Friday, April 12, 2013

How GE 13 Can Be A Game Changer for Malaysia

This General Elections will be a game changer if we play it right with less propaganda brainwashing from both sides of the fence and with more real issues addressed at the heart of the nation.

In my view, Malaysia's problems inherited from Dr Tun boil down to this: in our efforts to jump-start a nation governed by mediocre ministers and dominated by cronies, Dr Tun tried the strategy of "THE ENDS JUSTIFIES THE MEANS." As a result, the nation became even more unbalanced with little improvement in human capital.

Whatever that the "ENDS" denote for each Malaysian, it is basically trying to get the results by hook or crook (e.g. income distribution quotas, ETP targets, money politics to get required seats, Project I.C. in Sabah, etc).

This is why the nation has deteriorated in its academic research institutions, in intellectual discourse and in cross cultural communications. In other words, people learn not for the fun of learning but for exam results. People start businesses not to create a new value for customers but seek the quickest profits available. This is why many businesses engage in the latest money spinning asset reflation game called property development.

We accepted the fast track economic goals at the expense of fairness, justice, due process and genuine kindness to minorities, the underprivileged and the politically and spiritually oppressed. (In the late 1980s till the early 1990s, our economy was lucky due to the unintended consequences of the Plaza Accord when the Japanese had to revalue their Yen upwards and prompt a mass migration of Japanese MNCs into the emerging Tiger nations. The 1997 Asian financial crisis exposed the weakness of this economic model).

Instead of teaching the underprivileged how to learn, how to catch fish, the government gave/promised them loads of fish in perpetuity. Meanwhile, there was a suppression of all freedom of the press and freedom of inter-religious conversion. Only with the advent and popularity of the Internet in recent years has there been a growing intellectual forum for Malaysians to voice out their thoughts, political and spiritual frustrations.

Looking ahead, I believe it is time for due process to be the main driving force for change in Malaysia. It is time for the "MEANS JUSTIFIES THE ENDS" approach to solving our day-to-day and strategic problems. 

Whatever the election results, for 15 days, we Malaysians can start campaigning for our values and aspirations on the Internet/Facebook to be voiced out instead of whole-heartedly accepting the message of our politicians/party of choice.

But if we continue on the same old path of seeking the ends at all costs, then we may not be so lucky this time round. True reform starts with knowing where we came from and how we managed, despite all the compelling reasons for failure, to survive as a nation without a major civil crisis since 1969. Thankfully, I humbly confess that it is only by God's grace that we have peace and good communal relations in this country in spite of the divisive work of the extremists.

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