Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Out of Touch Politicians

At lunch today, I spoke to a good friend and a journalist about Malaysian politicians. He opined they are a complacent lot. I would like to add that many of these politicians are incompetent too.

We elected politicians to help us govern the country. Politicians should work hand-in-hand with the public, NGOs and businesses to drive and coordinate policies. These policies are needed to regulate social life, public safety, economy, education and others. We do not need politicians to play moral cops.

At a time when the economy is facing a risk of downturn amidst the looming global economic crisis, we do not need politicians who are fixated with a ban on yoga, alcohol and other menial and insignificant issues.

The manufacturing sector is facing a slowdown. Many factories in the country are already cutting down production, freezing headcount and implement cost cutting measures. We need to create new jobs to cater for the workers retrenched especially those working in the financial industry in Singapore and abroad.

Starting from the first quarter of 2009, consumer demand is expected to face a downturn as more households will hold back spending after the Chinese New Year festive.

Car sales, a general barometer used to measure consumption, has fallen by 26% in October. Overall, the car industry can expect a double digit contraction in 2009.

Yet, the government is still struggling to come out with the right stimulus to help sustain and support job creation and consumer demand.

Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi is more prompt in his response to a ban on yoga than the economic crisis.

Individual income tax rates are still high. The government should reduce income tax rates by 3% for all Malaysians. More money should be put in the hands of Malaysians and allow them to make their own consumption decision. The government does not have a good track record in using public funds.

Government's decision to pump prime the economy through infrastructure development is a good move. But this sector does not hire that many local workers. The government should also consider spending on infrastructure and building maintenance and refurbishment. Several parts of Kuala Lumpur, Georgetown and other major cities are worn out. Urban renewal is necessary. It will create more jobs for local expertise.

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak should not talk about winning two-thirds majority before even taking over the hot seat. He should plan how to heal the economy, social rifts and racial bigotry in the country. Not to mention his own huge political baggage.

For goodness sake, we need sensible and smart politicians. Not those who are out-of-touch, complacent and simply incompetent.


Antares said...

You seem like an immensely bright young person, Kay Peng. And, of course, you're pretty much spot on about the quality of politics - or abysmal lack - in Malaysia. However, there are a handful of truly outstanding political icons in our midst: Anwar Ibrahim, Tok Guru Nik Aziz, Kit Siang, Karpal, Guan Eng, Sivarasa Rasiah, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Husam Musa, Teresa Kok are the names that immediately spring to mind (note that they are all in Pakatan Rakyat!) Problem is, the deadwood & deadbeat incumbency of Umno/BN presents a very serious obstacle to Pakatan Rakyat's efforts to demonstrate good governance - constantly distracted by petty annoyances (like the constant threat of being ISA'ed by that nutcase son of a bigot) & sabotaged at every turn by pestilential spirits (specifically Toyols :-) whose apres-moi-le-deluge strategy is to spark off racial & religious tensions, thereby bringing everybody down to their despicable level.

It's understandable that as a trained economist you would place great emphasis on the economic & financial aspects of governance -
but what's happening on a global scale to the markets is really just the apocalyptic collapse of a belief system founded on deception,
greed & pure ignorance. I would suggest, rather than attempt to repair the system, to simply let it destroy itself completely.

Then we can rebuild a whole new economy on organic, holistic foundations with aesthetics & ethics as the guiding principls - rather than the might-is-right rule of money & brute force.

In the interim, with so many panicked by the financial crunch & the abrupt loss of employment, we urgently require a safety net program by which all those negatively impacted will be assured a minimum survival allowance so they & their dependents will not go hungry or homeless. This will also buy us sufficient time to engineer a massive paradigm shift that will see the collective consciousness break free of generations of wage slavery, simultaneously unleashing the infinite potential of our inherent problem-solving genius & our limitless creativity.


Anonymous said...

The ban on yoga is an issue to distract people attention from the many important issues (economy etc). I think better ban people from "thinking".

Bangsa Cina Malaysia said...

DAP MPs and state assemblymen still do not realised they are in power today becoz the Malays voted them and now they are trying to be heroes to the chinese community only.

to the DAP dont you all are aware that alcohol are bad for health just like cigarette.

I am a chinese and i hate all the above habits.

Not all policies by PAS are bad.

in fact PAS has been urging bread earners to go back to their families after work instead of heading to all these karaokes joint where alcohol and chinadoll are in abundance.

i remember not very long ago a group of chinese housewife went to see a certain OCPD asking for help
becoz their husband have been spending all their time in all these karaokes outlet.

how many chinese families have succumbed to these evil ?

bread winner spending their hard earned money on alcohol, gambling and later on womanising will come along.

DAP remember you guys represent all malaysians and please do not try to be a hero to a certain community even though knowing very well all the above are bad for everyone.

carry on with your typical chinaman attitude and i can guarantee you guys will all be a one term MP/state assemblyman.

BTW NONE DAP MPs has responded.

tony pua may god protect your children from the evil of alcohol.

Bow said...

Stop giving your vote to man with "pea" brain! First step in solving Malaysia problem.

Bow said...

Bodowi lead government does not believe our economy is going to get affected by global financial problem, these government officials has much urgent issues to worry in Malaysia like yoga, dressing etc as these issues will weaken master race and religion, in turn will affect the country bright future. Just go figure!!!

Ti Lian Ker said...

Our politics have started on race base sentiments such as culture, languages etc and after May 13 and Ayatollah Khomeini...POLITICAL ISLAM!
To free ourselves from this trappings, we need to cultivate and inculcate discussions along National interest instead of Malay interest and subsequently slide into UMNO interest.
I agree that the issues of late are deviating from the core economic and political issues that require our immediate attention. Yoga, Tomboy, Ban on Can Beers, Change of Government are secondary issues..
All Malaysians and bloggers should begin to educate our common people on the issues of unemployment..economic downturn and it's impact on their lifestyle. No point painting a glossy future when it is getting bleak...
Politically, changing of Government is not the answer to our economic woes. Our immediate concern is the bread and butter issue of the poor and the lower rung of the society...they are the one who is gonna get hit first. Next is the necessity to slow down the process of politicking..the opposition and their supporters are still in a frenzy and their focus seems to be on taking over the Federal Government...What sought of Pakatan Government? Who gets what and Who says what? All these preliminary issues have been conveniently sidelined and they merely promote their personalities forgetting that they have states to run to and is now collectively responsible for the welfare and well being of the people.
Let's take a short breath and start on more sensible, rational and feasible grounds...Stop the confusion on the ground...Many are lost and confused! Most are not educated politically and many bloggers are pretentious...they prescribe simple solutions to complicated problems...We need for sanity!