Oct 26, 2008

Dawn of a new era?

The ‘tsunami’ of the post general election has certainly changed a large landscape of the political milieu in Malaysia.

With the Pakatan Rakyat hovering above the Barisan Nasional with the ever ready stance to take over the government, we now read of BN leaders talking about the importance to have unity and cooperation among the various races. Read here and here .
The NEP has been such a thorny and sensitive issue for so many years, that a serious debate over it can either break a person’s political career or be ISAed.
Thus, it is indeed ‘courageous’ for the DPM to mention that he will work towards the easing of the NEP and will begin the liberation when the bumiputras are more confident in competing with others.
It is crystal clear for all to see that after more than 30 years, the affirmative policies of the NEP have failed drastically as the bumiputras are still unable to compete confidently.
So, must the government wait any longer to initiate liberations of the NEP?
How can a person be successful when there is always a constant fear to change and adapt to the ever changing political, social and economic environment?
Although it will be hard to ‘crack the nuts’ of the old ones, it is the young ones whom the government should focused to eradicate this fear mentality.
The government itself should be seen as daring rather than fearful to implement the liberation of the NEP.
As a starter, we can do away with the special bumiputra discount for the purchase of houses which only benefits the rich. Why must a discount be given to someone who can afford to buy a house that cost half a million or one million?
I am sure by doing away with such an illogical privilege, it will not cause a mass protest by the bumiputras.
The government can also begin to look at the massive imbalance of the races in the civil service which is almost monopolized by one race. Such imbalances have caused much unhappiness and discontentment among the people.
It will be a good liberation policy if the government is bold enough to make it mandatory to allocate lets say, a 30% quota for the non-bumiputras in the civil service. To ensure the success of this, recruitment drives must be done with earnest and utmost sincerity.
One of the most difficult liberation policies to carry out will be those that involve the economic pie: APs and contracts. Because human beings are ‘greedy’, the willingness to forgo one’s ability to accumulate wealth with all the goodies is extremely hard.
The government must be brave enough to open-up the economic pie by starting with a tendering system for smaller projects to allow those with proven capabilities opportunities to vie for the projects instead of it being given to any Tom, Dick and Harry who has nothing but strong political connects.

While every small single step is a giant step towards liberation, the government must not let this be politicized for political mileage. When it is so easy to be a hero by championing one's own race, why it is then, so difficult to champion for fairness?
As mentioned by someone in the political arena: change or be changed.
And indeed if there is change, will it be a change that we can believe in?

Let this flicker of hope continue burning: a hope that one day will make all Malaysians have a true sense of belonging.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fat chance! The NEP was supposed to have been replaced by the New Devt. Policy in 1990 but UMNO couldn't do it. I for one will never believe that the NEP can be phased out by the current batch of UMNO leaders. Which UMNO leaders have the integrity, honesty & courage to implement reforms for a clean, trustworthy and just govt.? I don't see any. Current leaders care for only 1 thing - to siphon taxpayers' money into their own pockets. Who cares if this country is a banana republic? Who cares if this country goes down the drain? Look at the ongoing UMNO electns. It's all about money, easy money to be made. You think this type of political party can change the country for the better? Tun Hussein Onn was the last statesman this country ever had. He was a man of honour with very high sense of integrity, justice & dignity. He would not tolerate corruption & he sent 2 UMNO warlords to jail for corruption. The judiciary was very well respected not only in Asia but also among the C'wealth countries. Relations btw. UMNO, MCA & MIC were at their best during Hussein's era. Look at UMNO now. All the current leaders put together are not even worth a single hair on Hussein Onn's dead body. At the next gen. election we must give Pakatan a shot at governing the country. In this case, the devils whom we don't know are better than the current devils that we know.