Monday, April 6, 2009

Rebooting Malaysia

Abd Ghani Hamat wrote an excellent op-ed piece in The Edge Daily entitled Rebooting Malaysia:

Najib Razak marked his ascent to the top in style.

Nobody outside his inner circle could have guessed that the ISA issue would be given such prominence in his maiden speech as Malaysia's sixth premier.

"It must be a government with new approaches for new times" was how Najib captured the intent of his incoming administration.

Indeed, new approaches couldn't come soon enough to repair public perception of the government.

Prior to the official handover of power, Najib visited the head office of a Chinese daily newspaper and, the next day, graced an award presentation ceremony at a Tamil school.

Najib's intent to effect a new approach in the way the government engages the public could not be much clearer than that.

But while new approaches could come handy in gauging governance standard, what counts more eventually are real policy and rule changes. While accepting the need for new approaches is an excellent start, instituting real changes is imperative.

Because, the times they are a-changin', as Dylan put it in his 1963 composition.

Najib's very ascent reminds us that a full generation has lapsed since the country gained independence. Society, the country and the world have moved on since the days his father ruled the roost.

Malaysia is now in need of a "reboot" to remove all the time-induced disconnects and generational gaps to face the challenges of the "new times".

A reboot also is necessary if we are to have any chance of realising the country's potential to become a vibrant democracy with its rich human and natural resources.

It should be appreciated that the challenges facing Najib come in many layers. They include reforming Umno and reshaping the BN coalition and restoring public trust institutions, which are arduous tasks in their own right.

But rebooting Malaysia would not be complete without finding a place for our economy in a globalised world.

For regardless of what we do in nation-building, ultimately our prosperity is inextricably linked to how well our economy performs, in particular with regard to external trade.

Read the rest of the piece here.


Mat Cendana said...

I just don't know. These are tough times not just for Umno and BN but for us all too. Right now it doesn't really matter what our personal opinions of the new PM are. For me, all I can do is to HOPE that he has what it takes. Or if he doesn't, he has advisors who are worthy. Won't be fair to nitpick against him right now. But I'd say it will be fair game after at least a month. (no need 100 days)

de minimis said...

I think your sentiments are consistent with that of many, if not most, Malaysians.