Yoursay: Revive the economy and Malays will back Harapan


Modified 23 Dec 2018, 10:35 pm

YOURSAY | ‘Keep to your election promises and more will support you at the next GE.’

'Becoming more Malay won't remedy Harapan's falling approval'

David Dass: There is much food for thought here. PKR leader Rafizi Ramli sounded the clarion call for the Battle of GE14. His Invoke invited many to contribute.

And even though the results were not exactly what he predicted, he was a force to be reckoned with. His debate with then-Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin gave us some view of his clarity of thought, lucidity of speech and intelligence.

But after the elections until now, he has been associated with problems. Some say Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad does not like him. Some say his volatility is a problem. Some say his is the alternate voice of PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, saying the things that Anwar will not.

His fight with PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali was ugly. It was generally perceived to be a proxy war between Anwar and maybe Mahathir (although I personally do not think so). Now this article and analysis by Rafizi.

I think that is generally accepted now that thinking and feeling in racial terms will carry on for some time. DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang says that it will take between 10 to 20 years for that to change. I am personally more optimistic.

Rafizi says that economic issues are what matters. I agree with him. Cost of living and low wages are central. Tied to this is the poor quality of our graduates and the low productivity of our workers.

Are our schools and universities preparing our young for jobs that are there? Are employers consulted on what they want and need? Can our graduates think critically and creatively?

Can they express themselves effectively? Are they English language-proficient? Do our vocational institutions produce graduates with the skills required by industry?

Are the curricula in step with the new and evolving technology? We should bring in experts from Japan and Germany to assist us.

The civil service cannot forever soak up unemployable graduates to jobs that do not exist. What steps are we taking to improve the recruitment and training of teachers and to improve their ability to teach in English? What steps are we taking to recruit non-Malay teachers?

There are steps we can take that do not cost very much money. We should take them now.

The Wakandan: Exactly, Rafizi. Perhaps it is easy for you to say because you are not a government lawmaker or in the cabinet, but by thunder, you are awfully right on this.

Harapan can never be more Malay than Umno or more Islam than PAS. Those are their fortes and therefore do not give them a cause to champion those.

Harapan’s own are economic and anti-corruption. That’s why Harapan must not lose focus on their core business. Flirting with race and religion will only play into the hands of Umno and PAS, and putting ourselves into a corner that is difficult to get out of.

Making a big deal on race-related issues will only cause Harapan’s problem, which should focus on efforts to repair the economy, cleanse the government machinery from corruption, and institute reforms.

Unfortunately, instead of doing those, the prime minister is more interested in politicking and that can only be harmful to Harapan as Rafizi rightly said.

Frank: There is not a single word or sentence in this Rafizi’s piece to disagree with.

But the question to raise: why on earth that what is supposedly a group of smart people helming Malaysia today need to be told all this? It is just so unbelievable.

But in Malaysia, truth is stranger than fiction. Hence, it can only mean one and only one thing and which I have been bandying around for months now: the young need to replace the old for the old can't just change their ways overnight.

But Harapan voters and Malaysians as a whole do not deserve this. Hence my final word to those in power: change or else you shall be changed.

Oriole: Harapan, and especially Bersatu, is falling back on the Umno/PAS formula, instead of moving with the times and capitalising on the needs of the times.

Unfortunately, this involves education to move the nation past entrenched ethnoreligious mindsets. And unfortunately, the minister in charge of education is not up to that task or lacks the courage and initiative necessary.

In fact, the latest reports indicate that he is also incapable of thinking outside the ethnoreligious box. Indeed, when will we get Malaysian leaders, instead of Malay/ Indian/ Chinese/ Other leaders?

Quigonbond: This article by Rafizi makes absolute sense on all scores except on the economy. It somehow seems like Rafizi is pointing fingers at someone for not strengthening the economy. Maybe there is some truth he wants the finance minister job?

I'd like to ask him if the country has RM1 trillion actual or dangerous contingent liability, do we have money to pay out everyone so that they feel Harapan is already doing better?

Until the debts par down, the feel-good multiplier effect from lesser corruption money going to waste, breaking expensive monopolies, are only going to be felt over time.

We just have to dig in the meantime, and let Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng do his job. It'll take a few years, but he got it done in Penang, didn't he?

P Pillai: I’m not in the least bit surprised at the drop in ratings for Harapan. Harapan supporters are being fed a series of excuses and missteps.

Mahathir has used the excuse of not having a two-thirds majority to make any changes despite clear signals from the opposition that they will support some of the bills. Many benefits to the lower income group have also been cut off without warning, all of which are not winning any friends.

The latest is the plan to welcome Umno defectors with the excuse of increasing Malay participation – same old racist story propagated by Umno-BN.

When is Harapan going to realise that it was not Malay, Chinese or Indian support that got them to power – it was Malaysians. Keep to your election promises and more will support you at the next general election.

Malaysian are fully aware of the personal agendas promoted by Dr M and PKR president Anwar Ibrahim – please do not make the same mistake Umno-BN made and assume we are all stupid.

Shovelnose: There has been too much emphasis on what the politicians think, where their alliance lies, which parties they are eyeing and when who or what is doing what, and why. Nothing concrete is laid on the ground for the nation's way forward.

The most important ministry, the Education Ministry, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.

When are we going to get the complete overhaul we need, as there is no time to lose in educating the young to accept multiculturalism and discard the polarising agenda set by the previous regime to divide and rule? This is the root of all evil.

Secondly, in the worldwide economic downturn, do look into the sustainability of all sectors and productivity.

You will have a handful come GE15 if the masses cannot meet the basic needs and struggle to meet bill payments and living expenses. Get going to deliver, and ditch the polemics.

Anonymous_49d8b96c: Harapan should look into the following as a collective body to deliver holistically.

Quick-win programmes for the next six-12 months; mid-term programmes for the next 12-36 months; long-term vision for next 10 years.

The above must cover these key perspectives, i.e., political, social, economy, technology, environment and regulatory. Identify key issues facing the rakyat, articulate clearly the desired outcome and set timelines to achieve it.

Focus on the vital few. All ministries should not act in silos. Stop the heavy political play and drama. Get to work, build the nation!

Quo Vadis: “Harapan must go back to our election pledges. We need to demonstrate seriousness in making life better for the ordinary Malaysians, not to be dragged by endless cloak-and-dagger political manoeuvres of the old Malaysia,” writes Rafizi.

This message must be sent relentlessly and repeatedly to every Harapan MP and assemblyperson, and each one called to account in townhall meet-the-people sessions.

We need to turn the pressure on them without fear or favour, pursue them, petition them to deliver on the promises made when they campaigned for our votes.

Yoursay: Dr M should focus on nation-building, not party-building

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