Kuching – The release of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today, a week after the stunning victory of Pakatan Harapan at the polls, has given Malaysians even more reason to rejoice. It provides evidence that wrongs are being righted, and that the country is being steered back on the path of truth and justice. We have truly been liberated this GE14, and DSAI’s release is a manifestation of the freedom and lightness of spirit that Malaysians have felt these past 7 days.
I am thankful that the release of DSAI came earlier than expected, and the process went on smoothly, due to close co-operation between the Prime Minister and all parties involved. At his press conference, DSAI gave his assurance to the people that he has no doubt that the PM is committed to Pakatan Harapan’s agenda for reform, and that it will be achieved. It was Tun Mahathir who joined PH, and not PH that joined Tun Mahathir. This is significant in that it shows Tun Mahathir had agreed with our agenda. The question of age is irrelevant here, as all Malaysians, irrespective of race, religion and age group came together as one determined and unstoppable force on 9 May 2018 to show the politicians in Malaysia that we want change. Like DSAI, I am confident that the PM will work steadily towards achieving our agenda of reform. I know for a fact that he was closely involved in discussions about our manifesto and he is aware, and had consented to every item in the manifesto.
It was gratifying to hear DSAI magnanimously say that he holds no grudges against Tun Mahathir and Najib Razak, and that his vision is firmly focused on the future. If this man, who has endured years of imprisonment and suffering, can forgive the wrongs done to him, the people of Malaysia can emulate his generosity of spirit. Those who have done wrong must be held accountable for their crimes, but we as the people of this country must move along with the new government towards healing and reconciliation with one another. The magnanimity and generosity of spirit displayed by DSAI must be encouraged to trickle down to the grassroots. For too long, we had been used as pawns in UMNO/BN’s political games, but the actions of Malaysians on 9 May showed that in spirit, we had never been separated, despite the actions of a handful of instigators. The silent majority spoke loudly by their actions, and gave life to the hope that never left our hearts.
DSAI had said that he will have no role in the cabinet, and that the PM and DPM must be allowed to get on with the job at hand together with the leaders in Pakatan Harapan. He also remarked that it is the PM’s prerogative to appoint the members of his cabinet, in consultation with party leaders. This is a reassuring sign of confidence in the new government, and a resolve that the agenda for reform is paramount now. Corruption must be eradicated, and it must be eradicated across the board, not only in relation to 1MBD. Corruption has been rampant all over Malaysia, and Sarawak has not been spared. In fact, corruption in Sarawak is well documented and known worldwide. The authorities must now leave no stone unturned in their investigations. It was revealed some years back that the MACC had examined 500 files and opened at least 10 investigation papers in complaints linked to Taib Mahmud but no results had ever been forthcoming. Sarawakians want to know what had happened to the investigations, and we expect the authorities to walk the talk on the eradication of corruption and prosecution of those involved, regardless of rank and position. Full investigations must also be carried out on other Sarawakian political figures who are alleged to be involved in corruption.
As the PM gets down to the serious business of government, we have been assured that Sarawak will be given the opportunity to participate fully in the running of the country, as envisaged by our forefathers when the Malaysia Agreement was signed in 1963. For 54 years, we had been sidelined and treated like poor cousins by the BN government, resulting in our current status as one of the poorest and least developed states. I believe that the Pakatan Harapan government will be different, and that Sarawak will be able to take our rightful place as a partner in the Federation of Malaysia, and to play a significant role in the rebuilding of our nation.