KUALA LUMPUR: DAP Parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang has stressed his demand for the release of former Parliamentary Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.
“We should, at the same time, persevere with his ideals and struggle to save the country,” said Lim, who is also Gelang Patah MP, in his latest blog posting.
The DAP veteran cited rampant corruption and abuses of power in the country, that he said had “led to violation of human rights.” He added, “There are political and economic injustices hindering nation-building.”
He called for Prime Minister Najib Razak to be toppled in the next General Election, the 14th, in 2018, as this was the only way to ensure complete reform of the system.
If Anwar had become Prime Minister in 2013, added Lim, the country would have been spared the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal. “There would be no US Department of Justice (DoJ) lawsuit.”
He added that Malaysia would also have been spared the global kleptocracy label. The DoJ action, he lamented, has been derogatory to the nation’s international reputation.
Lim penned the posting after gathering with others to celebrate Anwar’s 69th birthday outside the Sungai Buloh Prison walls on Wednesday. He described the jailed Opposition politician as “a patriot and foremost leader in the country.”
He noted that Najib had in the meantime ironically asked last Saturday: “Who said Malaysia would become a failed state (under him)?”
This question was answered by former Deputy Prime Minister, Musa Hitam, at the launching of his book, “Frankly Speaking”, in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, said Lim. “Musa warned that Malaysia was going downhill.”
“He (Musa) said that it may end up like the Philippines not so long ago.”
The government, faced with mega scandals, had no time for other matters such as shootings in broad daylight, said Musa.
The people, added Musa, were getting used to the situation, noted Lim. “He said that like in the Philippines in the past, the people are carrying weapons for self-defence.”
Lim quoted Musa as saying: “The country is moving downhill.”
“The former Deputy Prime Minister conceded the speed was slow but it could develop into a fast slide,” Lim said. “He described it as the new norm.”
Malaysia would not be in danger of becoming a failed state if there had been a change of government in Putrajaya in 2013, reiterated Lim. “Instead, Najib was elected as a leader who had lost the popular vote.”
“He’s a minority leader.”
The DoJ lawsuit is for seizure and forfeiture of over USD1 billion of 1MDB-linked assets in the United States.
The sum had allegedly been “stolen, embezzled, misappropriated and money-laundered” as part of USD3.5 billion meant for 1MDB.