Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

Today will be the 4th year that we celebrate Karpal Singh, The Tiger of Jelutong, as Malaysian sons and daughters being his voice of conscience, courage and principle, fighting an unjust, tyrannical Barisan Nasional regime, with ‘HARAPAN’ in our hearts.

As we celebrate his life, his journey, his indomitable spirit and his courage to speak the truth no matter how difficult, let us remember his words bellowing in the Dewan Rakyat 14 years ago.

It was after the 11th General Elections on 21 March 2004 and an election like the previous ones, unmistakably tainted with gutter irregularities and fraud.

In her supplementary budget speech in the Dewan Rakyat on the 8th of September 2004, former MP for Batu Gajah Fong Po Kuan pointed out gross inconsistencies and flaws in the election process including how Batu Gajah voters had been transferred without their knowledge to Johor and to Penang, and how ballot boxes appeared to be tampered and opened even before the official counting had started in Jelapang.

Needless to say, Barisan Nasional MPs heckled her but it was the sharp voice of Mr Karpal Singh that put the August House to shame.

He reminded the Parliament on the downward spiralling of democracy and beckoned BN MPs to “search your conscience” to do what is right. He drilled his point again on the degree of abuse of power and tyranny by BN and how as lawmakers we step into the Parliament with hope in our hearts as lawmakers and representatives of the people to fight oppression, corruption, authoritarianism, racism, bigotry, misogyny and to put Malaysia back on its course to be a great nation again, but its not much has changed, fast forward 14 years to 2018.

The words Mr Karpal Singh uttered on 8 September 2004 to “search your conscience” comes as the perfect timely reminder to all Malaysians who are sceptical, who fear the unknown, who fear change, who fear losing power, who fear their political bosses, who fear losing financial support, and to Barisan Nasional whose fear is the greatest of all – losing power, to be principled and courageous for change, for change comes with great sacrifices.

Barisan Nasional has beyond any doubt, proven that they have no intention to govern with integrity, honour, accountability, transparency and have demonstrated that they are not guided by any moral compass and have no conscience even if they have searched for it.

Now, sons and daughters of Malaysia must rise to the occasion because Malaysia needs us more than ever now, to heed the call of the late Karpal Singh to “search your conscience” for change as we face the battle to restore justice, democracy, freedom and good governance from the iron fisted clutches of a 61 year old Barisan Nasional government.

If not us, then who will?

If not now, then when?

Kasthuri Patto

Former Member of Parliament for Batu Kawan
Publicity Secretary for Wanita DAP