Thursday, November 19, 2009

Idris Jala has some positive strategies

If this report is accurate, it will be seen as the BN having recognised one of the key bugbears in Malaysia's nation-building and, earnestly working to remedy it. It appears that Idris Jala hasn't wasted any time:

Some of the most robust discussions about the future of Malaysia have been taking place in Putrajaya over the past several weeks. And if some suggestions are actually implemented, Datuk Seri Najib Razak could actually pull the rug from under his political foes.

This includes the idea to overhaul the controversial Biro Tata Negara or National Civics Bureau that has been seen to be more of a propaganda unit, the possibility of a mediation council to handle disputes among different religions and making the government procurement process more transparent.

Government officials told The Malaysian Insider that these proposals are part of initiatives being pushed by Datuk Seri Idris Jala and a task force set up to promote 1 Malaysia, Najib's concept announced when he took the top job on April 3.

1 Malaysia is one of several laboratories set up to push through ideas on Key Performance Index (KPI) and National Key Results Areas (NKRAs) that Najib knows will be the tipping point in the general election.

His ruling Barisan Nasional coalition was badly beaten in Election 2008 under the leadership of former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when it lost four more states and 82 federal seats to give up its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority.

But his recent appointment of Idris, the former Malaysia Airlines managing director, to the Cabinet as Minister in the Prime Minister's Department to take charge of KPIs could help make the difference.

Idris has started his work by setting up labs outside the government administrative complex with select people to test out ideas and strategies to move Najib's 1 Malaysia concept

Arguably the 1 Malaysia lab is the most important now because Idris and his team are incubating ideas which touch on race, religion and other stumbling blocks to better race relations which have deteriorated over the years.

Last week, Najib and several key ministers were given a briefing on some of the ideas and many of the Cabinet ministers appeared supportive of some of the initiatives. Among the ministers in the visit were Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin and Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz.

It is understood that the lab felt the Biro Tata Negara needed a complete makeover to promote inclusiveness. Several young Pakatan Rakyat leaders have complained it was "brainwashing" students who were taught to hate opposition parties.

What is clear is that Najib remains Idris' strongest ally and is willing to push the envelope for changes in the government. Several Umno ministers are also more supportive of change than before, government officials said.

"Idris and his team's biggest task will be presenting their ideas at a Cabinet retreat next month. If there is buy-in, some of the biggest bugbears in our country will finally be addressed," one government official told The Malaysian Insider.

An analyst with knowledge of the 1 Malaysia lab activities concurred.

"If these initiatives are endorsed by the Najib administration and implemented, they could pull the carpet from under the Pakatan Rakyat," the analyst told The Malaysian Insider.

He said the key would remain in the implementation and also acceptance by the civil service.


walla said...

You stand there by the roadside, just lepakking. You see something.

Out from the taxi, a blind chinese man decants. Standing next to his rickety motorbike, an indian man sees him and puts down the newspaper he is reading.

Because the chinese man is blind, he is unaware of the lamp-post just ahead of him. His cane has not touched it yet.

Then you notice how the indian man perks up. He is watching carefully.

You, lepak-man, can read his thoughts. In those six seconds, what is going on in the head of the indian man?

Only one thing - how to prevent in time the chinese man from banging into the lamp-post.

Destiny has it that the cane finally touches the lamp-post and the blind chinese man skirts around it. The indian man untenses and carries on reading the latest hullabaloo.

Lepak-man is only interested in what has transpired in those six seconds.

You see, it has also been astronomically postulated that only six seconds was needed for the Universe to be created a long time ago.

What universe have we created in this country called Malaysia? A universe of humanity or a universe of new-deal colonialism?

Honest answer, please.

The most unique strength of Malaysia has always been her diversity. Like alloys strengthened by different mixes, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

And that is because by upbringing, Malaysians are generally good-natured people instinctively given to helping one another without first thoughts about artificial constructs.

Who gives a dang what color be a skin, or what lingo is rolled off a tongue, or what din is being made by a cultural thing, or what or how food is eaten, or what name is used, or know what you mean.

Stay focused on the problems all face. Find solutions to the problems all face. The operative word is 'all'.

In its rush to create a unified identity in the main patterned after one race, Umno missed all these excellent points completely. Its droids have no standards. No taraf so how to iktiraf?

And once it started its regime of divide and conquer, it was caught in the horns of its own dilemma. Gored, to be precise.

If it stops its monoracial policies, it thinks it will incur the displeasure of its supporters.

If it continues them, it immediately and uncompromisingly incurs the wrath of more than half the population, including many muslims in the ranks of its race who are also at pains to explain off the obvious injustices and unfairness leveled at brothers and sisters of the same Creator.

That the governance is corrupt and inefficient adds catalyst to the reaction which is further reinforced by the latest corruption index, the worst ever in the anals (annals) of Umno, a considerable percent of which contributed by just some names already iced in the freezer of an agency.

And all this was/is because the mindset that was used to administrate the country was brewed in a cauldron of fear more at home in the dark ages. If we don't fear death, why should we fear life?

walla said...

Now Umno wants to re-amalgamate what it had sundered.

Still, it can be done. But it must be done with an open mind, an honest heart and a strong gut. All three properties must be present at the same time and used cohesively and synchronously. You can't say open mind, honest heart and picky liver.

People know and wonder how come, for instance, for years Uitm has been quietly practising an english-language instruction-medium policy for some of its important courses while all the institutions were uniformized to something else.

Just going through the motions again will deliver only one final result, that again Umno is playing games just to sell its old concoction disguised as another spin to an unsuspecting electorate.

But this time there is a determining factor. Like the Kraken, the electorates have awakened and seen for themselves too many plunders, squanders and chicaneries that cause them to doubt any new deal, and thus to withdraw support even before the deal is unfurled.

So how is Shell man to proceed? Rediscover the old universe that has always been around. Use it to flesh out ministry by ministry, agency by agency, department by department, glc by glc, institution by institution, council by council, even politician by politician, party by party, paper by paper, anything that remotely smells of what the Biro had emitted. List all out. Then decide what you are going to do with each of them.

Since there are so many of them but Shell man has national resources at his disposal, say, two months.

Now it is not lost on anyone that the moment the new initiative is so rolled out, people will rise to talk about affirmative policies. And that will kick-start another tiresome debate that will again peter down to an impasse leaving only a lingering taste of bitterness.

So? Go back to that old universe for wisdom. Let good-naturedness be the compass on which direction to take from now on. After fifty years, if things have become worse, it would be undeniably stupid and counter-productive to use the same tool for the same problem. Banging heads on walls only hurt heads and crack walls.

Affirmative policies can only work if individual motivation is aligned. How can anyone expect that if it requires people to overlook what is unfair and unjust? The recipients are cagey because they receive things by denying others. The givers are unhappy because they sacrifice directly and indirectly for things to help their fellowmen who are not helped at all in the end but fall even deeper into the pit while policy-implementers reward themselves all the way into the afterlife.

People will help if they have good natures. Good natures can only grow if they are not asked to compare and contrast. Anything that threatens this threatens their cooperation and support.

Stay focused on developing good nature. It is composed of things already in and around us.

For the uninitiated, they are called midi-chlorians.

You find them in heapful abundance in Jedi Knights.

Jedi Knights jump over walls, not bang into them.

If we want to change the fabric of co-existence in Malaysia, embrace what the world wants and how it operates. Not how some of us want. If all want to avoid irrelevance and final extinction.

The midi-chlorians live forever. They are not extinct.

See, one is making you smile now.

hishamh said...

That last quote is really telling - no matter how appropriate and needed these changes are, it's up to the civil service to make them really work. And on that score, I think we're really looking at a generational change before we make real measurable progress.

de minimis said...

bro walla

I like the fact that mid-chlorians still exist and one is in our midst.

bro hishamh

I hope it won't take another generation for the civil service to align themselves to what the Government is trying to change. If it does, then, the current government will continue to face a torrid time for the near future.

Purple Haze said...


How can we propogate the presence of more midi-chlorians in our midst ?

walla said...

Oh, that's easy, Purple Haze (not controlled substance, one hopes?)

Midi-chlorians are already here. They are inside our hearts, inside our minds, inside our conscience. Whether rich or poor, educated or not, everyone is given a quota of midi-chlorians when born.

We just need to activate them.

Say a monsoon wind blows off the mosque's roof. The temple down the road gets cracking. A lion dance is immediately organized. The hat is passed around. Money is collected from the taikoh's to the shop-keepers. The money is then passed to the mosque administrator with just one word 'Rebuild'.

Say some poor girl in grief takes some paraquat. The kampung folks nearby jump to the last man. They rush her to hospital. Meanwhile they pass the hat around. A government hears of it. It chips in. She recovers. They just drop by with food, clothing, the collection, and a few concerned counselors. There's the ustaz, the monk, the pastor, doesn't matter, they are all saying the same thing anyway.

Say the kid falls off the bridge and is struggling in the water. Every tom dick and harry jumps in. So many that the water spills out, dropping its level, saving the kid. Recovering fast, the kid goes to school the next day. His friends of different skin colors, races you call them, gather around him. He has missed his classes. They pass over the notes and sit down with him in the canteen during break to help him catch up. Years later when he is ceo of some glc, he calls them to dinner and they all have a hearty laugh together. He helps some who have fallen on hard times. They help others who have fallen on hard times. There is no quota.

Because of the magnetic effects of midi-chlorians, goodwill is passed invisibly from one to another. There is no quota. People stop using calculators to divide and parcel. The one who is best goes up but fully aware that he now has severe responsibilities, he does his utmost to help those who have stood aside awaiting his development. He makes haste and help them back. If not them, then their children. And so on.

The midi-chlorians are color-blind. They only see pain which they will do their utmost to reduce.

If you can relate to the above, you already have many midi-chlorians in you.

To have to use a calculator to do good is to do bad against the spirit and motive force of the midi-chlorians. It will only create reactions against actions. In a world assaulted by h1n1, we must not be r2d2.

Kindness, compassion, charity and mutual respect will not be able to come out. In the end, those are the real targets, objectives, KPIs. It is easier to achieve targets if people are motivated to achieve them. Compulsion creates doubts leading to resistance which morphs into anger leading to disunity.

walla i am.