Another year has flown by. The merciless horse galloped through 2014, its thundering hooves leaving in its wake a trail of disaster and destruction. Foremost in our minds is the loss of three aircrafts associated with our country, causing unimaginable grief for the families of the passengers and crew who perished. Heavy floods in many places caused massive destruction and damage, and many lost their homes. The economy is on a downward spiral, our ringgit having hit a 6-year low last month. The nation’s investment vehicle 1MDB is in debt in the tune of RM41.9bil. Prices of goods have increased markedly over the year. Irresponsible extremist groups are fanning religious and racial tension with the tacit consent of the government. Even government ministers are uttering racist statements with impunity. Students, academics, NGOs, opposition members and even our own cartoonist are being persecuted for speaking up against the corrupt and repressive government. Our country and her people are being deeply wounded by the actions and policies of a government that has long lost the plot. A former Prime Minister even said that something is rotten in Malaysia.
For us in the opposition coalition, it has been a tumultuous year. DAP suffered 2 great losses when Wong Ho Leng succumbed to cancer in June and Karpal Singh was killed in an accident in April. PKR’s Ketua Umum Anwar Ibrahim lost his appeal in a politically manoeuvered trial and is now incarcerated in Sungai Buloh prison. PAS has just lost their revered and humble leader with the passing of Tok Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.
It has indeed been a turbulent year, but that is not to say that we did not have some calm and uplifting moments, for even horses have to rest and graze at times. We are thankful for the voices of reason in the Group of 25 who restored our faith in the goodness and decency of Malaysians. We are proud that members of the younger generation such as the various student leaders have stood firm in their fight for their rights, even to the point of suspension and arrests. Members of the previously silent majority are also speaking up for a better Malaysia.
Encouraged by the glimmer of light that has shone through the darkness, we leave the stormy Horse year with some optimism for a brighter and more peaceful year of the Goat. The element associated with the goat this time is the wood, which is said to symbolize renewal, growth and balance, all which Malaysia is in desperate need of. The goat is known to be an agile and nimble creature, climbing rocky and steep mountains with little effort. Let us all make an effort to shake off the dust and rise from the ashes, so to speak, of 2014. Like the agile goat, let us conquer the mountain of obstacles that stand in the way of the Malaysia that we want it to be. A new year awaits that is full of possibilities and opportunities.
I hope that all Malaysians will resolve to play their part in bringing about the change that this country needs. I believe that the majority of Malaysians want a real democracy where there is observance of the rule of law, where truth and justice prevails, with a government that is accountable, transparent and competent. The elections approach in Sarawak – let us bring our message to the people in all corners of this country that it is the people who hold the key to change. We can reshape the destiny of our future generations by making our voices heard through the ballot boxes. There is hope for better times ahead.
I wish all my Chinese friends a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.
Xin Nian Kuai Le, Wan Shi Ru Yi!
Chairman, PKR Sarawak
ADUN N70 Ba’ Kelalan