More Malaysians apart from Abang Johari and Daim Zainuddin should speak up on what went wrong in six decades of Malaysian nation-building which is related to the question whether Malaysia can be saved to become a world-class great nation before Malaysia’s Centennial instead of becoming a failed state like Sri Lanka
Yesterday Sarawak Premier Abang Johari and former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin spoke up on what went wrong in six decades of Malaysian nation-building which is related to the question whether Malaysia can be saved to become a world-class great nation instead of becoming a failed state like Sri Lanka.
Abang Johari said UMNO Deputy Chairman Mohamad Hasan’s proposal about a New Malaysia should never be brought up as what is needed is the implementation of the conditions enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 which was fundamental to the establishment of Malaysia and the results of the Inter-Governmental Committee report.
Is the UMNO Deputy President prepared to accept this position?
But even more important, is the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Sarawak and Sabah, Maximus Ongkili prepared to accept this Sarawak position that there should be no talk of a New Malaysia Agreement or a supplementary deal, as more important is the restoration and fulfilment of the conditions in MA63, most of which, Abang Johari alleged, had been eroded.
Ongkili recently stirred the hornets’ nest when he rightly raised at the PBS annual delegates assembly that a “BN party” was responsible for a citizenship-for-votes scheme and that efforts must be undertaken to remove unqualified individuals from the voter list.
But is he aware that his success or failure as a Federal Minister for close to two decades will depend on his ability to resolve the nightmare of illegal immigrants in Sabah with voting rights and whether he could under his present portfolio restore the conditions of MA63?
Ongkili has been entrusted with Sabah and Sarawak affairs since March 2020. What has he done this resolve this nightmare of illegal immigrants in Sabah with voting rights in the last two years?
The other person who spoke about “What went wrong” in six decades of Malaysian nation-building was Daim Zainuddin, twice the former Finance Minister.
Daim asked in a special interview with The Malaysian Insider: “Now that I’ve retired and as I go through all my old files, I ask, why we have gone back to repeating past mistakes?”
He questioned about Putrajaya’s over-reach into business and the increasing dominance of government-linked companies in the economy.
Currently, the government-linked companies (GLCs) and government-linked investment companies (GLIC) ecosystem constitutes RM445 billion or 25% of Bursa Malaysia’s market capitalisation.
The spirit of the New Economic Policy, Daim said, should not see the government competing with the private sector as governments are not entrepreneurs and “do not know how to do business”.
Daim is worried looking at how the government of late has been getting more involved in GLCs and GLICs, and how the federal budget is being managed.
Monthly salaries in GLCs and GLICs have gone up from RM30,000 a month in his time to RM1 million a month at present.
A big concern of Daim, who was former chairman of the Pakatan Harapan administration’s Council of Eminent Persons, is Malaysia’s borrowings to fund government subsidies and a bloated administration.
“Our financial situation is serious. Pensions, salaries for civil servants are high and debt servicing is high. And according to the civil servants themselves, by 2030 our debt servicing alone will be RM200 billion a year.”
To make things worse, Daim said politicians are expanding the civil service to gain more votes.
“The politicians want to exploit the 1.6 million civil servants for votes. Plus a wife and two kids and that is five million voters. It’s a vote bank and they want to keep on expanding till they forget about the nation. This cannot go on. I brought this up back then as it cannot go on, even then. And now they are talking about a four-day work week.”
Another concern of Daim is the quality of education in the country and how it affected Malaysia’s competitiveness against other Southeast Asian countries.
He said Malaysia’s education system had failed and the inclusion of religious studies into the education syllabus had not helped.
Daim said back in his time, they undertook religious studies after school in the afternoon once a month, and it did not make them any less Muslim.
“In fact, its worse now as leaders have become corrupt and the rakyat say it’s okay.”
This has highlighted the fact that despite a decade of the monstrous mega 1MDB multi-billion dollar financial scandal, not a single UMNO and Barisan Nasional Minister or leader had ever condemned it.
Malaysia needs more people to speak up on what went wrong in Malaysian nation-building that we cannot leverage on the virtues and values of the great civilisations that meet in Malaysia and develop our potential to the fullest.
We need more Malaysians to speak up in the search for answers as to what went wrong in Malaysia’s six decades of nation-building, whether Malaysia can be saved before Malaysia’s Centennial and become a world-class great nation instead of becoming a failed state like Sri Lanka.