[lg policy] (no subject)

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Tue Oct 16 10:20:30 EDT 2018

The 3 Malaysian agenda that Anwar should focus on
Koon Yew Yin
October 15, 2018 6:43 PM

In all my work and writing during the past 20 years, readers will have
noted that my major concern is for Malaysia to become a fully developed
nation in all the key aspects of life – economic, socio-cultural, political
and educational.

Towards this end I have provided numerous press statements, given umpteen
talks and speeches, and written hundreds of articles and a book on how to
attain what may be described as my own version of Vision 2020.

It is a vision which I believe is shared by the overwhelming majority of
moderate and progressive Malaysians, especially among the younger
generation which I am in constant touch with through the scholarship system
I have sponsored for the past decade.

Now that Anwar Ibrahim has won the Port Dickson by-election, it is
necessary for me to emphasise again on what are the crucial policies and
strategies that the heir apparent Prime Minister has to articulate and
implement to bring about the realisation of a united and progressive
Malaysia Baru.

*1. Language policy*

Continuing attempts by Malay ultras to downgrade the use of other languages
especially English and Mandarin are not only counter-productive but will
end with the Malay community being left out of the global economy and world
of knowledge, science and technology.

Anwar should realise that his standing among leaders in the region and the
world is partly or even mainly because of his ability to communicate in

Nobody is disputing the role of Bahasa as the national language. But
English is the universal lingua franca par excellence and whoever is Prime
Minister of the country needs to make sure that all young Malaysians from
an early age master the language to propel us into the club of advanced

Anwar should make sure that the policymakers do not continue to go back and
forth on this issue. Further pandering to the Malay language chauvinists
will see the Malay community regress rather than progress.

*2. Malay rights*

Anwar and other Pakatan Harapan Malay politicians must bear in mind that
the use of Malay rights – constitutional and extra-constitutional – to
enrich the Malays is not only wrong. It will never work. You can never
legislate the poor from penury into wealth and prosperity.

Worse is to take away from those who have worked hard and accumulated
assets and savings to put into the pockets of those that are seen to be

The ultimate foolishness is to do this on a racial basis as was attempted
by the NEP during the past 40 odd years after May 69.

All the analysis by foreign and local scholars’ points to the fact that the
NEP and follow up racial policies have been the breeding ground of abuse of
power, mismanagement of economy and super corruption, cronyism and
patronage. The NEP has been a major contributor to the falling back of our
economy and society to its present low level as compared with Singapore,
Taiwan, South Korea and other countries that were in fact at a lower or
similar stage of development in the 1970s.

I am sure that Anwar is fully aware of this. He has in the past when he was
in the opposition talked about the need to do away with the NEP and a
racially configured national economic policy. Now that he is at the point
of becoming the Prime Minister he must not back down from his previous
statements and promises on rejecting the NEP for a truly Malaysian agenda.
On the contrary, he must act boldly to make the Malaysian agenda a reality

*3. Restore meritocracy in all spheres of public sector*

During my time in the 50s and 60s as a student and young engineer it could
be said that the system of meritocracy was the dominant one in Malaysia.
This is the political and economic philosophy which holds that certain
things, such as economic goods or power, should be vested in individuals on
the basis of talent, effort, and achievement rather than be based on
factors such as race or family relationships or political affiliation.

During the past decades of Barisan Nasional rule, the meritocratic system
was replaced by one based on race, political affiliation, family relations
and know who.

This has resulted in the dumbing down of the civil service as well as
resulted in inefficiency and mismanagement of the nation’s resources.

I am confident that if a study was done on the cost to the country as a
result of the loss of the system of meritocracy, the figure will run into
the trillions of ringgit.

Anwar must restore the system of meritocracy in the civil service so that
we are not handicapped in competing with other advanced nations. For a
start, I would like to propose two basic steps. These are

a.  University places should be allocated based on examination results and
should not be based on race or other forms of quotas.
b.   Entry and promotion in civil service, the police and army must
similarly be based on educational qualifications and working experience.
There must be no political or party interference in the civil service.

Anwar now has the opportunity to lead the nation into a new era of
progress, prosperity and unity. To do this he must implement the Malaysian
agenda outlined above.

I and other loyal and patriotic moderates in the country will be monitoring
him closely to make sure that he lives up to the cry for reform and
rejection of the BN racist policies which resulted in Pakatan’s election
victory and Anwar’s personal victory in Port Dickson.

Conclusion: I wish to quote the 5 most important sentences by Dr Adrian
Rogers who has written 18 on politics and social issues

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy
out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work
for without receiving.

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does
not first take from somebody else.

4. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work
because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other
half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is
going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of
the end of any nation.

5. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

*Koon Yew Yin is a retired chartered civil engineer and one of the founders
of IJM Corporation Bhd and Gamuda Bhd.*


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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