Merits in Having Elected PM With Revamp – Dr. Jeffrey
Saturday, June 13, 2015
Kota Kinabalu: There is no doubt that a new political order and mindset is need to propel and advance Malaysia. Malaysia needs a total revamp to move forward and get out of the current mess.
Any true patriotic apolitical Malaysian will be able to see and judge that the present system of government and administration has failed leaving Malaysia trailing far behind other nations in the region” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief, commenting on the opinion by Tengku Razaleigh that a change towards non-racial and non-religion based political parties and a directly elected Prime Minister may be the way forward for the future of Malaysia.
The suggestion by Ku Li is 1 of the good possible ideas but just changing PM without complete overhaul of the system including attitude and mindset of leaders and ordinary Malaysians is insufficient.
The thinking of ordinary Malaysians are now far ahead and more progressive than political leaders and Cabinet Ministers. Even ordinary Malays are seeing the problems caused by Umno and the federal government.
“The current system of Umno-led political administration of institutionalized racism and religion leading to extremism and fanaticism, particularly in the last 30 years, has failed Malaysia and the Malays in particular and the system should be totally revamped. There are certainly merits in Ku Li’s suggestion which can help advance the nation” added Dr. Jeffrey.
In a total revamp, it can involve the PM being elected by people and this will lead to the PM being accountable to the people and not a political party. Currently, we can all see that many decisions are made after an Umno Supreme Council meeting and this is wrong as the decision is not made for all Malaysians but with Umno members in mind and only for Umno members.
“Where is the consideration and justice for other Malaysians, particularly for Sabahans and Sarawakians? asked Dr. Jeffrey.
The total revamp should also include the re-organization and restructuring of the federal government. The federal government is now a big mess and it is neither the 1957 Malayan federation nor the 1963 Federation of Malaysia as proposed to induce Sabah and Sarawak to merge and form Malaysia.
A true federation or confederation should be in place similar to that in Australia, India or USA. The States or territories should be allowed to function and develop independently and not be controlled by the federal government. The 1-Country 2-System could be adopted which takes into consideration the individualities of the States but with a sense of belonging to 1 nation, the true Federation of Malaysia, not like a unitary police state now. It could also be moulded like the European Union with each State on their own but coming together as one where required.
The States must be allowed to manage and control their own resources. It is unlawful, unconscionable and immoral for Petronas to seize the oil and gas resources of Sabah, Sarawak, Terengganu and Kelantan and giving back on 5% of the revenues, even that without any proper accounting or audit by the States.
In devolving power to the States, it actually strengthen the States which will develop and progress faster than under federal control who are often unaware of the local circumstances. What is applicable in Malaya may not be so for Sabah or Sarawak and what is good for Kelantan or Perlis may not be acceptable in Sabah, Sarawak or Johor?
As highlighted by Ku Li, race and religion based politics should be banned. Sabah and Sarawak did not agree to form Malaysia that will be turned into an Islamic state as is being covertly done by the present government.
The civil service should be above politics and be based on merits with barriers and obstacles removed. The best should be allowed to do their best for the country.
Corruption must go and the people especially politicians and civil servants must focus on their jobs and not on some shady or under-the-counter side deals or projects. Corruption is so rife and bad that a leading US newspaper had reported that Malaysia were world champions in corruption. What a disgrace!
The governments, federal and States, must focus on the people, their welfare and well-being. Incomes of the ordinary Malaysians must be raised with corresponding increase in productivity. We must re-look our foreign workers policy as their lower wages are stifling wage growth for Malaysians. In Malaysia, staff and employees are getting ready to go home before the working hour is up. In Vietnam, the employees are hardworking and still at work in the office long after office hours. If we continue as we are, Vietnam will be overtaking us in no time.
The federal and State governments in putting constraints everywhere is not encouraging progress. Pulling people down to lower levels or putting obstacles in front of people to stop their advancement will only regress Malaysia. It is not progress and even if there is some progress, it is not progress as what it should be.
If we don’t change, Malaysia which is already behind, will fall further behind other nations in the region. Countries that were behind us in the past are already way ahead of us.
Any revamp must include a new Federal Constitution that was promised when Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore agreed to form Malaysia in 1963.
A perusal of the relevant documents will show that the federal government should only handle foreign affairs, defence and monetary policies. The other powers should be left with the individual States and the federal government should be scaled down like in USA, Australia and India, which are bigger countries with bigger populations.
The current mess that Malaysia is in will blow up sooner or later before the situation gets better. The people better be prepared for the worse.
Malaysia has progressed no doubt since its formation in 1963 but its progress must be measured and viewed in the right perspective. All factors taken into account, and a comparison with countries on similar levels, Malaysia’s progress is not what it should have been.
In the 1970s, countries like South Korea and Taiwan were behind Malaysia in many aspects. But today, they have left us far behind in all aspects not only in gross national income, development, finance and human capital but even in football and sports.
In 1980, South Korea’s GDP per capita was USD1,778.48, lower than Malaysia’s USD1,802.64. In 2013, South Korea’s GDP per capita overshot Malaysia by USD25,976.95 to USD10,538.06.
Tiny Singapore who left Malaysia in 1965 and Brunei who opted out of Malaysia at the last minute have advanced and progressed much more than Malaysia. Singapore has the world’s 3rd highest per capita income of USD56,694 and Brunei the 5th highest at USD48,333.
Their respective currencies shows the true strength of the financial standing of the people. Not too long ago, the Malaysian Ringgit was at par to the Singapore and Brunei Dollar. Today, the Ringgit has depreciated 65% and RM1.00 now gets less than 35 Singapore/Brunei cents. As it is the ringgit is at all-time lows after the RM3.80 peg and already at RM3.76 to USD1.
The federal government should be ashamed of its boasts of progress and development and Vision 2020 of achieving developed status. From Sabahans’ viewpoint, it is pure humiliation as it has 40% of all poor Malaysians despite its immense wealth in oil and natural resources.
Sabah fared even worse in basic amenities and development where rural village roads are unsealed and untarred and most rural villages do not get clean treated water and rely on gravity-fed untreated water instead for their daily needs. Schools are no better and there are still schools without classroom walls, libraries or proper facilities.
The failures of government in uplifting the people can be seen by the 7 million BR1M recipients who earn less than RM3,000 to be eligible.
The Malaysian leaders, if they consider themselves as looking out for all Malaysians and not just Malays or any single race, should be preparing Malaysia for a complete overhaul. The system is not working and people are suffering. The government should stop its propaganda that all is well when it is not. It should also stop speaking with a forked tongue and any development and progress should be stated in the right perspective not as political propaganda.
In the current system, the political system need to “steal” from the national Treasury to fund its political activities and to enrich themselves without any proper check and balance. In many countries, such actions would have resulted in their top leaders being put on trial and some hanged or shot by firing squad.
There is no real separation of powers as it exists in name eg. Parliament is controlled by the Executive and the Judiciary leaves much to be desired. The police is controlled by politicians resulting in selective harassment and prosecution of opposition and civil society opposed to bad governance and corruption.
In the Cabinet and other government administration, there appears to be no proper system of collective responsibility and it has led to lack of transparency and accountability even within their system.
There is every justification to change the current system. It is saddening to see the country go down the drain and other countries overtaking Malaysia.
The present Westminister system is made a mockery with the way elections are unfairly conducted and the unwritten convention that the person chosen by 191 Umno divisions and about 3 million Umno members should be the Prime Minister.
Worse to come, the PM and his Ministers, once appointed, seem to have forgotten that they are PM and Ministers for all Malaysians. Instead, they go about with their gung-ho ways acting as Ministers for Umno and BN with Umno’s brand of race and religion politics instead of looking out for the interests and welfare of all Malaysians.
In the current set-up, changing the PM with another candidate from Umno and even changing the entire Cabinet will not change things and the Malaysian position will not improve. It only entrenches Umno and the elites and their cronies.
This PM-elect convention should not be allowed to continue. Malaysia with all its wealth and resources deserve to be led by the best Malaysian and supported by capable Ministers. Only then will real progress and development reach all Malaysians.
The lack of quality and integrity of Ministers have been glaring the last 5 years with many making nonsensical political statements. If the Prime Minister is directly elected by the people, he will have a free hand to select better candidates as Ministers and need not rely on deadwood politicians from BN parties.
How to go about revamping system?
A National Reconciliation Committee comprising all stakeholders ought to be formed to get ball rolling.
A National Review Constitution Committee ought to be formed to review and re-draft a new Federal Constitution. Eminent persons should be appointed with representation from all Territories and States. Sabah and Sarawak should be reserved 35% of the parliamentary seats.
The federal government wish Malaysia to continue and to progress further, the leaders need to initiate the revamp before the current mess becomes worse and more difficult to resolve. If not, the authorities cannot blame citizen groups like Amanah, Bersih, NegaraKu, Eminent25, G47, Hindraf, SSKM, Sarawak for Sarawakians, Pray4Sabah and others, for trying to do something independently to make Malaysia a better and more progressive, democratic and developed country.
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