End year is always a time for reflection and what is in store next year.
For Malaysia, March 8 was a water shed. The ruling BN lost 6 states in Peninsular Malaysia, and indeed the popular votes too. If not for Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia would have seen a change of Federal government.
March 8 gives us a hope that a 2 party system and a better check and balance may be possible. If the seemingly invincible BN could lose up to 6 states in West Malaysia, anything thing can really happen.
It is said that if BN does not change, people will change it by throwing it out the next time.
But looking at the past 9 months, there were only little cosmetic changes and no real policy or direction change in the country.
There will be a change of PM in March next year. But with the culture of the dominant party, UMNO, remains the same, any drastic change would be unlikely. The style to rule may be different, but given the prevailing political culture, there is unlikely to have any real change in policies.
But those in power must realise if they do not change in a changing world, they are likely to be voted out the next GElection.
As I see it, Malaysia needs a total overhaul of its system, not just cosmetic changes. The recent reform bills were a big let down. JAC packs the power of appointment of judges in the hand of the PM, and the MCAC is unlikely to be like the iCAC in HOng KOng, although I am willing to give it some time to prove itself.
On the economic front, everything is grim. With all the developed countries in recession and the big growth engine of China slowing down, Malaysians will have a tough time to fend for ourselves.
What is urgently required is a policy change to stimulat the economy. I have written an article ” Time for a moratorium on the NEP”, in which I have called for a moratorium of the NEP, so that the private sector can be encouraged to invest and take the lead to stimulate the econmy.
A lot of people are expressing pessmistic views about the future of the country. The country is indded at a cross road; whether it can achieve its aim of a developed country, not by 2020 but at least by 2030, depends on the will of the leaders. I hope those who are moving up to positions of power must ealise this and must try their best to change the mindsets as well as the whole political culture …. They must be bold enough to do away with race based politics and economics.