Malaysiakini Letter

Public support for 'Shared Prosperity' model vital

Ramon Navaratnam
Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammed yesterday gave a historic and pleasant present to all Malaysians in a special address to the people on the first anniversary of the Pakatan Harapan government`s rule in Malaysia.

After nearly 50 years of BN government's implementation of the New Economic Policy (NEP), the announcement of a new economic model of "Shared Prosperity" provided a radical breakthrough for fundamentally new socio-economic policies for the next 10 years or two socio-economic five-year plans until 2030.

He rightly implied that our country’s future will depend on the degree of success in our accepting and implementing this new economic model. It will hopefully, as he pointed out, enable us all to continuously experience sustainable and equitable growth at every level of society regardless of race, class, and location.

It is based on three objectives as follows:

1. Tackling income and wealth disparity.

2. Creating a progressive economy, and

3. Emerging as a leading economy in Asia

But what about the serious lack of housing, the inadequate healthcare and transport facilities amongst other insufficient basic needs as well as the shocking shortfalls in our UN Sustainable Development Goals? How do we explore the solutions?

The solutions to achieving the objectives of the new model of sharing wealth must inter alia be considered as follows:

a) Raising new wealth taxes,

b) Increasing expenditures to provide more for welfare aid for the poor,

c) Enhancing our training and technology levels to raise productivity.

d) Providing better salaries and wages to our own people.

e) Focusing more on meritocracy and competition to better manage the excessive "brain drain".

f) Treating all Malaysians equitably regardless of race and religion.

g) Protecting our environment and especially the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals

Public support is crucial for preventing us from getting into the mode of a failed state. We have to prepare for acceptance of this new model and pray for its success in the next 10 years and beyond.

We must all take this acceptance as a real challenge to make this model work for the benefit of all Malaysians as this may well be our last reasonable chance to move strongly ahead.

Thus we wish that this critical new economic model will be fully and widely discussed at all levels of our society. Our people must be briefed and consulted throughout the country, especially in the rural areas and small towns, to win their wholehearted support for this new model.

As our prime minister concluded in his historic speech yesterday, "[...] a great plan will not mean anything if it is not implemented correctly or monitored for its outcome".

So let us all, as loyal and patriotic Malaysians, give our full support to the achievement of this new economic model's aspirations for shared wealth - for all Malaysians.

The writer is chairperson, Asli Center for Public Policy Studies.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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