superior over isolation and collaboration is preferable to confrontation. Such global economic uncertainty will not help to revive the Malaysian economy that continues to be haunted by the 1MDB RM52 billion and USD1 billion donation scandal.

This year’s Chinese New Year celebrations will be celebrated in moderation due to the drop in the value of the ringgit and the imposition of GST. During such trying times, we must never give up in believing a better Malaysia is possible, where the economy works for 30 million Malaysians and not the few BN cronies, and where democracy means freedom, justice and integrity.

We must work towards establishing inclusive institutions that foster economic growth and oppose extractive institutions that cripple growth. A government full of rage and filled with the need to survive at all cost is conspicuous by its cruelty, ignorance and greed. Our unity is now marred by continuous discord that serves to divide us, even on daily matters like greetings or food, to distract attention from the real economic problems and solutions.

That is why there is no real democracy in Malaysia when the only freedom is the freedom to hate, to lie and to fear; that justice is for the elites to practice double-standards and selective prosecution; and there is no more integrity except to punish the whistle-blowers instead of the corrupt. Penang has proven how the people can benefit from a democracy with freedom, justice and equality.

Penang can also prosper without the GST. Clearly, we can even continue to pay BR1M without the GST. Malaysians have a right to ask why they continue to pay toll on the North-South Highway, when the concession holder has more than recouped his capital cost of RM5.9 billion for building the highway, and collected RM37.3 billion till end of 2015. This RM37.3 billion receipts is more than 6 times the construction cost. The solution is clear – abolish both GST and the North-South Highway toll.

Malaysia possesses the talent, the creativity and the ingenuity to do better. We have every right to reject an economy that does not work for hardworking people, but allows cronies to profit from the status quo. That is not a democracy but a Mafia.

It makes both political and economic sense to put people first; and to create a society where everyone’s hopes are respected, and no one is forgotten. This is the aspiration for the Chinese New Year, respecting everyone’s hopes and ensuring no one is forgotten in a democracy filled with freedom, justice and integrity.