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"My fellow Malaysians,

This is our last chance to save our nation, to salvage our democracy, to redeem
our future. If we don’t act now, the Malaysia we know and love will end up a failed
state and our name will be synonymous with corruption, extremism and
instability. Please don’t let that be the fate of our beloved nation.

I urge you, therefore, to vote for change, to vote for a better Malaysia, to vote
Pakatan Harapan."

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AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL FELLOW MALAYSIANS ON


THE EVE OF GE14

Dennis Ignatius | Published on Today 11:20 am | Modified on Today 11:41 am

COMMENT | In a few days, we will be exercising our right as citizens to elect a


government of our choice. It is a sacred responsibility. The future of our nation is
in our hands. I don’t need to remind you that the stakes have never been higher.

From my long years abroad as a diplomat and ambassador, I can tell you one
thing: when there is a government that is just, accountable and truly committed to
serving the people, a nation can rise to greatness; people prosper, live in peace
and have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.

But when the government is corrupt, the whole country suffers.

There are already too many examples of countries which started off with great
potential only to end up mired in corruption, mismanagement and instability.

I never thought such a fate would befall this beloved country of ours, that the
Malaysia we know and love would come to be known as a kleptocracy, an object
of scorn, a land of scandal, injustice and extremism. It is particularly sad as well
that some 60 years after our independence, so many Malaysians are still
struggling just to provide a decent life for their families. This is not the Malaysia I
was so proud to represent as ambassador.

We live in a blessed land, richly endowed with natural resources and opportunity;
our people are industrious and our diversity makes us unique. There is absolutely
no reason why we cannot be the best nation in the world. All that is missing is
good, responsible and accountable leadership.
There are those who say that change is too risky, too dangerous. They point to
the instability and chaos that followed a change of government in other countries.
They hint at a recurrence of experiences that traumatized our nation before.

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But Malaysia is different. We have experienced and capable leaders in Pakatan
Harapan who are able to usher in change without the chaos and instability that
those other countries experienced. Look at Selangor. Look at Penang. And look
at Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang, Mat Sabu and others.

In fact, never before have we had such a talented, passionate and committed
team standing for parliament under the Harapan banner. I have met many of
them and I am excited that the future of our nation will be in the hands of such
outstanding and dedicated men and women, but we must empower them with
our vote if they are to bring about the change we all long for.
Let there be no mistake: this election is not about race or religion or putting one
group or another down; it is about lifting all our people up, about good
governance, responsibility, integrity and justice.

The only people who fear change are the people who have exploited our
weaknesses, manipulated our fears, and kept us from our destiny. They cannot
be allowed to continue to hold sway over our nation.

Change is possible. Who would have thought that powerful men like Ferdinand
Marcos, Suharto, Hosni Mubarak and Robert Mugabe would someday fall. They
held all the levers of state power, dominated all the country’s institutions and
surrounded themselves with a tight group of loyal cronies to do their bidding.
They appeared invincible and secure. And yet they fell.

I don’t know what lies ahead but I know that this is our moment to send a clear
message to those who would govern us that we will never again tolerate
corruption and injustice, overlook abuses of power and impunity, or accept the
manipulation of race and religion. A government that is not a servant of the
people is an enemy of the people.
My fellow Malaysians,

This is our last chance to save our nation, to salvage our democracy, to redeem
our future. If we don’t act now, the Malaysia we know and love will end up a failed
state and our name will be synonymous with corruption, extremism and
instability. Please don’t let that be the fate of our beloved nation.

I urge you, therefore, to vote for change, to vote for a better Malaysia, to vote
Pakatan Harapan.

DENNIS IGNATIUS is a former ambassador. He blogs here.


The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not
necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.