Friday, April 10, 2009

The Najibian Lineup

The new Cabinet lineup has certainly a lot of surprises, to make one smile or frown.In it we've leaders who have been rejected by the voters or by their own party to fill in key positions, unfamiliar names, ten ladies, some so-called jokers, and, of course, the more solid national figures. All are to be given a 6 month efficiency test based on certain Key Performance Index (KPI).

But what really will the performance evaluation be based on? What are the criteria used? How measured? If the criteria are so amorphous, so wishy-washy, like bringing back BN/UMNO's credibility, giving the government a good name, or regaining the confidence of the public ( these may take years anyway), what can be achieved in 6 months. What can be achieved in 6 moths will be solid, objective, and measureable goals like bringing down the prices of consumer goods, cutting down the cost of government projects to a more reasonable level ( not marked up for high commissions), reduce cronyism and giving projects to family and friends, ensuring that the financial rescue packages go to the needy not the greedy entrepreneurs, seeing that the private companies handling privatized public services are not overpaying their executives, incurring sky-high overhead costs etc., reducing crimes, corruptions and debauchery etc. The things to be achieved in 6 months must be clearly set up so that any evaluation will be made on a valid and measuraeable basis.

If the things government performance would be evaluated on turn out different from what the public is concerned with, a satisfactory 6 months evaluation by the PM may not be so to the people. Hence I would prefer to see a candid discussion on what the priorities of government action should be at this point of time.I'm sure there're lots of divergent views and streamlining them is by itself a time-consuming task. It's callled interest integration. a condition for outlining an acceptable
agenda for action. If the Cabinet is going to work on its own on this matter then the attitude that 'government knows best' in solving the national problems has not changed at all, contrary to what the new PM is preaching.

What the priorities for government action at this point of time are, must indeed be discussed with the public for the rejection of BN/UMNO in recent by-elections seems to indicate that public expectations are not being met. The changes promised by the new leadership might not also cover all that the public would insist on. They appear to be many divergent and conflicting goals
among the multiracial public and the ethnically based political parties which comprise the Barisan. Integrating and streamlining them may even be the first task of the new government. Otherwise everyone will again be pursuing its own specific interest which, incidentally, is the cause of the current ineffectiveness of Barisan.

Well, everyone will be waiting to see what will happen in the next few months. First thing is to see whether the new Cabinet lineup will start working as a team for obviously many members are themselves not familiar with the colleagues they have to work with. Remember the saying. One bird may only be able to fly to a certain height. But tying up two or more birds together might not enable them to fly at all. The PM will have a tremendous task of sychronizing their initiatives and tendencies.

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