Archive for August 30th, 2016

A New Deal for all Malaysians

Ten years ago, no one in Malaysia would have entertained the thought that it was possible to bring about political changes to the extent there could be change of government in Putrajaya.

But the “political tsunami” in the 2008 General Elections led to the 13th General Elections three years ago on May 5, 2013 when Malaysians voters rooted for change of Federal Government, but it was so near and yet so far – with Datuk Seri Najib Razak scraping through in Putrajaya as the country’s first minority Prime Minister winning 47 per cent of the popular vote and for the first time, saved by the voters of Sabah and Sarawak who decided who will be the country’s Prime Minister and the ruling coalition.

If 60 per cent of the 57 Parliamentary seats in Sabah and Sarawak had voted for change in the 2013 General Elections, Malaysia would have a new political coalition and a new Prime Minister in Putrajaya three years ago.

Malaysia has been described as a prime example of a country which had gone against the international trend in the past decades of decentralization, devolution or delegation of power and responsibility from the national centre to the provincial, state and local governments, not only on public transport, solid waste management and local government, but also in areas like education and policing.

But in Malaysia, the reverse had been the case, consistently centralizing revenue sources and responsibilities, with the country considered as one of the most heavily centralized federations in fiscal terms in the world. Read the rest of this entry »