About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Vision 2020: The "real" Way Forward

The following is a complete text of the Working Paper - The Way Forward presented by Dato' Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the Malaysian Business Council

The purpose of this paper is to present before you some thoughts on the future course of our nation and how we should go about to attain our objective of developing Malaysia into an industrialised country. Also outlined are some measures that should be in place in the shorter term so that the foundations can be laid for the long journey towards that ultimate objective.

- Hopefully the Malaysian who is born today and in the years to come will be the last generation of our citizens who will be living in a country that is called 'developing'. The ultimate objective that we should aim for is a Malaysia that is a fully developed country by the year 2020.

- What, you might rightly ask, is 'a fully developed country'? Do we want to be like any particular country of the present 19 countries that are generally regarded as 'developed countries'? Do we want to be like the United Kingdom, like Canada, like Holland, like Sweden, like Finland, like Japan? To be sure, each of the 19, out of a world community of more than 160 states, has its strengths. But each also has its fair share of weaknesses. Without being a duplicate of any of them we can still be developed. We should be a developed country in our own mould.

- Malaysia should not be developed only in the economic sense. It must be a nation that is fully developed along all the dimensions: economically, politically, socially, spiritually, psychologically and culturally. We must be fully developed in terms of national unity and social cohesion, in terms of our economy, in terms of social justice, political stability, system of government, quality of life, social and spiritual values, national pride and confidence.

We are about 10.5 years away to reach 2020 to achieve this vision.

What are the chance of success?

To put it bluntly, we are not going to succeed.

Mahathir said we must be a nation that is fully developed along all the dimensions: economically, politically, socially, spiritually, psychologically and culturally.

Where are we economically? Yes we have many big buildings in Kuala Lumpur, even roads are nice, public transport is available although with different service providers and inconsistent. But outside of KL, outside of Klang Valley things look bleak. How is our share market? Yes, Najib introduced some "sweeping" changes, so where is this going to take us? Suddenly others will be more confident to invest here?

How about politically? When BN is hopeless and PR is desperate and futureless. Who are BN leaders of now and the future, who will lead us to this status of developed in 10.5 years? What about PR's Anwar and gang? Who will lead the opposition after Anwar? Hadi Awang? Lim Guan Eng? Can you see anyone of BN or PR leaders leading us into the vision outlined above? How far did Mahathir get us?

Socially? Are we Malaysians. Most of us are still Indians, Chinese, Malays and Indigenous. Among that, we divide ourselves further. We are Gujerati, Punjabi, Tamil, Malayali, Ceylonese, Fuchow, Hokkien, Hakka, Cantonese, Iban, Kelabit, Kayans, Temuans etc etc etc. Where as a Malaysian, I still require a work permit in Malaysian states like Sabah and Sarawak. Where most of us are still closet racist, closet because we are all trying to be socially correct but deep inside, we still have some racism in us. The British succeeded very well to divide and rule and we have still not got out of it.

Spirituality? We are a nation of 24 million with about 15 million Muslims is ruled by 9 royal spiritual rulers who control the religion and allow for children to be converted without consent of both parents. When temples which have been around since before Merdeka are torn down in name of development. Where a commonly used word for God is not allowed to be used freely. Where different religions are given different socio-economic status.

Psychologically? The headlines scream,"A govt-run shelter for the disabled has, instead, become their jail." About 30 men, naked, some chained up, caged and covered in their faeces and urine. Where we cannot take care of our disabled. Where even fully functional physically disabled people have difficulty moving around, where a lot of people use the term "cacat" or "retarded", we are far off from being psychologically developed. Our mindsets have not been molded.

Culturally? What Malaysian culture do we have. We have a vast different culture based on different races. But many Peninsula Malaysians are vastly unaware of East Malaysian customs and culture and vice versa, and we basically do not have a purely Malaysian culture. We have food, but not yet culture.

Not to be to sceptical, but it seems like we are going to fail in the vision above. We are going to fail because there have been no concrete steps laid out to achieve this vision. Our education system seems to have become worse etc etc etc.

So what can we do? Well, we can change ourselves. That is within our power. While Malaysia may not become a developed nation, you and I can become developed people, even before 2020.

We as individuals can be fully developed along all the dimensions: economically, politically, socially, spiritually, psychologically and culturally.

But it's up to you. If you want to wait for the government or leaders to get us there, don't hold your breath.

Take care and be well.


Ser said...

Our former PM has had a good vision but he lacked in execution and implementation of the said vision!

To mildly put, our economy is not getting any good (pretty stagnated for quite awhile), infrastructure is quite unimpressive (although we have LRTs, taxis, bus etc. - Taxis overcharge and does not go by meter plus lots of cheating.

LRTs transits' and coverage does not benefit everyone in KL/Selangor.

Btw. LRT is only available in KL & Selangor and the rest of the country has pathetic public transportation system etc. etc. The bus never comes on time and sometimes never even turn up! etc. etc. etc. blah blah blah...)

So unless one has a car or a motorcycle, errands can never get done!(I would not recommend motorcycle for everyone - pretty dangerous to safely get around in KL).

The society...Malaysian society is generally divided. Racism is ever so prevalent especially in Peninsular Malaysia. Some of my Malay acquantances will not even go to a Chinese house for a drink (even if it is bottled) let alone have a meal because apparently it is not 'HALAL'. I have asked them on several occasions of why not being halal and the answer is almost always the same which is Chinese people consume pork which is considred 'haram' and even if utensils (cups, pot etc.) are washed, it is still considered 'haram'....blah blah blah. The funny thing is that, these acquantances will gladly go and have a ball in a house belonging to a white man/woman (eat, drink etc...). I can go on on this matter but will stop here!

Recently, my once a week housekeeper in Borneo quit (after working for us for about 1.5 year). According to her, she quit because our house is full of dog hair and in Islam it is 'haram' to touch or clean dogs hair (NOTE: We have provided her with disposable gloves, rubber gloves, slippers, disposable masks etc. On top of that, we send our dog to the kennel whenever she comes over to do the cleanning! For the past 1.5 years she worked and had no complaints until the last 2 months or so. Her complaints has always been about dog hair/fur.) We took her resignation in a liberal manner. I always believe if one is not interested in his/her job and keeps complaining whether due to the weather, traffic, people or even religion, the best thing to do is to quit the job or quit complaining.

I love my country but am sad the way our country has turned out of late (be it economically, politically or even socially).

Nevertheless, I am grateful for a handful few of you out there who are still my friends regardless of being Malay, Chinese, Indian, Eurasian, white etc.

I have hope for this country but hope alone is not going to do much on all the damages done!

Ser said...

Oh and I forgot about the justice system here in Malaysia.

If you are an Indian (especially if your skin in dark), be scared... The police love to beat up suspected Indians in lock-up.

What justice? Before one even get to court, you get killed in lock-up!

Anonymous said...

Malaysia birth was not about building a nation of a common people, with shared vision and destiny, but by the expediency of british colonialist.

Hence, the leaders of the day dictated terms and conditions to ensure their own survival rather than making a Nation of Malaysia where citizens are all equal.

Fast forward.. Mahatir actually made fundamental changes in nation building.. a prime example is the synchronisation of time between Semenanjung, Sabah & Sarawak.

But somehow it ends there..

Notice that there is no Malaysia Day to celebrate of us coming together but Merdeka which actually glorfies colonialism,

Vision 2020 is just about making Malaysia a "developed Nation"...

But is Malaysia really a nation ?
It is just an amalgamation of feudal states.

People can fully developed themselves in any Regime

But for Malaysia..
in the foreseable future
it is doomed...
unless the terms and conditions of Nation building is clear.