Is Malaysia being governed?

The in-thing presently in the circle of political readers is that there is too “much politics”.

Whilst I am tempted to say once you delete politics from our dialogue – then we technically stop being political readers – we become readers only.

The curiousity of the moment – which does exist – in not that there is too much politics, it is that too much political issues unresolved in a way palatable to the many. And you feel it when there is not much government going about.

What as a policy has the new BN government since elections have managed to ship into shape? The answer would be some, but in realpolitik it is the realisation of these policies that make these policies exist in the consciousness of your people.

If people don’t know, then you are not too good a politician.

Value proposition

For the rakyat however it is about value perception.

Am I being served? The truth is for decades the learned Malaysian has felt severely under-served. Today, that frustration is more conspicuous to that Malaysian because even the normal cosmetic programmes are not being announced.

That is what governing in Malaysia has become, a series of announcements.

A new corridor. More grain for farmers. New road project.

Nevermind, the new corridor is actually the documentation of what is presently already there with the inclusion of new gates, the grain promise is actually fulfilling a previous promise and the road project is helmed by yet a new concessionaire.

We as reason paupers in this country are willing to accept pronouncements because we can’t help hoping that -despite our own cynicism – there is some good in just ‘feel good’ announcements.

National Lethargy

Other than Muhyiddin telling ASEAN and the rest to bugger off as Malaysia will continue to protect its car market for another 11 years ( a nice way of getting the medium size umnoputera vote), there has not been really any news of worth. Two, if you count the information minister ( a minister with less power than you think) Shabeery Chik asking bloggers to engage with him.

I think the BN government has become too afraid to govern.

With the Pakatan lads hanging about everywhere and in numbers at the Parliament and Umno/MCA elections starting to loom in the horizon, BN has got into react only mode.

There is less risk in reacting. Pakatan Rakyat cannot criticise inaction. The oil price increase debacle was forced by financial planning and global prices, not by a carefully structured plan to reduce subsidy over a period.

What’s next?

In what is a extremely long poker match, with two players not willing to put their cards down after making large wagers, the government in typical Alliance think are waiting for the opponents to blink.

That is not going to happen. We have blinked for decades and know the drill.

There are large number of issues needing policy direction: economic growth focus– to be a manufacturing state or service driven or to be a mix; national education – start the long avoided issue of privatising affluent schools and introducing SAT type testing; public transportation and etc.

Our infrastructure boasts are no more. Soon other ASEAN countries will have better IT structures, and soon they will step out of their old labels and lap Malaysia silly on the racing track of globalisation.

We are just stalling.

So it is true when local media tells us that people are tired of politics. But you might want to qualify the word ‘politics’. Their true tiredness might just be the preoccupation of those in power not to be wrong politically, so much so, they do nothing.

That is the real frustration.

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4 thoughts on “Is Malaysia being governed?

  1. You’re right. There’s no government right now.

    We have here a hungry tiger with its paws on its kill, but can’t eat it because the competition is clamoring all around trying to grab it too. No more free gobbling now.

  2. Actually, one thing that you might want to notice is the lack of significant or true poliy debates…

    Take the automobile industry for instance… the way the govt approach the issue can be said to be partisan and overly emotive. The govt does not seem to give space to rational policy debates. Look at how the mainstream media is approachijg such issues… too emotive and too narrowly nationalistic…

    What Malaysia needs right now is someone brave enough like the Australian professor Ross Garnaut in giving honest (albeit brutal advice)..

    Actually we do (or did) have such persons like Prof Jomo and others… but where are they now?

    Of course, when there is no prime movers to drive the policy debate then you can’t expect the press and the public to do the same. In the end, the Malaysian public reads only “sensational” political news…

    That is my view of course…

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