Some people are too fixated with deadlines and Anwar Ibrahim. It does not matter if a change of government does not happen on 16/9, 23/9 or 1/10. It does not matter if Anwar is just another Pinocchio. Even if Anwar becomes the next prime minister he will not be able wish away our problems instantaneously.
There is no short cut to solve our political and socio-economic problems. Instead of arguing over the dates, it is best for Malaysians to work together to set the agenda for the next prime minister and his administration.
If Anwar fails to take over government, do we abandon our desire for change? The movement for change is not about Anwar Ibrahim or his party alone. It is about our desire to make our country a fairer and better place to live in. Anwar the Prime Minister or Najib the Prime Minister will have to deliver the exact same results for the society. Nothing less.
We cannot ignore this momentum for change. Since the 8th March general election, many more Malaysians now believe a change for the better is not something remotely impossible. Those elites who rule this country at their whims and fancies will soon have to realise that the right to govern comes with a huge responsibility to deliver goodness for the society.
We should not argue over dates. It does not matter if a change of government materialises on 16/9, 23/9 or 1/10. The reality is a change has begun and it is impossible for this momentum to be rolled back. Any coalition governing this country knows that it cannot rest on its laurels.
Shouldn't we then work together to set the next agenda for the new administration? Surely, whoever leads the country must ensure that Malaysia flourishes on the rule of law. In the light of the current abuse of draconian law such as ISA, we should call for the repeal of all draconian laws which trample on universal human rights.
A loud signal should be send to the next PM that we cannot tolerate a Home Minister such as Syed Hamid Albar who despite his legal qualification is totally clueless about fundamental rights. A person such as Syed Hamid must not be given a full access to absolute discretionary power.
Next, we want to reinstate judicial review to provide a necessary check-and-balance on unlimited ministerial power. Separation of power is key to a healthy democracy. Anwar or Najib must be committed to review the ministerial power. Syed Hamid's perversion of justice by signing the detention order of Raja Petra Kamaruddin before his habeas corpus hearing is a fine example of power abuse.
Anwar is committed to abolish the ISA. Is Najib willing to do the same?
A key point to the agenda is the imminent review of the New Economy Policy. This policy was introduced as a result of the outcome of the inclusive Goodwill Council. Clearly, after 38 years of its implementation the policy has failed to close the intra-community income gap especially among the Malay-Bumiputeras.
Dr Mahathir, in one his blog posts, admitted the problem of giving contracts to a selective few because of non-performance of Bumiputera companies. Those who are allocated equity shares tend to sell them off for quick money. By selling down, the Malay equity shareholding will forever be below the desired 30% level.
If the NEP is not fixed and its abuses curbed, local investors will be deterred to invest locally. A continuous outflow of funds affects domestic job creation, economic growth and industrial development.
Is Najib prepared to review the NEP which is a sacred cow of his party? Anwar has promised to abolish the NEP and replace it with his need based New Malaysia Agenda despite being accused of negating Malay rights. Current implementation of the NEP is detrimental to Malay rights.
After nearly 51 years of independence and hundreds of years of co-existence, the next PM should strive to unite all races in order to create a truly fair and equitable Bangsa Malaysia. Political rhetoric must be carefully managed to reduce racial frictions. Rightly, the curtain should come down on race based politics.
By continuing to harp on Malay supremacy or the controversial social contract is not going to take this multiracial society forward. Are we not ready to move forward just because politicians claim that we are not? Malaysians should decide their own fate and not allow a bunch of self-centered politicians to do it for us. A united Malaysia is better than one which emphasises on race divisions.
Now, can we agree to lose our fixation with dates and focus on the next agenda? Malaysians must show that we are dead serious about change. Most people are resistant to change including you and me. But change we must in order to build a Malaysia where everyone with the right skills, determination, talent and creativity can flourish.
Otherwise, we should blame our shallowness.