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New PH ministers, deputies must be role models of service to people, not self

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We want the new government, whether at national or state levels, to succeed in the great, noble and challenging task of building a new Malaysia, writes Lim Kit Siang.

Congratulations to the 26 ministers and 23 deputy ministers in the first Pakatan Harapan cabinet as a result of the historic and watershed 2018 general election.

Pakatan Harapan ministers and deputy ministers must be humble, down-to-earth, approachable, hardworking, clean and honest and be role models of service to the people and nation and not to self and family.

This is because we want the PH government, whether at national or state levels, to succeed not in just 50 days (which we have just passed) or 500 days but for over 5,000 days in the great, noble and challenging task of building a new Malaysia to fulfil the hopes of Malaysians who, regardless of race, religion, region or even political party, united on 9 May 2018 to save Malaysia from a future of a failed, rogue, kakistocratic and kleptocratic state.

We want all Malaysians to re-imagine and remake a new Malaysia which is capable of scaling the heights of human excellence and be a world top class nation in various fields of human endeavour by leveraging on our unique assets that come from the diversity of the races, religions, languages and cultures that constitute Malaysia.

We want to create a new Malaysia that can fulfil Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Malaysian dream of becoming “a beacon of light in a distracted and disturbed world” – a showcase to the world of a plural nation which is united, harmonious, just, democratic, competitive, progressive and prosperous!

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PH promised to get rid of political favouritism and victimisation if it came to power.

Malaysians have witnessed how the previous Barisan Nasional regime abused its power to the extent that innocent people – many of whom are today in government – were victimised; many others became collateral damage just because they happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Although the PH government must investigate, remove and bring to book those who were directly responsible and complicit in the financial scandals at 1MDB, Felda and Tabung Haji, and other crimes against the nation, as promised in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto, we must also be careful not to be seen as embarking on a path of revenge against all and sundry, many of whom may have been at the periphery of what happened at these institutions.

It has been said that before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves – one for the victim and one for yourselves. This is a warning not to embark on a path of revenge as you can kill the other but you will end up also killing yourself

PH cannot be seen or perceived to be embarking on any journey of vengeance or vindictiveness embraced and practised by the BN government.

PH must never give anyone any basis to think that it is finding any and every excuse, even the slightest one, to get rid of the current crop of leadership at government agencies and government-linked companies to replace them with people aligned to PH. Pakatan Harapan is different and has to show that it is different from BN.

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Lines must be drawn clearly so that the PH government is not and is incapable of being suspected of embarking on a journey down the slippery slope of a whole-scale witch-hunt.

Although more details have surfaced of the massive scandals perpetrated by the previous BN government, it must be acknowledged that there are also many people associated with the civil service and government-linked companies who had shown dedicated service, integrity and honesty. We cannot tar everyone with the same brush.

Our beloved Malaysia had been plundered; race and religious relations exploited; and yet, on 9 May, the people of this country revolted against these abuses and excesses and threw the BN government out. The PH government cannot allow these pernicious practices of the past to take hold again. Never again.

As a country, we have to move on. Nelson Mandela, the world’s most renowned prisoner of conscience, set up the truth and reconciliation committee. We too have to have reconciliation in Malaysia. We have to uncover the truth not to seek vengeance but to allow us to better build a bright future for our children and grandchildren, without regard to race, culture, religion or language.

Lim Kit Siang is the DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri.

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