The present state of the government and politics in Malaysia is nothing to be admired (to put it mildly). The country urgently requires a RESET, failing which, it will further spiral downwards, to the detriment of the country especially the vulnerable segment of society. A radical rethink is required, as doing things the same way and expecting different and better results is NOT going to happen – especially when it comes to politics and the choice of leaders entrusted to drive the economy and improving the well-being and livelihood of citizens. If no radical change is put forward, the number of principled voters will continue to decline, to the advantage of the unprincipled candidates. The enthusiasm and “feel good” factor subsequent to the results of the 2018 General Election, turned to disappointment and hatred, following the events of 2020. This will for certain further reduce the number of principled voters coming forward for the next election – unless and until something better is put forward, giving hope to people in general. The “hope” is not just for the present registered voters, but the over 10m unregistered voters and new voters who will be eligible to vote in the next election.
Radical Rethink and Approach
We MUST give people a new option, an option that has never been offered before. An option that is not based on race or religion, or on present party lines, or having the same faces who have been in politics from the time people started voting in Malaysia but an option where people get to see proven and respected corporate personalities, turnaround specialists, esteemed individuals from NGO’s, highly regarded leaders of think tanks, respected politicians etc, coming together to shape the new Malaysia. This Group should clearly establish and highlight the Vision and Mission for Malaysia and its citizens, moving forward. They should define the Objective and Action Plans for the next 5-years, and present this to citizens. This Group with its proven leadership abilities, should give Malaysians the HOPE that everyone is so desperately looking for.
Proposal Step – 1
To firstly identify a “LEADER” who will be the Prime Minister (PM) of Malaysia. He (or She) should be a highly respected individual, who commands the respect of all Malaysians irrespective of race or religion. He (or She) should be someone that Malaysians will be proud, to be their PM and leader.
[As per the country’s constitution, He (or She) must stand for election and become a Member of Parliament (MP)]
Once the “LEADER” has been identified, he/she should then present the earlier mentioned Group, as his/her potential Ministers entrusted to lead the various Ministries. Some of the personalities that could be considered for the Group include;
✓ Tan Sri Wahid Omar (ex-Maybank and PNB)
✓ Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Syed Zainal Abidin (ex-Petronas, Proton and Perodua) ✓ Dato Sri Nazir Razak (ex-CIMB)
✓ Zakri Bin Mohd Khir (Allianz)
✓ Tan Sri Azman Yahya (ex-Symphony)
The above personalities (including others to be appointed to the Group), will be appointed as Senators and subsequently to the various Ministerial positions, as opposed to being voted in as MP’s. The individuals in the Group will as such NOT be voted representatives. The LEADER together with the Group members, will then be presented as the NEW core team to lead the country, transforming Malaysia to becoming a progressive nation and a role-model in the Region, ensuring all citizen have equal access to the wealth of the nation – giving birth to the true “Bangsa Malaysia”
Step – 2
The LEADER together with his/her Group, will then form the foundation to attract principled candidates to the enlarged grouping (party). Prospective candidates can be from existing parties and/or someone who has never been in politics. Notwithstanding the same, every candidate must go through a rigorous interview process with members of the Group, and vetted independently, prior to his/her appointment as a candidate. Candidates will be required to take an Oath, sign a Statutory Declaration and fulfil other conditions before their appointment. The Group must ensure that they have credible candidates to represent every constituency in Malaysia, being mindful of Malaysia’s diverse race, religion and ethnicity.
Step – 3
Appointed candidates must then be given the TOOLS to reach out and engage with their constituents. These tools include access to funding, a platform to engage and be connected with constituents (to undertake lively debates on pertinent matters affecting constituents, and also have Group members occasionally participating with candidates on online engagements with constituents), training and education.
Step – 4
The LEADER together with the GROUP and appointed Candidates, must then be provided with the media platform, to reach out to every qualified voter (registered and unregistered voter) across the country, to highlight and market their Vision and Mission for the country and present the new Malaysia, a country free of corruption. Through these efforts, every qualified voter must feel ENERGISED and MOTIVATED to vote, but not just vote but be inspired to reach out to every unregistered and registered qualified voter, to encourage and ensure that they register and vote. Through these collective efforts, Malaysia could see a record turnout for the next General Election – as people will genuinely look forward towards transforming Malaysia
Strategic Initiatives by the Group
The LEADER together with his/her core Group, will among others, be tasked to relook at the operations of the Government in a totally new perspective. Having no legacy issues which continue to impede existing parties and politicians, hence not being able to initiate bold transformations, the Group is able to review all existing Ministries and Agencies, with a view to streamline the various Government Institutions to be more lean, efficient and effective. Subject to the Group’s evaluation, this could include reducing the number of Ministries, Agencies and consequently reducing the number of civil servants, which continues to be a topic of discussion among the public in general, but which is consistently swept aside and not addressed, largely due to the potential repercussion to the Government of the day. This also applies to other aspects of the Governments operations.
The candidates appointed by the LEADER to the various Ministerial position, will be for a 5-year period ie until the next General Election. Every candidate will have their own and collective KPI’s to deliver every year and over the 5-year term. One of the KPI’s will include identifying, training and grooming candidates to be their successors, as well as for other senior positions in Government – including but not limited to sending candidates for training and education at established institutions abroad.
On delivering the KPI’s over the 5-year period, candidates in the Group must be attractively remunerated for their contribution over the 5-year term, which could include an incentive of up to RMXX million for each candidate. This is in recognition of the candidates offering themselves for a 5- year period to serve the nation and subsequently forego their otherwise lucrative employment and business opportunities.
With the Country transformed during the 5-year period, ensuring its free of power abuse and corruption, with appropriate check and balances, policies and procedures in place and positioning the country as a darling for investors, candidates in the Group will be able to hand over their responsibilities to the future leaders, selected and groomed by themselves during the 5-year period, to steer the country forward.
Existing Political Party & Politicians
The proposed RESET, will inadvertently require existing political parties and politicians to regroup and revisit their party goals and objectives. The 5-years leading to the next General Election will provide them the opportunity to undertake a SWOT analysis among others and subsequently strategize and plan accordingly. This could include senior politicians handing over the party reins to the younger generation, the future leaders of the country. Some political parties will require comprehensive transformation to stay relevant, which may only be possible if there is a significant change in party leadership. The RESET will provide existing political parties (and even new parties) to emerge even stronger with clear vision for the party and the country, with young and dynamic leaders, steering the party towards the next General Election.
The country, economy and political situation is currently at a state where it cannot be addressed by simple STOP-GAP measures but requires a comprehensive OVERHAUL. The stigma on current politicians and political parties, will distance any principled candidate from wanting to offer themselves, as they will inadvertently lose any credibility they have if they join an existing party, and at the same time, have remote chance of success, by standing as an independent. As a consequence of this, it will also distance principled voters from coming forward to vote for obvious reasons. This will inadvertently put the country on the same path that it is in, continuing to spiral downwards to the detriment of its citizens.
Malaysia, rich in natural resources, sound placement in the Region, strong talent pool that had won accolades globally and excellent infrastructure, is capable of much more than what is being done and achieved at the moment. Malaysia must face the reality that it is now at a crossroad, where it will either need to undertake radical transformation to be a leader in the Region, or remain status-quo and fall back to be a follower and watch countries like Indonesia, Vietnam etc steering the region, firmly seated on the driver seat.