by Jennifer Gomez
The Malaysian Insider
28 October 2015
Malaysia must identify what has made it fall behind and determine whether such factors were reality or people’s perceptions, outspoken former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz said today.
She said the country must take stock of what areas needed to be transformed, adding that transformation could not take place in conferences, seminars or laboratories.
“You must have a developed country that is matched by a society that can think forward, that is not lagging behind in terms of expectations of a developed country,” she told reporters after speaking at a conference by the Malaysian Institute of Accountants in Kuala Lumpur.
The former minister of international trade and industry added that mindsets needed to be transformed first, and that Malaysia had to move away from politicising important issues.
“Mindset moves everything.
“We are politicising education to the disadvantage of our future generation, we are politicising issues based on the racial divide.
“We are politicising issues based on the gallery we speak to which is very divisive, we are politicising issues, which are far removed from the good of the people and the country.”
Rafidah has of late been vocal on social media about current issues affecting Malaysia, including the country’s political turmoil and lack of confidence towards the government.
She has urged national leaders to provide clear answers to alleged wrongdoing involving the government, and only yesterday said Malaysia, which once enjoyed rapid economic growth, needed to rebrand itself.
Rafidah today said the school system must also be revamped so that students were taught correct values such as integrity and honesty.
Asked about Budget 2016 meeting the targets of becoming a high-income nation, Rafidah said there should not be too much excitement about it, given that it was just financial planning for one year.
She said instead, there should be more concern about longer term strategies to move towards 2020.
“The budget is just an annual allocation of funds, collection of revenue and programmes and projects, residual from previous years.
“I am not concerned so much on the quantitative aspect, money spent and projects done. I’m more interested in the mindsets of the people.
“Are the mindsets oriented towards first world mindsets?
“Are we readying the young to be the workforce of the first world?
“Are we readying the young to be able to interact globally?” she asked, adding that there was only five years left to achieve this. – October 27, 2015.