It is most regrettable that the Cabinet yesterday missed the opportunity to declare the July/August meeting of Parliament a “Reform Parliament” as evident from the absence of discussion of the issue.
There are four more Wednesdays – when the Cabinet meets – before the start of the Parliamentary meeting on July 18 and Malaysians have to wait whether the Cabinet would dare to take up the challenge to declare the Malaysian Parliament next month a Reform Parliament.
A Reform Parliament should not only initiate a new anti-corruption campaign in the country to ensure that Malaysia does not end up in the coming decades as one of the most corrupt nations in Asia, losing to China and India, as well as to ASEAN countries like Indonesia and the Philippines.
A Reform Parliament should also initiate the transformation of Malaysia through a reset of nation-building policies and principles to ensure that in the coming decades, the Malaysian Dream of a world-class great nation can be achieved before Malaysia’s Centennial.
For over half a century, Malaysia had lost its way, losing out to Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Vietnam and we missed out to become a Tiger economy.
If we do not find way back to fulfil our potential, there will be a second Malaysian Diaspora where bright and brilliant Malaysian talents emigrate all over the world to make other nations great and we will be left further behind in the coming decades – even losing out to Indonesia and the Philippines.
Can we return to the nation-building policies and principles in our Constitution and Rukun Negara – constitutional monarchy, parliamentary democracy, separation of powers, rule of law, good governance, public integrity, respect for human rights, Islam as the religion of the nation and freedom of worship for all other religions and national unity from our multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural diversity where there are no first-class and second-class citizens whether based on race, religion or region.
Recently, veteran economist and a founder of Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER), Tan Sri Kamal Salih called for the abolition of the New Economic Policy (NEP) and to replace it with a needs-based policy to overhaul the economy.
He said the resetting of the economy means doing away with protectionism and changing gears toward high productivity.
Kamal opined that the NEP has “expired” in terms of its benefits, where an over-reliance on the policy would only be detrimental to the country.
He said” “Only 10%, who are the rich, have benefited from the NEP. The rest, such as the M20 and B40, are struggling. The income disparity continues to widen after the pandemic.”
Kamal pointed out that there are an estimated 800,000 unemployed Malaysians, of whom about 30% are graduates who have “nowhere to go”.
He also said about 90% workers in Malaysia have mismatched jobs, with people being in the wrong positions or line of work.
“We need to overcome this. Also too much political interference in the economy. It is counterproductive.”
Nazir Razak, the son of Malaysia’s second prime minister who was the architect of the New Economic Policy (NEP) Abdul Razak Hussein, said many of the principles in the NEP no longer work and have instead led to dysfunctional politics and growing divisions among Malaysia’s communities.
He said the status quo was quickly becoming untenable and asked if the country’s leaders had the initiative to develop and implement new political, economic, and social systems as the NEP was not meant to be a permanent solution.
Parliament must be the venue to start the reset of nation-building policies.
Can the July/August meeting of Parliament start the process to reset nation-building policies and principle to ensure that Malaysia becomes a world-class great nation?
We have just lost an eminent Malaysian educator, Tun Arshad Ayub, the founding director of Institut Teknologi Mara (ITM) from 1966-1975 before it was elevated to university status as Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) but who insisted the English language remained the medium of instruction of ITM.
Arshad Ayub is the best example of a true Malay nationalist but who is Malaysian First who accept that Malaysia is a plural nation which must leverage on the best virtues from the different cultural heritages to be found in Malaysia.
Parliament has just issued notice for the 14-day meeting from July 14 to August 4, 2022.
Can Parliament be a Reform Parliament next month?