Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Transformation: the Good and the Ugly.
Transformation is the rallying call of the Malaysians today. Our leaders talk about economic transformation, political transformation, value transformation (traditional to modern, rural to urban, local to global etc.), educational transformation (from emphasising the 3Rs to preparation for the need of the labor market, from emphasising basic skills to imparting marketable skill etc.) and national-image transformation ( from a multiracial country to a one-Malaysia image with racial origins deleted from all personal identification documents, although the names like Abdullah, Wong Kam Choon, Daljit Singh, Sameon etc will still tell a story.
The government has developed detailed mechanism to evaluate the transformation process in several areas of development with Ministers working full-time on evaluating the progress made each year.The administrative mechanism is called the National Key Result Area (NKRA) evaluation system where six areas of national improvement are identified as the basis for the desired TRANSFORMATION. The areas include: improving access to quality education, reduce crime rate, eradicate corruption, raise the living standing or low income people, strengthen rural infrastructure and improve the public transport system. A minister is put in-charege of each area of concern.
The NKRA -a complex evaluation system
And the result? We're making very good progress according to the government.Only the political transformation involved doing something with the image of the coalition government i.e. BARISAN NASIONAL ( THE NATIONAL FRONT)and the constituent political parties involved especially UMNO, and the leaders within the party, who are alleged to be more concerned with enriching themselves rather than developing the country and the people. The Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) as another major constituent of BARISAN, had been losing support while the Malayan Indian Congress (MIC) had problems with establishing a new leadership as authoritative as Samy Veloo was. If corruption is to be stamped out in this country, many believed it should start with checking on the issuance of multibillion and multimillion government contracts and what kickbacks are involved. Even the issuance of smaller contracts to cronies must be stopped, down to the level of village heads (ketua kampung). If political bigwigs and little lords at the village levels continue to enrich themselves through corrupt practices , don't ever hope that corruption among lesser public officials and businessmen will ever stop.
From the economic point of view, the Chinese are rich and superrich because they have been in business since Malaya was a British colony. They had monopolised the business world and the urban centres.
Their entrepreneurs controlled the industries and their middlemen controlled the business outlets and distribution centres. The rich Indians are also traders, businessmen and professionals. Now look at the Malays. Most of the very rich are political leaders, their business colleagues, and strong supporters and assistants or runners. The genuine businessmen who had made it rich can be counted on one hand.
The rich Malays
The political and economic landscape has to be transformed. Can the current leadership do it? The Pakatan Rakyat consisting of the Party Keadilan Rakyat, DAP and PAS offers a good alternative as shown by the results of the 13thGE. But the members are now at odds with each other as a result of several issues topped by the choice of a Chief Minster for Selangor, the richest State in Malaysia. The battle for power and wealth seems to haunt the Pakatan Rakyat as it did the BARISAN NASIONAL where the pecking order had now been well esestablished. So can the transformation be undertaken at all without disturbing the current political order?