Sunday, October 25, 2009

Beyond 1Malaysia - Stop Being Superficial

After the 1Malaysia songs have been composed, sang and composers celebrated and rewarded, it is time for the Najib administration to get down to do some serious work. There is a limit to what a 'feel good' jingle and slogan can do for the society.

Overall, the BN government has yet to show us that it is willing to undertake some serious reforms. Hence, its action does not match the feel-good publicity so far.

On race relations, there is very little change to the overall national development framework and agenda. There is little information on how the government intends to review or revamp the outdated New Economic Policy.

The reluctance of some its leaders to dismantle a policy which was closely associated with abuse, nepotism, racism and corruption is clearly demonstrated when they argued that the NEP objectives are still relevant. Surely this is true but its implementation has left these objectives irrelevant.

Najib had announced some very careful and measured liberalisation measures to unfreeze some service sectors from the rigid race quota but the market did not respond enthusiastically. Evidently, the foreign direct investment continued to plunge and the net investment flow was negative.

Years of policy flip flop and bureaucratic red-tape have created a sense of distrust that this liberalisation policy will be even be carried out by the relevant agencies e.g. EPU, Immigration, FIC, SC and others.

What Prime Minister Najib ought to do is to tell us precisely what is next after the NEP? Is there a life after the NEP? Does the BN government have a post-NEP strategy?

Beside these archaic and outdated policies, the government is faced with another serious task of tackling the economic bottlenecks. It has identified a need to enhance the earning per capita and to reduce the dependency on cost centric economic activities. The government aims to double the GDP per capita by the year 2020. It wants to attract more foreign talents into the country.

However, the Ministry of Human Resource has been quite reluctant to impose a minimum wage policy. Hence, employers continue to squeeze salary scale or use cheap foreign labour. The government did not indicate how it intends to enhance the income per capita of our employees.

Previously, a number of skilled expatriates who applied for a permanent resident status were frustrated by the process if they do not come from a certain social denomination. The government wants to make this process easier to attract foreign talents. This is a good move if it can be successfully implemented.

However, the government did not indicate how it intends to grow its home grown talents or to attract those who are working abroad to come home. Past strategies had failed miserably. Most left the country again because apart from the campaign to attract them home, everything else had remained the same.

What is clear is that both foreign and local talents can only be persuaded to stay if this system practices meritocracy and not favouritism. Is the government prepared to implement a full merit based system?

The same goes for the administration loud call to combat corruption but fall short of introducing a mechanism which could help to provide a comprehensive check-and-balance process to scrutinize all public projects.

Many of us felt the reluctance of the government to investigate serious corruption cases even when these cases have turned into mega controversies for the regime. Outcomes and recommendations of several Royal Commissions of Inquiry were ignored and cases were closed abruptly.

These examples have clearly shown that the government cannot hope to use its smartly designed PR campaign to divert our attention away from these issues anymore.

Until and unless there are more concrete initiatives to combat corruption, to end institutionalised racism, to curb abuse of power, the return the sanctity of separation of power to the constitution and to respect the democratic rights of the people, the 1Malaysia slogan will be remembered as yet another desperate attempt by politicians to preserve their position and power.

Until and unless more Malaysians wake up to the reality that this nation cannot progress on sweet talk and nice sounding slogans alone, this country will continue to fall behind other competitors in the region. Soon, Malaysia may be not even be in the top 3 bracket in the region.


Anonymous said...

I cry for Malaysia. I have lost all hope.If i want to help then i have to take arms. Otherwise there is no hope. Politicians must be killed. Period

Anonymous said...

Don't they know that there's such a thing call "over-hype"? Frankly I'm sick of hearing '1Malaysia'. It's all noise like hitting an empty 40-gallon drum with a tongkat. And all the civil servants and ruling politicians are trying to outdo each other to beat the hardest, some not even knowing what exactly is 1Malaysia. Of course the PR company that drum up the crap is laughing all the way to the bank, with our hard earned money of course. It's time Najib get to do some real work. It's the economy, stupid.


Anonymous said...

Why then all the "hoolabala" about wanting to get some feedback from us in the first place...????

U r right..!!!

Sweetness all the way....!!!! Better throw in some candies, chocolates, etc.....

How is it that we, the "public", for that matter, see so... much of WRONG doings that "these people" choose to either "close 2 eyes" or deny it to high heaven...?????


Anonymous said...

Every Govt in the world is rhetoric with nice slogans,campaigns etc.No accountability, so what is the problem? The citizens accepts and takes a ride! The biggest problem facing Malaysia will be the language switch to BM and the expensive failures of the Corridors!

NotImportant said...

Nothing much has changed since Najib took over. The old and ugly oppressive umno has now taken on some new clothes. Better soundbites, more sloganeering, highly publicised crumbs thrown at the rakyat, better mind games, clever rhetorics and a lot more subtle manipulations and sabotage.

In the recent umno convention if we were to listen to najib's speech we know that the leopard had not changed its spots or maybe it just can't. He said that the malay rights in the constitution would be defended and the chinese and indians would be given what they are entitled to under the constitution. If we rephrase this to accord with reality what he is basically saying is that NEP is status quo but we can't say it and whatever leftovers or those that the malays can't digest would be thrown to the chinese and indians.

NEP is unconstitutional. The malays have certain rights but NEP is extra-legal and went beyond what was expressed in the constitution. NEP was designed to scam the rakyat - including the malays.

Anonymous said...


Yes, you are absolutely right. IT is just a waffle.

In the same breath, and after having some state govts to its credit, PR does not seem to fare any better. The standard imposed on PR is not the same, it cannot be the same. After all, the expectation of it has always been higher but unfortunately I have not seen anything tangible that suggests PR is not being bedeviled by similar problems and sentiments that BN is facing.

Ah, the hope of a new dawn seems to be a faraway dream. I am sad that BN has been chipping away the so-called pluses of PR and I would not be surprised that PR may be wiped out if an election is held tomorrow. The perception is the PR govts are a confused lot with little or practically nothing tangible to be acknowledged as progress and development, particularly to the ordinary folks, and whose votes that matter most.

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...


Children often learn by examples
So be careful what we show as samples
Don't let social justice and human rights be trampled
Lest they all grow up with the wrong kinds of temper

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 261009
Mon. 26th Oct. 2009.

Shanker said...

Dear Khoo

The more I read your analysis, the more I can't see a basis for Najib to remain as PM; except for the fact that he is a "skillful" & charismatic politician. It's an image thang I suppose eh? But what I think is the most imperative issue that Najib must settle, is that of all the allegations about him & the Mongolian murder mystery. Without that, no matter what economic "miracles" he may wrought, no matter what slogans/songs he may produce, his moral right to occupy the highest post in the land has no basis. The issue of credibility must be addressed first & foremost. And if we - the Rakyat - keep giving him & co the mandate to return to Putrajaya - then we will only have our-selves to blame.

Anonymous said...

I'm also pretty SICK of this 1M slogan.
It so FAKE!! Pity M'sian who lap over this sikening slogan.


amoker said...

Oh, i love this "salam 1 Malaysia' crap that RTM forces their staff to do....

nothing changed la... only more money to PR.

The latest budget also did not indicate how they want to move up the salary curve?

Anonymous said...

First thing first, empower the Malays so that that the top 35 of the 40 billionaires in Malaysia are Malays.

mycuntree said...

The way I see it, there is no way UMNO/BN will move away from what have benefited them so far.So do not expect any change there! All these top people are there because of the government's policies for the past 30 to 40 years, so do not even dream that they will change it.

If you really really want any real change... change this govt. first.

Anonymous said...

since when did Malaysia feature as Top 3??

Anonymous said...

No amount of skilful public relations can mask the crap besetting every facet of governance currently. When brilliance and capablity is ignored and the civil service just have to belong to the 'right' camp to be promoted, the country is in the shithouse. Malaysia is degressing slowly but surely.

angela ooi

Anonymous said...

it's so ironic and baffling that after 40 years of NEP, it is still considered new! SHOULD RENAME IT AS OLD ECONOMY POLICY. There is no longer new anymore. Umno please wake up! You have failed in implementing NEP to the benefit of the deserving poor. More and more people are paralysied.

Anonymous said...

Using public fund to drum up its popularity is a BN forte. Millions of RM has been spent on this so called 1M slogan. The people have the right to demand for accountability. It's time to stop pulling wool over our eyes. Many Malaysians would not be fooled nor ignorant of what is going on in the country. Thanks to socially conscious citizens like the STalk Blogger and like-minded bloggers who continually highlight the weaknesses and ugliness of the BN.

True Malaysians are not just contented with jingles and rhymes. Let's go for the real stuff -PKFTZ; TBH's tragic death; Uprising of crimes; Corruption; Nepotism; Cronyism; favoritism; institutionalised racism, etc.

The list goes on and on till its time for the next GE. The PR Coalition should be ever ready, if you need a united rakyat. How many more TBHs or Cowheads do we need to convince ourselves?

Anonymous said...

ONE-tragedy : the 'ONE-malaysia' camp
has caused
'a young life & 2 still-missing' in kampar, perak ....SIGH !

Anonymous said...

Umno can change for the better "only when" you see pig can fly..

1Malaysia is for every Rakyat regardless race "only when" PR comes into power..

Nagib can make sure Malaysia Prosperous "only when" he step down..

Malaysia can be save "only when" BN is voted out..

Justice can be preserved in Malaysia "only when" Allah/Jesus/Bao Kong/Lord Ganesh comes out crying..

After all those "only when" I wonder do Malaysia really can survive?? Fat-hope.... so keep on dreaming and keep on voting for BN..

A vote for BN is a vote for THE END

Anonymous said...

1Malaysia or Malaysia1 for that matter. Its all just talk and talk. The number of incidents(the Perak judiciary, PDRM, NAP etc...) currently happening in Bolehland proved that 1Malaysia is just a slogan and talk.

Anonymous said...

!Malaysia for 1 race - the Malays and maybe the assimilated Bumiputras. The rest please make your pilgrimage back to your forefathers' land

Anonymous said...

1Malaysia is a dotcom product. Afterall, it was dreamed up by alumini of the dotcom era. In the dotcom time, one can sell hot air with a good story. Did you not see the similarity?