Sunday, March 3, 2013

Vision 2020 or "Malaysia Dreamin' "

PAKATAN have published their manifesto whereas BN has not- maybe it's their "no debate" culture? I wrote this in July 2005 and it was published in malaysiakini.

In view of the imminent Elections, you can use this article as a guideline to evaluate what each side have to can even add more items to the list. 
/What you can do is print a copy and then do a 5 minute marking on all the points -
+ if you think the item is passable or
- if you think it is not acceptable

As we prepare to celebrate our 47th anniversary of Merdeka, it is a good time to reflect on Malaysia’s progress and discuss how we can prepare for the challenges ahead.

Malaysia is truly a blessed country with abundant rainfall, no natural disasters, tremendous oil and gas reserves, a population with a pragmatic mind-set, a good infrastructure of roads and transport links, a well established manufacturing base, and fantastic conditions to grow estate crops like oil palm, rubber, cocoa and timber.

However, if we read some of the letters being sent to newspapers and Malaysiakini, there is a growing concern that our tropical paradise is in jeopardy.

These are some of the main issues concerning Malaysians:

 We had the world’s tallest building but yet cannot provide basic housing for the masses.

 We have many links to overseas universities but yet churn out graduates who cannot read and write English.

 We have a grandiose palace of justice but yet cannot dispense justice in a timely manner.

 We have some of the world’s best talents but yet are not prepared to induce them to stay here.

 We have grand plans for education and yet cannot produce teachers of caliber.

 We have a sophisticated identity check system and yet a million illegal immigrants roam freely.

 We have a large car population and also qualify to be among the world’s worst drivers.

 We fly the most flags to show patriotism but break the laws without a blink.

 We build the grandest places of worship and yet deny others a basic freedom of religion.

 We entice talented former citizens to return and yet deny many young talents the chance to develop.

 We parrot the most slogans but maintain the minimum of programs.

 We spend funds on public inquiries but yet are kept in the dark on the findings.

 We have made the most changes to our constitution and yet we are less free now compared to the time of our nation’s birth.

 We remained silent as others trampled on our constitution and still we are too afraid to discuss our diminishing rights.

 We reelect the same members of Parliament who have looked after only their own self-interests.

 We have abundant water resources and yet we can experience supply shortages.

 We can develop modern townships and yet cannot preserve our vital bio-diversity.

 We boast a modern society and yet cannot select our local town council.

 We all perceive corruption to be a major ill and yet it is always someone else’s problem.

 We provide thousands of scholars the best education but take no action when they refuse to return home.

We have become the frogs in the cooking pot, where the heat has been so slowly raised that we cannot jump out but are being slowly cooked.

With so many problems in our society, only a population that has more sense than the leadership has enabled Malaysia to progress. In other words, we have advanced despite bad management of our resources.

However, this may not hold true in the future. As the population increases and more of our best talents leave for whatever reasons, the ratio of talents to incompetents will decrease and the day will come when it is just not sustainable and our outputs will fall dramatically. This is the reason why the NEP was discarded, as the country cannot afford to sustain an ever-increasing number of citizens with the “give me” mentality.

Whether we are prepared or not, global forces are going to impact on our country.
Perhaps our athletes’ disappointing results in the Olympics can serve as a major wake-up call. Failure in sports does not provide a killer blow but failing to compete in international markets will be a calamity of the highest order.

Already China and India have drawn billions of dollars in investments and are starting to flex their economic muscle. We should apply the words of our PM about “working harder and longer” in order to compete. I agree – Malaysia should work harder with better policies to ensure that the brain drain is minimized so that we have the best chance to compete on the global scene.

Otherwise, we should just avoid too high a population growth as we are going to need the present land just to support a population of farmers and fisherman – that is if we have not already destroyed all our fish resources.

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