Power is a necessity for survival and an agent for change, but it can also be a means for vengeance or fuel for those who are greedy. This is what we called politics where winners take all. In this case the new Prime Minister Datuk Najib who is steering the ship takes all. He has just named all his ‘people’ as ministers and deputy ministers while the UMNO Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and the one discarded by the people of Sungai Siput, Datuk Samy Vellu became the casualties. They are overlooked? Sidelined? Whatever one called it. Is someone else better?
While no single leader is able to carry out the mission or vision alone, those who are deemed insignificant and irrelevant should know that it is time for them to go gratefully. Is it the end of the road for them? Make a return if you can! Let the new team carry on the job.
For the newly appointed cabinet ministers, there are a few who have been recycled from the old government and some who have been rejected by the people in the 2008 general election but who have been appointed ministers by the ‘back door’ of the Senate. We accept those who are capable, trustworthy and righteous as the leaders of our beloved country but they should at the same time be accountable to the people of Malaysia. There are great tasks that face them at the moment.
First and foremost, Prime Minister Datuk Najib has to listen to the people of Malysia through the people of Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau that what the Barisan National are doing is not pleasing and acceptable to the people particularly the unethical power grab in Perak on the 6th of February 2009. This is of the utmost importance and needs immediate actions.
The draconian ISA and OSA need to be abolished. Vernaculars schools need to be treated fairly. The public service department needs to take in all qualified individuals to serve the public irrespective of race and religion. There must be separation of the powers of the executive, judiciary and the legislative.
Last November, China had unveiled a 4 trillion yuan stimulus package but we only got started recently. We hope our recovery plans will not end up helping only a few who know those in power instead of the people who really need help like the SMEs, SMIs and the people in the street who have been retrenched. There should not be any unnecessary wastage or leakage of public funds.
The tedious and tiresome process of navigating the government bureaucracy for local businessmen as well as foreigners who want to start up businesses should be simplified to reduce corruption. I was informed that one US health food company went through the many procedures for two long years trying to obtain permits from different departments finally gave up on doing business in Malaysia. Only God knows the reasons.
The government should encourage SMIs /SMEs to increase their production and to remain competitive by removing the 10% manufacturing sales tax imposed on companies with a total volume of more than RM100,000 per annum. With the high price of raw materials at present, it is not profitable for a manufacturer to produce less than RM100,000. This where SMIs/SMEs loose out to bigger producers who are able to apply for tax exemption (CJ5) when their products are for export. Therefore many products are cheaper to import than to manufacture locally.
The Prime Minister and the Education Minister should be bold enough to fully implement meritocracy in the intake of undergraduates at local universities so that our young people and our nation will expend their energies on being competetive internationally and not on competing only among themselves. We should take pride in competing without not within! We believe that education can transform and inspire people into building a great future for themselves, their family, their party, their community and ultimately our country.
National Inter-religious consultative councils should be re-established with muslim participation for better understanding between all religions and to deliberate on how best to minimise societal problems particularly among our youth. Problems such as divorce, drugs abuse, mat rempit and the high crime rate should be addressed by mean of religious teachings and premarital counseling etc. Premarital counseling such as already provided by certain groups should perhaps be made compulsory. This could help to reduce the marital problems and avoid the suffering of innocent children when their parents are divorced.
This is the time, the era to look beyond race, religion and culture in the world of globalization. We are in a borderless world. Therefore UMNO/BN should embark on the process of reform lest they be rendered irrelevant and insignificant by those who have the power of the vote. We need great, competent and clean leaders who are trustworthy and accountable. Pakatan Rakyat leaders have the attributes.
’Great leadership requires partnership collaboration, innovation and creativity from everybody ‘-Monshe F. Rabinstein.
posted by jason ling and edited by Bénévole Anonymne