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Sakmongkol ak 47

Friday 17 April 2009

A Grassroots Democracy (2)

In some recent articles that I wrote, I questioned whether the Malays are ready to accept full blown capitalism. Read it here and here and here. I take that to mean submission to the market economy, free competition and rule of law. My doubts follow from our PM's declaration that the age of a government knows best is over. Did this statement mean (a) the government will disengage itself from excessive intervention in the market economy? (b) As particular aspect of disengaging itself, the Malays will be left out to fend for themselves?

Are we serious? In effect it just means the days of big government are over. This is the same theme that was declared by successive American presidents for example. What became reality was each time the government grew bigger. There were more intrusion into the workings of the market economy, more direct involvement in the economy and daily lives of people, more flesh to the bones of the bureaucracy, more squatting on us by the little and big Napoleons and gauleiters.

Maybe, this was what Khir Toyo meant when he hoped that government does not promise what is difficult for them to achieve.

My contention is that the pious wish by the PM is a moot point. It is achievable if certain conditions are established either before or during the process of disengaging. Chief among these as I pointed out are (a) good leadership must be established at all levels of those involved in governing. That would include the political and non political elite. (b) Levels of education are raised so as to empower people with consciousness.

My reticence in accepting wholesale, the declaration of the PM is premised on these requirements. These two issues were not debated extensively and vigorously by readers. That is regrettable.

The articles I mentioned drew many comments. I am afraid many were more prominent in their voluble dazzle than convincing in their arguments. There were several comments opposing such hesitancy citing as the reason among others, just a stubborn refusal on my part to give the PM space to operate his plans. There were also comments saying I am betraying our 'cause' and by that I take to mean the cause to establish group dominance. There was also one comment that said that by belittling the capacity and ability of my own race, I am furthering the cause of the elders of Zion. That of course refers to the cause of Israel!

I hope readers will recognise the shallowness and absurdity in the thinking behind such comments. First, the articles were not meant to underestimate the PM's ability to achieve this aim. I was merely cautioning that it is achievable under certain set of conditions. It is an aim that must be supported. Nor were the articles intended to belittle the capacity and ability of the Malays to self progress. There were stern counter assertions that we have the all-round wherewithal to self propel. If I am proven wrong, I shall be most happy as I have been advancing the idea of progress induced from within. If Malays are ready, that would be a reason to compete openly without handicaps.

But we know these frolickers in my blog will be the first to fly off the handle at suggestions to downsize the government. Hence I consider their objections to my reservations as just mere arguments for the sake of arguing.

I am merely stating things as they are. This pious wish of the PM has great implications and certainly not made to evoke unbounded optimism. But the optimism must also be subjected to a continuous reality check. The idea of abandoning the concept of a government knows best in is fact a call for a smaller government. It has far ranging institutional implications. It is bigger than a particular institution.

Consider the growing public disquiet arising from the government's decision to scrap the MECD and incorporate all their functions under the charge of other ministries. Imagine how the scraping off of a particular institution has aroused public uneasiness. This 'disapproval' will no doubt be amplified in days to come by those who have arrogated to themselves the role as the voice of the would- be marginalised.

If a change in a particular institution has aroused such vehemence and vociferous objections we can certainly expect more maelstrom to greet a grander idea such as disengaging the government. If not handled properly, this idea will suck in the ruling party and along with it the PM.

Better to commit resources to empowering Malays economically in more assertive ways by providing leadership and raising the level of education fast. Stay away from such esoteric idea of reducing big government. Better to find ways to make government serve us better. Stay away from the idea of a Jamahiriyyah Malaysia. Just give us good leadership.



Anonymous,  17 April 2009 at 11:07  

Dear Sak,
Now you know why drug addicts find it difficult to kick the drug abuse habit. Main reason is that the cold-turkey treatment is hard to bear and addicts prefer to take the easy way out.

Anonymous,  17 April 2009 at 11:22  

Those who do not agree, are not convincing or rationale?

Sure I remember that argument, we can't vote Mukriz because he is son of a FORMER PM. KJ is not, he is only son-inlaw of CURRECT PM.

You called that rationale. Own up to that mistake and I will relent raising it.

[You supported a corrupt, Dato. Jaklan case will bring KJ down. There is a phone recording of KJ giving instruction.]

Sak, step on your ego.

Learn to embrace this openness without downgrading other views.

Ariff Sabri 17 April 2009 at 12:06  

anon 11.22.
who is this ignoramus discussing something not related to this topic?
i am referring to those who said the articles belittle the capacity of Malays and one that even said they are furthering the cause of Israel.
are you blind mr no name?
and stop being patronising by lecturing me on ego? you take care of yours and i mine.

Anonymous,  17 April 2009 at 12:21  

anon 11:22
apa lagi lu may ha bahlul. mukhriz sudah jadi menteri. lu mahu semua orang sokong mukhriz ka? mana boleh itu macam. kalau lu mau hisap mukhriz punya teloq, takde siapa larang sama lu. tiuniaseng!

Anonymous,  17 April 2009 at 14:05  

Where's gwlnet, the liar who claimed "I've had a few rounds with dn" and then cannot prove it?
Instead, claimed to have engage KM "way back during his singsong day (not the current one)" whatever that means?

Gwlnet, the folks at DN are waiting for you. Why you so scared? Come on lah, dey, send something there, anything. Even a small little "hello" would do.

Ha ha .... chicken.

- SJB -

Ree,  17 April 2009 at 14:27  


We have 1.15 million civil servants for a working population of 10 million. For comparison, the UK has only half a million civil servants for a working population of close to 30 million.

Under the stimulus package, Najib announced the creation of more goverment jobs.

With so many civil servants, what is the impact on this country's competitiveness?

kuldeep 17 April 2009 at 15:06  

the honeymoon period for ds najib is thus far not as "feel good" as we hope for..not that instant knee jerk full steam ahead gunghoism that every soul was praying for.Its been a soft people centric,going back to the roots and consensus building postulated by rakyat first,1 malaysia,the ppl knows best etc..and letting the ppl know the leaders are servants too.

Its politics rather than economy.

Wat ppl want is money in their pockets via jobs,opportunities,cheaper cost of living...and for ppl to be assured that he hv got his priorities right.Sad to say...we are not awed by the sloganeering thus far.The soft shuffles are not wat we wanna see.

Thus,my point..the concepts of "no more big govt/rakyat knows best " are only the facades>>the reality remains the same as long as we hv the same policies and policy makers in town.

Only if concrete announcements are made can we begin to read into the intentions..such as APs to be tendered,Penang Second Bridge/double tracking projects to be reviewed,All LOIs for direct nego contracts cancelled,special panel to review current road,water,public utilities concessions incl IPPs ... just won't happen

Anonymous,  17 April 2009 at 16:18  

kuldeep, kenapa kau suka berfikiran negatif...

Agaknya apa yg kau nak capai?

Kehancuran? Jadi, aku harap kuldeep lebih dulu hancur dari kami semua.

kuldeep 17 April 2009 at 17:13  


zorro 17 April 2009 at 17:34  

Datuk Sak, I can empathise with your disappointment (frustration?) Your writing may not come outright to say that Change or be damned, but i would infer that it IS. Change means a whole lot of sacrifice, personal and cultural. A paradigm shift has to take place. But when that shift occurs, everything goes back to ZERO. And that means starting again, erengineering if needs be. Do people have that stamina? We have poor leaders who belief that leadership is POSITION. My stand is that Leadership is ACTION (performance beyond expectation, performance that delights the citizenry.) Thus the response you (and I too)get are defensive and self-serving. But should we give up? We can't afford to for our children and those that will come after them. Take heart Datuk mountain is easy to scale. But we will take turns to push each other UP.

Anonymous,  17 April 2009 at 17:44  

If its mandatory to have 30% representation of Bumis in our national hockey team..logically its not the best but probably it might be cos surely there's scope for getting 4 Bumis good enuff to make the grade on their own merits.

But,if the 30% Bumi representation must come from UMNO or friends and in peace.

I think thats the message our good PM is trying to envision.

Anonymous,  18 April 2009 at 05:38  

Anon (17 April 2009 17:44), your 30% Bumi quota on the hockey team is a BAD example. Why? Go check the sports news, our national hockey team is now 70-80% Bumis. And its not due to any quota. They are just better. The Tamils and Sikhs and chinese are not good in hockey anymore. The 30% requirement should go the other way. Otherwise, soon 100% of the team will be Bumis.

Anonymous,  18 April 2009 at 08:54  

anon 5.38

my point exactly..we are good enough if the selection process is open to all bumiputras...given the exposure and chance,the talented and dedicated bumis developed n are good enough without any help.

but if the hypothetical hockey team 30% bumi quota is only from that sliver that are umno supporters n friends,would the real talents be developed?

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