PETALING JAYA: Year 2019 will probably be the most decisive which will decide whether New Malaysia is a work-in-progress or something that is impossible to achieve, Lim Kit Siang said today.

Malaysians stood tall in 2018 for the first time in many years and shocked themselves as well as the world by carrying out a peaceful and democratic transition of power in Putrajaya, the DAP adviser said in a statement.

It gives hope to Malaysians and the world not to give up on democracy, however noisy and messy it might be, as a system of governance, he added.

“2019 will probably be the most decisive year in the nation’s history which will decide whether the New Malaysia the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition of DAP, Bersatu, PKR and Amanah want to build is a work-in-progress or a sheer chimera,” Lim said.

“May 9, 2018 allows Malaysians a hitherto unimaginable chance to re-set nation-building policies, but a New Malaysia cannot be built or completed in 100 days, two years or even a five-year general election cycle but will take a decade or two to accomplish.

“A New Malaysia is struggling to be born and all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, politics, gender, sex, inside the country or in the worldwide diaspora, must take ownership of and participate in the process of the making of a New Malaysia.”

Lim said the journey towards a New Malaysia must strike deep roots in 2019 in terms of structural and institutional reforms in 2019 to transform Malaysia from a global kleptocracy into a leading nation of integrity; restore the rule of law; entrench democracy; reform the educational system to make Malaysia a top world-class nation; unite Malaysians of diverse races, religions and cultures and leverage on the assets of the different races, religions, cultures and civilisations which meet in confluence in Malaysia to build a new global civilisation.

“Nation building must not be a zero-sum game but a win-win formula,” the MP for Iskandar Puteri said. “We must fight for the rights of the Malays but not at the expense of the non-Malays. We must fight for the rights of the Chinese in Malaysia, but not to the detriment of the non-Chinese.

“Similarly, we must fight for the rights of the Indians in Malaysia without being a threat to the non-Indians in Malaysia. Similarly, for the Kadazans, Ibans and Orang Asli communities in Malaysia. Let 2020 be the year Malaysians can begin to celebrate the fruits of a New Malaysians.”