The Unmaking of Malaysia

I read with great interest The Umaking of Malaysia written by Ahmad Mustapha Hassan and watching with great enthusiasm a documentary on Discovery channel: The Smart Tunnel.

Interestingly, The Unmaking Malaysia compares administrative style eschewed by two Malaysia’s ex-premiers, Tun Razak and Tun Mahathir. As a reader who had experienced living under both administrations as ordinary rakyat, I can make my own conclusion and judgment too.

Tun Razak was pictured as a humble PM cared deeply for the rakyat. I remembered I was just in secondary school when Tun left us and we Malaysian mourned deeply as we were stunned and shocked by the news.

No doubt, Tun Razak had left a legacy and created a tremendous impact on socioeconomic development of our nation, however, it is still indisputable that Tun Mahathir had also moved this nation to a greater height despite his controversial arrogant leadership style that bypassed government processes and procedures.The outspoken Tun Mahathir was depicted as a man in a hurry who had failed in prescribing a successful remedy for the nation.

In the same context, I observe that building a SMART tunnel is like building a nation. It requires hard work of dedicated engineers and skilled workers.

Vision and implementation are two different things. Many leaders have vision but failed to implement what they have dreamed on.

I am not going to be overly critical on the author. I believe justice can be served if this book is written in a more objective manner.

Lessons From Melaka

Traffic jam in cities like KL and Penang has become a norm. Everywhere in Malaysia traffics are congested. Lately, Melaka and Kota Bharu have suffer the same fate. What is the common denominator between Melaka and Kota Bharu? The answer is both places are visitors’ paradise. The pleasure of visiting both places will tempt people to come back again, to explore yet another thrill of shopping as well as to relieve the stress particularly during school holidays.

As both places are fix and located in such locations near the sea, further development is quite difficult. Nevertheless, Melaka has taken a step further – monorail. Any places of historical attraction will be badly congested during holidays will need a monorail to transport passengers moving from one place to another.

KB has to learned from Melaka. Politics and urban management have to consider rakyat as the first priority.

Globalized Public Sector?

It is becoming more apparent that Malaysians are facing a global competition in every aspects of life. The opening up John Hopkins Medical School for instance, has invited many foreign medical consultants to this country.

This is good for the sake of future research and innovation in the medical field. However, stiff competition is expected for local doctors to compete with their overseas counterpart to serve this prestigious university.

Unlike the government sector, private institution is geared toward searching and hiring the best brains by just focussing on talent. The government sector, on the other hand, is spared because it has national interests and agendas to be implemented.

How long would it takes before globalization is allowed to swipe the public sector is open for speculation. Some elements in the Government Transformation Plan are in place to spearhead the public sector for global competition.

One way is by formulating an effective brain gain strategy and providing a more conducive environment to attract talented Malaysians and non-Malaysians to contribute to the knowledge-based economy.

How much this effort would create difficulty in:
(i) inculcating sensitivity to diversity and
(ii) developing skills in managing and mediating potential conflicts amongst people need to be looked at.