Tanjong Piai by-election a test of media literacy for the voters there: MP Kit Siang

Speech by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang at the Pakatan Harapan Tanjong Piai by-election ceramah in Pekan Nenas on Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 8.30pm:

Tanjong Piai by-election has reversed the role of by-elections before May 9, 2018 – where government coalition calls for continued fight against corruption and abuses of power while the Opposition stands for a return to corruption and abuse of power of past government

The voters of Tanjong Piai parliamentary by-election will go to the polls on Saturday, 16h November.

Tanjong Piai parliamentary by-election has reversed the role of general elections and by-elections before the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018 – as the government coalition calls for continued fight against corruption and abuses of power to transform Malaysia from a global kleptocracy to a leading nation of integrity in the world in a decade’s time, while the Opposition stands for a return to the corruption and abuses of power of the past government.

This is why the Tanjong Piai parliamentary by-election is important as a marker of future direction of the nation-building policies in the country – whether we continue in the reform agenda of the Pakatan Harapan government despite the missteps and mistakes of the past 18 months, or whether we abandon these reform programmes altogether.

The stand of Muafakat Nasional of PAS, UMNO and MCA on the 1MDB scandal is the best illustration – for up to now, they are united in denying that there is a 1MDB scandal although the whole world knows about the 1MDB scandal and the roles of Najib Razak and Jho Low in it, several bankers have been jailed in foreign countries for their role in the scandal and the Malaysian government is paying heavily in terms of tens of billions of ringgit for the 1MDB debts when the money could be used for the people’s welfare.

There are those who want the reform agenda of the Pakatan Harapan government to stumble and fail, especially those bigwigs in the former government who hope that this development will ensure that they will not be spending the rest of their lives in prison because of their past monstrous corruption and abuses of power.

It is important that those who are disappointed by the pace of reform agenda as they had hoped to expect a faster progress of change in the first 18 months of Pakatan Harapan government must not fall into the trap of the corrupt kleptocrats who hope to make use of them to defeat the Pakatan Harapan agenda for a New Malaysia to become a top world-class nation of unity, justice, freedom, excellence and integrity.

These corrupt kleptocrats do not want to see Malaysia become a top world-class nation of unity, justice, freedom, excellence and integrity because there would be no room or opportunity for them for corruption and abuses of power.

The Tanjong Piai by-election has proved to be a WhatsApp by-election, where the greatest influence on the voters are not the print newspapers by what the voters get on their mobile phones every second of the day.

I have not seen more lies, falsehoods, fake news and hate speech through WhatsApp messages than in the past few days and tomorrow there will be a further explosion of these lies, falsehoods, fake news and hate speech as it is the eve of Polling Day.

One constant theme in the lies, falsehoods, fake news and hate speech is the message to the Malay voters that under the Pakatan Harapan government, the Malays and Muslims have lost their political power and rights because DAP is “power behind the throne” in Putrajaya, while the message to the Chinese voters is the exact opposite – that the Chinese have lost their rights and position because the DAP had sold them out to Bersatu.

The Tanjong Piai by-election will be a test of the media literacy of the Tanjong Piai voters on their ability to see through the lies and falsehood of these contradictory allegations to different racial and religious groups.

Pakatan Harapan stands for the co-operation of the different races and religions in the country and upholds the fundamental features of the Malaysian Constitution, for this is the only formula for Malaysia to become an united, harmonious, progressive and prosperous nation as extreme positions of race and religion can only jeopardise future generations and tear Malaysia apart.

LIM KIT SIANG