How to make the 12th Malaysia Plan a truly game-changer

In the last 50 years since 1970, when Malaysia’s Second Malaysia Plan and the New Economic Policy were launched, Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased 90 times from US$3,737 million in 1970 to US$338,286 million in 2020.

But Malaysia’s GDP has been overtaken by Singapore and Vietnam and continued to be behind Hong Kong.

Singapore increased its GDP 177 times from US$1,919 million in 1970 to US$339,981 million in 2020; Vietnam increased its GDP 123 times from US2,775 million in 1970 to US$340,821 million in 2020 while Hong Kong increased its GDP 92 times from US$3,812 million in 1970 to US$349,446 million in 2020.

Malaysia has lost out to Singapore and Vietnam in Gross Domestic Product when in 1970, Singapore had only 51% of Malaysia’s GDP and Vietnam 74% of Malaysia’s GDP.

Can the 12th Malaysia Plan really be a game changer?

If the 12th Malaysia Plan is really to be a game-changer, it must accept that every citizen is a Malaysian instead of being Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans or Orang Asli; or Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Sikkhist or Taoists; or bumiputeras and non-bumiputeras.

The government must uphold the Malaysian Constitution and the Rukun Negara objectives of fostering national unity, preserving a democratic way of life, creating a just society where national prosperity can be enjoyed equitably, building a liberal attitude towards the rich and diverse culture and building a progressive society that will use science and technology in pursuit of the five nation-building principles of Rukun Negara - belief in God, loyalty to King and country, supremacy of the Constitution, the rule of law and good behaviour and morality.

It a sad commentary that both the Malaysian Constitution and the 1970 Rukun Negara had failed to build a united Malaysian when after six decades of nationhood, we have a Keluarga Malaysia national slogan, which is nothing but an admission that for six decades, we have failed to build a united Malaysian nation and family.

Can the Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri, succeed in his sloganeering about a Keluarga Malaysia and transform a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation into “a beacon of light to a difficult and distracted world”?

Malaysians knew little about Ismail Sabri but his ascension to the premiership has brought back his past to the present – that his political career until he became Prime Minister was built on the denial of a Keluarga Malaysia.

Can the person who had built his political career on a narrow concept of Malaysia expand and lead plural Malaysia into the future of a Keluarga Malaysia?

I always believe in the capability of human beings to grow and learn from the lessons of life and I strongly believe that Ismail Sabri should be given a chance to prove his sincerity and commitment to the concept of a Keluarga Malaysia.

The Prime Minister has instructed all Cabinet Ministers to announce their respective Report Card on the 100-Day Keluarga Malaysia Achievements.

I have a better suggestion.

As all the Ministers took their oath of office before the Yang di Pertuan Agong on 30th August, the 100 Day falls on Dec. 7, when the Dewan Rakyat is still sitting.

The Prime Minister Ismail Sabri should present the “Keluarga Malaysia 100-Day Report” of the government to Parliament on Dec. 7, 2021 followed by a motion on the report and full debate in Parliament.

Meanwhile, the government should be guided the spirit of Keluarga Malaysia in the implementation of the 12th Malaysia Plan, 2021 budget and all government policies and measures, which should include the following:

  1. Scrap the 51% bumiputera ownership requirement for freight forwarding companies;
  2. A 10-year Plan to end abuses and deviations of New Economic Plan;
  3. A step-up in war against corruption and kleptocracy in Malaysia, with the objective for Malaysia to be among the top 30 countries in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index 2030; and
  4. A policy assurance by the Prime Minister to all non-Muslim religions that that will no law or government measure that will undermine Article 11 of the Constitution on freedom of religion.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri