My Ideal Country from the next General Election

The light of steel
The light of steel

It has been a while that I have not posted a longer blog, it is because I have been caught up with work and also spending sometime to be a political observer of my own. I know that by observing how our politicians fought each other (it has unbecomingly ugly, believe me) will make me think and decide better where to cross in my electoral ticket. I mean, I will not necessary place a cross just because I am voting but more so my vote will definitely count towards the betterment of my country. Although my one vote is so insignificant I do hope that I will make a correct decision that I have thoroughly weighted. Anything else will be left to other millions of voters and if that is what they want I can’t do a thing!

I try to list down some of the important CHANGES (will that translate into UBAH in our local language?) that Malaysians are longing for after half of a century of independence. I am very sure our beloved late Father of Independence would not want to see our political scene right now! I am sure he had a better vision than our current leaders have at the moment. So what are the changes?

First and foremost we have to bring equality into the development equation. Equality in many aspects as seen in so many benchmarks in the world (from many developed nations), from equality in opportunity, rights, pay, choice of religion, choice to infrastructure and justice. There is a strong need to remove inequalities that are still persists in many areas, at least from what I can see with my own eyes. Equal pay and wages are not in place, some political parties do not get the same rights to hold ceramahs (talks) and I can see and hear some unanswered truth on high-profile cases. All these will undermine the country’s credibility when it comes to deal with development and the need for dependency on foreign investors. A newspaper even reported that some “unsound mind” (as claimed by some local government agency) people sleeping on the a street and the question is why aren’t they been accorded the rights to cheap housing or financial aids to the country hardcore poor (we even see report citing that hardcore poor has been eliminated) as promised? I think the solution cannot be found unless there is EQUALITY in the equation.

That is how I feel and this is ONE CHANGE that I need to see.

Secondly I would like to address the need for proper education level for the country. Over the years the Government has done a good job by making education compulsory for the citizens, making literacy accessible (and the rate is high) and making education free (yes, free). But have we question about the education’s quality, from a very objective point of view? I have seen and heard of too many denials when we address the quality issues! I respected the fact that we have many government agencies in place that are monitoring the education policies implementation stage. But I still want to raise the question about how acceptable are the quality of students that have been churned out from the school system each year? Lets be honest and hope the politician themselves are honest and not defensive or denying. We knew that our education level (and hence the syllabus) of our primary and secondary schools were behind our neighbour’s back in the eighties and yet today, thirty years later it remained a fact. What can we do better? Or should there be a case of who should do it better? I hope we can have a good education quality than quantity because only then the country has enough competitive resources in the future.

That is how I feel and this is ONE CHANGE that I need to see.

I think I would also want to see better infrastructure for the ordinary people. Hold it! I knew you are going to say this “Aren’t we already doing it?”. Yes we are doing it, we built highways, eating stalls, public toilets, nice stadiums (including swimming pools), rubbish disposal system (rubbish bins inclusive), lamp posts, walking pavements and city transport systems (too many to enumerate and hence I agree that government is doing their bit). However the change is not about just providing these but to maintain them! How many of us are happy with the conditions of those listed above, be honest. We can blame the users who choose to litter, choose to damage them (vandalism culture), choose not to use them (and hence no motivation to maintain?) or choose to dismantle them (selling the steel structures and fittings). But I still need to question “Where is the MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?”. I strongly believe the existing process of building the infrastructure was just a contract to build but there is less emphasis of maintaining them. I wonder why? I know the law makers in our parliament understand what is maintenance and how it work. But nevertheless I still see all the above in the state of neglect and deplorable that I myself choose to use the rubber band technology when coming to nature’s call. I think we can do much better if we put more emphasis on managing the infrastructure, just like keeping our own home remember? (Lets hear them from the foreigners)

That is how I feel and this is ONE CHANGE that I need to see.

Economically, I think the election mandate should be given to those that can ensure our country financial sustainability. Natural resources aside, we have lost the competitive production of rubber, tin etc. What are we going to depend on for the next 50 years? Hope? Well I think we can do better than that! Some countries that I know have good strategy to ensure financial sustainability. Take Singapore for instance, the financial center that they have built over the years has given the government financial stability and the two casinos to supplement the (restricted land) tourism gave the financial and tax resources for the country in the next twenty years. China has adopted good policies in economic development by opening the country’s land and opportunity stage by stage (from the south and east moving inland as time progresses). Australia is managing and reviewing the migrant input from time to time, managing the economic growth by balancing the resources. What can our country depend on for the next 50 years? I think if we concentrate on a longer term vision we can do better. We too have so many fragmented “corridors”, from the north to south, lets hope it becomes reality. Currently the problem is about shortermism, ranging from tourism effort to MRT effort and to infrastructure building. There will be gain in the future if we stop thinking about personal and short-term gains.

That is how I feel and this is ONE CHANGE that I need to see.

The calling for HIGH INCOME economy from the government is very good and I think many developed countries will tell you it is the only way. Achieving high value economy is about creating value in our product and services that the market is willing to pay a higher price for them. The market must see a value being created and that is the drive (and hence the message of HIGH VALUE) businesses and individuals must take so that the can be more ready to expand their market, global market inclusive. But nevertheless I think the explanation of the concept has backfired right from the start. Today we see many more products and services being charged higher, many more things being charged for now and even charges crept in whenever the opportunity arises! That wasn’t the real intention, its creating inflation! Someone must explain clearly what is high income. It is about being creative and innovative in providing better solutions that bringing in the higher income. Definitely not the price that you charge. Germany has proven that with the automobile industry, the British has done it with innovations, the Americans have done it with creative banking and financial solutions (sometimes backfire though, remember subprime?) and of course the Japanese with their hybrid cars, web-based technologies and even the cute little robotics. This is high income turning into better standard of living, not cost of living!

That is how I feel and this is ONE CHANGE that I need to see.

Security? I let you debate about it. Be fair, no one can pre-empt a crime but presence of the law do help. The debate on security will be another chapter. But I am happy if our law-makers can read what I have expressed, solely for improvement purposes. Meanwhile enjoy the local political dramas. Cheers.

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