Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: Harapan can lose the battle, but not the war

Yoursay  |  Published:

YOURSAY | ‘Manage protests that will come with perceived unpopular changes. Change is never comfortable.’

After the change: Business as usual?

Mo Saladin: University Malaya (UM) economic professor Terence Gomez is right as usual. The government will continue to be a resource-draining, licensing and loan-capturing patronage.

We have witnessed phenomenal bailouts of crony companies, unpaid bank loans to an unprecedented scale of kleptocracy that has left the GLCs (government-linked companies) to be a softer version of oligarchy and a poster boy for capitalism without an exit.

The question is for how long will a small bunch of elites continue to control the Malaysian business. Rather than innovate, they seem mired in a ‘who and how well you know whom’ culture, how much landbanks you could grab, how many easy loans and bond offerings you could conjure.

Thereafter when it is all captured, it becomes how much you could milk it for.

Well, for far too long, the whispered reason emanating from the corridors of the Prime Minister’s Office was that it is our business culture and bumiputera policy that rubber stamps it, garnished with five alphabets spelling ‘Sulit’ from the OSA (Official Secrets Act) protectorate. So why bother about good governance?

A year on, it is already high time to effect the much-needed reforms on our administrative and bureaucratic platforms, which is fundamentally unsuited for any 21st century economy.

Do so before the mixed bunch of kleptocrats take over and run the country to the ground again.

Prudent: Therein, as articulated in Gomez's superb article, lies the political causes of the current lack of confidence in the economy.

The other causes are Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng's policies which privileged the rich and well-off and confiscate from the poor. Also, his inane Real Property Gains Tax (RGPT) which targeted both the Chinese and the elderly.

The business community is expecting no real change especially with Azmin Ali, the minister in charge of economic affairs. He is amongst the most clueless of Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s cabinet.

With the infighting continuing in Pakatan Harapan and the worsening race, religion and royalty provocation from Umno, the business community is expecting political and economic storms peaking latest in 2020.

Something must be done to prevent this.

Falcon: The truth is, in an ideal teaching world, especially 'educational and public policy silos' with lecturers and their many ideas and ideals, all things are imagined and real possible.

But ground zero in Peninsular Malaysia, the stark reality is over 60 percent of the population or more, who want not change that deprives them of their freebies and easy passage from cradle to death. And these interpreted as a right, not privilege.

So good men and women like Gomez and others can write or present papers till the 'lembus' (cows) come home, nothing will or can change.

Day by day, we inch towards a failed state, thanks to the threats and noises by both state actors and dangerous foreigners, aided and abated by rogue locals in our midst.

Mabox: Most of the analysts and opinion shapers are behaving like ostriches. The real reason change has not come is due to the fear by Harapan that they will lose support as evidence from the losses in recent by-elections.

Umno has managed to stoke the race-religion issue and Harapan did not have a good strategy to counter this. Unfortunately, the voters just lapped up this Umno narrative.

If Harapan really wants to change the existing dynamics, they should do it without fear of losing the next by-election.

Lose a battle or two but not the war. Manage protests that will come with perceived unpopular changes. Change is never comfortable.

Foremost, crime and corruption must be punished at all levels. Institutionalise the eradication of this filthy practice without fear or favour.

Secondly, get rid of the Sedition Act, Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma), what have you, etc, laws which are draconian.

Thirdly, implement a proper financial reign over all ministries. There is a lot of financial haemorrhages there. Easily 25 percent.

Fourthly, make business a level-playing field. Prevent GLCs or the royalty from competing with the rakyat.

Basically, health, education and security should be the bedrock of government spending.

These are some of the changes which Harapan has to implement now. Maybe these are not popular but if we talk about change, we should show the changes.

So what if Harapan loses the next GE. At least, no one can blame them for not trying. But if they lose without trying, that is a real shame.

ChuenTick: Thank you, Gomez, for pointing out these shadow play among the new political elites.

The DAP leaders in the Harapan government can continue to pretend all's well but many rakyat can see they are following the path of the MCA of old.

Kim Quek: As long as Mahathir continues to helm the country, Umno’s brand of racist policy will continue to overwhelm our politics and conscribe our economy.

There will be no economic upsurge from its current malaise, despite the flowery rhetoric of Mahathir’s newly hyped “shared prosperity”.

It is hence imperative that Reformasi founder and democracy icon Anwar Ibrahim takes over the pilotship as soon as possible to steer the country towards our cherished New Malaysia, free from the bondage of racism and religious bigotry.

There is no reason why Mahathir should continue to act wishy-washy on the handover date, if he really means what he says on passing the baton to Anwar, and if he really places the interest of the country above self-interests.

Clear Thinking: When ‘justice’ is done swiftly, there are doubts as to whether justice was done. In the democratic way, it is the long arm of the law that finally deals with criminals whoever they are.


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