NEM (Part 2) cannot mark beginning of quantum leap for Malaysia when country is drowned by divisive cacophony like Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) calls contradicting Najib’s 1Malaysia concept

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday that with the New Economic Model (NEM) Concluding Part released by the National Economic Action Council (NEAC), Malaysia is all set to make the quantum leap into the future and realize its goal to emerge as a high-income, developed, sustainable and inclusive nation.

If so, yesterday should be one of the major milestones in Najib’s premiership and the event would have been marked with unprecedented fanfare.

But this was not the case, for the simple reason that NEM (Part 2) cannot mark the beginning of a quantum leap for Malaysia to become a developed, high-income, sustainable and inclusive nation especially when the country is drowned by a divisive cacophony like Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) calls which stands in contradiction to Najib’s signature concept of 1Malaysia.

In its chapter on “From Vision to Results”, the NEM Part II stressed that an important prerequisite for the success of the national economic transformation blueprint is for all Malaysian citizens, “irrespective of race, ethnicity, religion or gender…to look past what sets Malaysians apart, focus resolutely on our common interests, and work together with determination towards the success of this transformation and our collective prosperity”. But these are just words without meaning.

Tomorrow, the Barisan Nasional is holding its national convention. Can it set an example of this national consensus which is an essential prerequisite for the success of the national economic transformation blueprint by reaching a consensus and accord on the democratic vision of “Ketuanan Rakyat” (People’s Supremacy) for Malaysia based on the 1957 Merdeka and 1963 Malaysia Constitution principles of constitutional monarchy rather than on “Ketuanan Melayu”, “Ketuanan Cina”, “Ketuanan India”, “Ketuanan Kadazan” or “Ketuanan Iban”?

The very fact that the NEM, whether Part I or Part II, was never presented to Parliament for debate and endorsement, is indicative that Najib has no confidence that it is capable of capturing the imagination of Malaysians by inspiring new hopes that the country can make the quantum leap to become a developed, high-income, sustainable and inclusive nation.

There is little public interest in the NEM Part 2 not only because of the failure of political will and leadership of the Najib administration in the past 20 months to give full endorsement to the initial NEM report when it came under attack by political extremists, but also because the Malaysian public is suffering from a great fatigue of Najib’s reform rhetoric not backed by implementation and deeds.

The NEM2 could only reiterate the importance of the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) initiatives on fighting corruption and support the National Key Results Areas (NKRA) to have zero corruption but was conspicuously silent at the worsening corruption in the country as evident from:

• 2010 Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) which highlighted the failure of the key NKRA in fighting corruption which targeted to increase the CPI score from the new low of 4.5 in 2009 to 4.9 by 2010. In actual fact, Malaysia’s CPI score in 2010 sunk to the lowest in 16 years, registering 4.4. In his 20 months as Prime Minister, Najib presided over the worst single-year plunge in TI CPI ranking and score, i.e. a nine-placing fall from No. 47 in 2008 to No. 56 in 2009, with the score plunging to the lowest ever of 4.4 for 2010.

• Despite the GTP and NKRA talk of fighting “grand corruption” or “political corruption”, not a single political “big fish” had been arrested or prosecuted for corruption in the past 12 months.

The NEM Pt II’s emphasis on the importance of public sector governance and civil service accountability to reinvigorate private investor confidence in the Malaysian economy wears thin when issues continue to multiply unanswered in the public domain raising fundamental questions about the independence, integrity and professionalism of key national institutions.

The latest example pertains to the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Gan Patail, not only with regard to the issues I had raised in the recent Parliament over allegations by the former Kuala Lumpur Crime Investigation Department (CID) chief Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim that Gani had fabricated evidence in the Anwar Ibrahim black-eye investigations in 1998, but also questions raised by member of the Malaysian Anti- Corruption Commission’s (MACC) consultative and advisory panel, Tan Sri Robert Phang referring to several allegations and adverse public speculations about the Attorney-General’s relationship with Shahidan Shafie, the proxy of former Malaysia Airlines Chairperson Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli.

These developments detrimental to public confidence in the independence, integrity and professionalism of key national institutions in the country will bulk large and impact adversely in any blueprint to transform Malaysia into a developed, high-income, sustainable and inclusive nation and merit immediate attention and action.

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 6:41 pm

    What is glaring to me that Najib has the gall to present the plan as it is. I have consulted for a number of government and I can say that any decent administration would have thrown out the paperwork that was presented. Its a piece of crap. You could drive a bus through the many holes in the plan.

    How to do say you are going to improve affirmative action, fight rent-seeking and corruption without spelling out the means to do it? Furthermore, isn’t that what has been promised since Badawi came into office and he repeated when he came to power? His plan failed and now he says he is going to do it but did not say what the plan is? How has THAT ever work?

  2. #2 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 11:21 pm

    The whole idea of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP)/NEM is to address, rectify and correct mediocrity of talent and bureaucratic logjam, corruption and rent-seeking activities by beneficiaries having vested interests created after 50 years of ethno-supremacist policies based on the Ketuanan ideology.

    One cannot reconcile striving for competitiveness and meritocracy underpinning ETP/NEM to make Malaysia high income and yet continue to protect and perpetuate ethno-supremacist policies that have created the problem in the first place!

    The ETP/NEM, no matter how well conceived, cannot be implemented in a political, economic and cultural milieu of Ketuanan opposed to and inconsistent with the spirit of the ETP/NEM programmes. Public policies like ETP/NEM cannot be implemented if there is a disjunct and disconnect with the attitude of implementers ie civil service bureaucrats who are still openly urged to uphold Ketuanan values.

    PM Najib is of course facing this dilemma that if he rejects Ketuanan Melayu in favour of something like Ketuanan Rakyat in his 1 Malaysia platform, he too will be rejected by his own party members and warlords and perhaps even traditional supporters of UMNO.

    As the situation is, his own deputy has taken the stand of race being priority over Malaysian; his party Umno’s legal advisor has suggested that the ISA be invoked to deal with PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail for rejecting Ketuanan Melayu for Ketuan Rakyat (see Malaysiakini’s report of December 4th) and in the Bumiputra Economic Congress he has to be seen accommodate the subsisting NEP/Ketuanan policies, incorporating them in 1 Malaysia & NEM.

    So he tries juggling and integrating the incompatible and the inconsistent but mix both the oil of Ketuanan/affirmative values alongside the water of competitive and meritocratic values and try let them flow together in the same ETP/NEM stream.

    Maybe he hopes over time the water will dissolve the oil when in fact that oil will get on top of the water!

    It is a surreal denial of reality.

    The two prerequisites enabling ETP & NEM are (1) political will to tackle the problem at source (ie the amalgam of values created by ethno-supremacist policies of Ketuanan that have permeated all levels of bureaucracy and society) and (2) public perception that he is competent – and sincere to implement his ETP/NEM together with 1 Malaysia.

    If he either dares not or cannot summon the first requisite political will to openly, as policy, reject the prevailing Ketuanan ideology for a genuine inclusive rakyat policy – in fear of losing position – then he has to fall back on only help rendered by expensive foreign image consultants and advisers to massage th scond prerequisite of public perception of, and confidence in the ETP/NEM.

    That image shaping alone won’t do. Neither foreign investors nor the more educated nor sophisticated electors/voters will believe.

    Perhaps he thinks it’s OK for the majority is likely less sophisticated and will, with mainstream media help, buy in the hype and deliver the votes.

    He has no choice but to bet on this juggling of the opposites, being caught as he is, between a rock and another hard place.

  3. #3 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 5 December 2010 - 11:43 am

    After a pathetic NEM 2 presentation, he folllows it up with cries of the evil PR. The man is just a freaking desperate mediocrity. After avoiding for two years to even be seen with dirty works on his hands. He is publicly approving all out dirty work against PR.

    When things get out of control, the public will hold him responsible and he is done. He is capable of the greatest stupidity..

  4. #4 by boh-liao on Sunday, 5 December 2010 - 12:39 pm

    It is time 4 BN 2 become a single party representing all races in d country, said Gerakan deputy president CKY
    Ha, ha, ha – dis fr a pendatang n si mata sepit 2 racist UmnoB his strange bedfellows n evil master, ha, ha, ha …….
    Nanti, he will b asked 2 do squatting while pulling his ears n 2 write lines 100 times “I shall not question ketuanan UmnoB in BN”

  5. #5 by dagen on Monday, 6 December 2010 - 10:31 am

    NEP and the policy of maintaining 30% for umnoputras can never work for sure. It did not work after several decades. And it will not work now or in future, esp in this increasingly globalised world. Look at the burmese in this country. A number of them are in business – like restaurants and grocery shops. Hence, they too are begining to contribute to the economy of the country. In umno’s perverted “ownership” sense of the economy, the burmese also are begining to “own” a small part of the country’s economy. When mat sallehs and koreans and japanese invest here, they too would “own” a part of the economy by sheer contribution/participation. So in percentage terms, where the whole always adds up nicely to 100, someone’s percentage share of the whole must shrink, idiot! But their participation would enlarge the economic pie and hence in real terms all of us would have more money in our pockets. Emphasising on the 30% thingy is sooooo absolutely pointless and unworkable.

    Well. Let them be. Cintanegara can continue to eat his rambutans. The rest of us will have fruits from all corners of the world.

You must be logged in to post a comment.