Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Government Does Not Listen

It wasn't too long ago during the Terence Gomez - Universiti Malaya saga when Pak Lah famously asked the rakyat to continue to "speak up and tell [him] the truth".

Well, did you read the year-end bumper issue of The Edge on "how to make Malaysia more competitive"?

The people who have spoken on this issue are no simple Tom, Dick or Harrys. These are the countries industry leaders, and highly respected professionals. Are you listening, Pak Lah?

Datuk Nazir Razak, CEO of the CIMB financial services group and unlike his elder brother, deputy prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, himself called for the review of the New Economic Policy as well as the judicial process.
"... I also believe that a thorough review of the NEP and its implementation has become critical. In our little corner, in the capital markets, for instance, if we have moved to free pricing for IPOs, how dangerous is it that we insist that bumiputeras have preferential allocation? Potential issuers today are being courted by exchanges throughout the world; in its present form, the NEP discourages companies from listing on Bursa Malaysia; how helpful is that to the country or indeed to the bumiputera community?"
Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, UMNO MP for Kota Bahru as well as Chairman of Malaysia's largest legal practice, Zaid Ibrahim & Co asked the Government to "abandon failed political ideas".
"Disaster struck when the medium of instruction changed. Quality of education deteriorated. The government had to spend hundred of millions retraining unemployable graduates... Sixty thousand graduates are now unemployable because they are qualified in areas not in demand in the job market (other than the civil service)...

"Our judicial system was castrated; Parliament was filled with law endorsers rather than law-makers and press freedom was severely curtailed. Corruption is still rampant and little is being done about it. We aspire to be a progressive civilised nation but are not willing to have a corrupt-free environment, greater accountability and good political governance."

Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, the President of Transparency International Malaysia, asked the Government to "phase in competition, meritocracy".
"The basic premise should be - be fair to all Malaysians, especially to the poor of all races and religions. The New Economic Policy has indeed reduced poverty remarkably, but we still have millions who are not able to make ends meet and to live a life of dignity and freedom from want and even basic needs.

The NEP has enriched, maybe 1,000 families, and often enough through some abuses of the system. This tendency cannot be tolerated any longer."
The problem is, Pak Lah, the rakyat are speaking to you, but are you listening? And if you are indeed listening, you are probably the only one doing so for the rest of your Cabinet, government and Barisan Nasional component party leaders obviously have little or no interest in the rakyat or the country at heart.


Maverick SM said...

It can't change and will not change, given the fact that UMNO generals and leaders were the only beneficiaries of the handout system. They don't care why millions are still hovering in poverty as long as the rules and regulations favoured their interest and assisted in them acquiring the loots, if you may call it. As UMNO is the largest and most powerful institutions, any attempt to reduce the gravies by any leader, be it Pak Lah himself, will be crushed by the running lots. Even his own son-in-law is part of the mad gold rush. Anwar and Mahathir had benefited from the system. Who else haven't, except the commoners without the necessary connectivity and the connectivity has a price tag, be ye Bumi or Cina.

Trashed said...

The NEP will not be changed overnight but as an old saying goes - "The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step".

I would suggest that the bumiputera discount on property purchases of above RM250,000 be abolished. Any bumi who can afford that kind of property doesn't need a discount and the developers will also be relieved that they do not have unsold lots waiting for a bumi buyer.

This small step will generate more economic activity for all those involved in this - developers, contractors, lawyers, bankers, etc. I'm sure it will have a multiplier effect, small as it is. There will be more transparency as well, avoiding any Ali Baba type of property purchase.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Pak Lah cares for the rakyat. He only cares what his UMNOputras thinks. Pak Lah can listened to a thousand and one words by the rakyat, just to make us feel better, but he just throw out of the window, soon after he meet his generals. What makes him more "couldn't be bothered" attitude is that he has gone for holidays when the rakyat need him the most(the floods situation). What more can you say of him?

Anonymous said...

Its not that the PM don't listen, its he lacks the courage and skills to do what is necessary. What is worst is that his ambitious son-in-law don't listen although he think he does.

So basically you are looking at a tragic comedy not a drama.

The truth is everyday that meritocracy is postphone, everyday the damage that need to be repaired increases when its finally accepted. The biggest assumption that postphoning meritocracy has no cost now and in the future is false.

Take a look at India and African states and you will realize that delaying the inevitable just cost more in the future.

Anonymous said...

Let the coming election decides...!
Vote with wisdom and intelligence and not emotion!
Place your 'X' in the correct box!