Unite and defend common values in 2017, says LGE

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PETALING JAYA: DAP has urged Malaysians to celebrate unity and defend their shared common values in 2017.

Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said yesterday the new year should be a reminder that Malaysians have achieved unity despite their differences.

He said only through celebrating diversity and unity could Malaysians solve the nation’s economic difficulties and address its other problems.

“Unity and diversity has never seemed so important, particularly when the Barisan Nasional federal government has failed to defend the spirit of one people under one nation and the Federal Constitution. Instead, laws are passed undermining the very foundation of the Constitution.

“All Malaysians should unite to defend common values that make Malaysia great. First and foremost, by freeing ourselves from fear as well as upholding freedom of speech, freedom of worship and freedom from want.

“Malaysians want a fifth freedom – freedom from corruption and unwarranted price rises (whether oil or cooking oil). Only then can both Malaysia and our children’s future be saved,” he said in a statement.

Lim, who is also Bagan MP, said the economic situation in Malaysia was “so alarming” that the federal government could not raise the RM50 million promised to Chinese primary schools as development funds.

Malaysia has been hit by the RM52 billion 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, the RM4.2 billon donation scandal, hardships stemming from the goods and services tax (GST), the slide of the ringgit, and other financial woes.

Lim also cited the huge drop in Felda share prices from its subscription price of RM4.55 to RM1.55 per share, that caused losses to settlers and shareholders, which include the Employees’ Provident Fund, Tabung Haji and the Pahang government.

He also voiced concern over Felda’s planned purchase of a 37% stake in Indonesian company, PT Eagle High Plantations Tbk for US$505 million (RM2.26 billion).

At a purchase price of 580 rupiah (19 sen) per share, Felda was paying a 173% premium over PT Eagle’s average price in November of 212 rupiah (7 sen) per share.

“With the federal government guaranteeing Felda’s bonds and lending, it is not only the Felda settlers and shareholders’ future but Malaysian children’s future that can be stolen,” Lim said.

He noted the arrests and sedition charges against political cartoonist Zunar (Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque), describing them as “violations of basic human rights that had descended to new depths”.

He also said “truth was treated like a disposable diaper” and slammed BN-controlled mass media of worshipping lies.

“Worse of all, those fighting corruption are labelled as corrupt whilst the corrupt, who robbed us of billions of US dollars escape scot-free,” he said.

Reviewing events over the past year, Lim also said the US presidential election that saw Donald Trump win had brought with it uncertainty, instability and disorder to the global economy and trade.

Faced with such challenges, he stressed that a trading nation like Malaysia should stand united and not divided by race, religion and background.