6:15pm 31/01/2023
Messaging or action: which is vital?
By:Ravindran Raman Kutty

Malaysia is entering a new dawn; a new era filled with hope and anticipation to rid us of past ghosts and unwanted baggage.

The corrupt, the robbers, the masqueraders, the antiquated relics of leaders, window-dressing religious leaders, the amassed wealth of a few leaders, the abhorrent education policies, the delayed justice, the lackadaisical attitudes of our society…the list grows extremely inwards, and this is what the rakyat want to put far behind.

We are in a state of an unequal equilibrium because we were tended to by leaders who were immersed with one thing – personal ambitions, personal wants, personal gains; while the rest of the society was left pained and swarfed by anomalies.

This attitude and behavior have evaporated or osmosized well into the civil service and in almost every sector, be it private or government-linked companies (GLC’s).

What makes it worse is that these leaders are well immersed in their greed and are not ashamed to show it.

We have seen wealth amassed by known and popular leaders who are happy to appear in TikTok videos or on social media assembling artilleries of attack against civil society leaders and some better political leaders, just because they have a podium with somewhat innocent, naïve or unaware audience.

I am certain that these political veterans are aware that they are in a “glass room” where the Malaysian rakyat have noticed, realized and awakened by their “bluffs.”

We are no longer in the copper age, but are instead in a digitally generated and connected society, through fiber optics and clouds, having the ability to access information or data on anything and everything.

The last eighteen years have changed our political landscape. Our young and gregarious society is no longer naive and unknowing.

Our politicians must be made aware of this. Malaysia must rise to ward off the negative scholars and dichotomy of narcissistic industrial era leaders, based on studies in the US and the West, that manifestations of hubris — often masked as charisma or charm — are commonly mistaken for leadership potential, and that these occur much more frequently among men compared to women.

Sadly, this condition is our prevailing condition in our country.

For years, our nation’s leaders have been constantly promising our younger generation with several aspects for more improvements and a better life ahead, but gradually society has realized that it has just been mere talk with no promises fulfilled throughout the years.

With such disappointments and deceptions year after year, it is these young members of our rakyat that we should be wary of and anticipate strong protest and stern demands for the leader to fulfill the promises made to them.

Our nation’s youth must be provided with proper education and decent paying jobs. They need a decent roof over their heads and nutritious food on their table. They too deserve to be able to drive a Myvi or Proton to travel in order to see the world; to further their studies is adequate and clear channels are laid out for them.

They have the fundamental right to all these aspects and the undeniable permission to excel in their life and careers anytime and anywhere.

It is senseless to teach them of the “after life” when their current life is seemingly unstable.

We must be pragmatic in showing a brighter if not greater future to educate, emulate and sustain a responsible society called Malaysians, irrespective of race, ethnicity, gender or religion.

A divided Malaysia will not bring any good for anyone except for charlatan politicians.

Charlatans will prevail as long as  we have a weak political system, poor delivery system, hopeless policies and a group of gullible youth who have to struggle through while allowing willy bullies and foxy politicians to excel.

It is unfair to say that every politician is bad, but we are in urgent need of statesmen who see our nation as one.

We need an Abraham Lincoln or Nelson Mandela to run our nation.

This has no leaning toward race or ethnicity, but a true leader is one who is real in his deeds, words and actions for a brighter and greater Malaysia.

Malaysians have had the worst of political incompetence, incorrectness that was smeared and succeeded in destroying our name, currency and overall image and reputation.

For this we owe thanks to 1MDB and many more disasters created by our leaders in the name of progress and development.

Nevertheless, the rakyat still stood fast to show their defiance or readiness by standing in long queues during the last general election November 19, 2022.

The results were a pre-emptive bullet for every sensible leader, though the outcomes were totally unexpected.

We are indeed blessed to have a leader who has gone through enormous challenges, personal pains, difficulties and hardship in becoming our current prime minister.

His style of leadership, besides his linguistic skills, have yet to be tested but I think we must quickly put our heads together.

Reflecting on the 100-day review of the cabinet, we saw ministers going out of their way to check on the managing of the LRT and its stations, including the cleanliness of station toilets. The findings were known and presented.

Honestly, with several other urgent issues to be looked into, this would have been one issue to put aside for the time being.

No one has called on religious schools teachers, administrators or the owners on what the school syllabus is and how it will bring about a society of perseverance, tolerance, understanding, love and compassion and respect among our future wards who are now deciding on who is to going to represent them in leading our nation.

Instead of calling names and putting the blame on the maturity level of our youth, we must focus on where and what has gone wrong with the inputs and what or how we can solve this issue.

We do not need any more social messaging for every Malaysian. All the social and political messaging has made the government lose billions; no one from any society has gained except the closely linked Ministry of Information advertising, marketing agents and the respective agencies.

Malaysia needs the following today:

Federal level

Political aspects:

● Law and order to prevail at all times.

● Clear procurement procedures at all ministries

It is pointless to have ten signatures on one proposal and then to finally have it awarded to a crony or big shot who has connection to/with the PM or Works Ministry.

● Bring back “Asia is Malaysia”into action. Promote our nation as we are the transformers of Asia and not followers anymore.

Social aspects:

● An education system that is compatible with the best and nothing less.

● Maths and Science with Artificial Intelligence (AI) as our priority subjects without neglecting Bahasa Melayu and English.

● The development of youths and children by removing the race lenses

See them as our national asset and our future human resource.

● Curb drug abuse, single mothers, Mat Rempits and gangsters by providing more education for them especially during their teenage years of 15-18 years of age

Create a young generation that can be moved from academia into industrial training programs i.e. farming, agricultural productization, upstream fishing, palm oil harvesting, upstream semiconductor production, design and production, social media development, and new industrial technologies.

● Study the issues of the Orang Asli and the Indians at large

Set up a think tank under the aegis of ISIS Malaysia to gather real data on the condition of both the Indian and Orang Asli citizens with clear frame of scope to seriously alleviate their current concerns. Piecemeal measures will not help these two communities:

● Check every urban low-cost housing scheme and PPR flats

Assign a team to study the maintenance and infrastructure of these flats; upgrade them systematically like Singapore with a minimum of three rooms per flat. Two-room flats are prison cells with chackles killing our poor and young.

● National Unity Department

Understand their programs. How have they fared and where have they failed and improved themselves?

Economic aspects:

● Additional funds for R&D; cease extra funding for Covid19 cures or medicines; there are sufficient agencies worldwide doing this.

● Close down GLC’s that are indolent and politically driven

Mimos, Risda, MPRC, Porim, RRI – what have they been doing all this while? Are they still required or merely redundant?

● Do away with 6-star gala events if these events fail to bring in much revenue via our tourism industry.

● Emulate the  agricultural patent applications within our agriculture sector.

● For this, China has accounted for 62 percent of the total for all 22 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and Canada.

● Ascertain the management of public contracts

In 2021, the World Bank estimated that 20% to 30% of the country’s budget for public contracts was wasted.The finding concurred with the AG Ambrin’s projection, where up to 30% of the country’s public projects’ value had been lost due to mismanagement and corruption.

State level

● Stop all “kerja sambil belajar” (work and study) programs except to selected countries such as Singapore and China, depending on the conditions and needs of the contract

The local authorities should focus on doing their jobs properly.

● Stop having to go to Europe for construction/technical studies

Construction of LRT or MRT systems, tunnel borings, etc., can all be studied online, in addition to the fact that our very own engineers are sufficiently capable of seeing such projects through from start to finish.

● Include sports as the key performance indicator for every sporting agencies

Remove politicians from sporting agencies and bring in all the veteran and ex-state and national sportsmen and sportswomen into the administration of all sports bodies with strict deadlines.

Local authority 

● Further improve our health care facilities and services

More focus is required for autistic children and special needs schools.

● Every residential area (housing areas) with over 10,000 residents must have a local council office to manage the residents’ issues via comprehensive online services.

● Local authority officers and the town council mayors must move from their ivory tower seat and create urban community feedback centers.

● The council must be the eyes and ears of the society with emphasized focus on the urban B40 group.

● Councilor roles should be given to sincere leaders who can understand local authorities and work with the people, unlike working with contractors whom they prefer.

● Civil service mechanisms and customer service facilities, regardless of the service provided, (hospitals, immigration offices, utility sectors, etc.), should be available online with an efficient help desk service.

A new prime minister, a new cabinet, a new government, a new era for our nation.

After being disappointed and dismayed with several broken ambitions for the country, the rakyat have once again offered our trust to the government to fulfill old promises and deliver new ones.

We have had enough of suffering and need not be put through more agony or be unduly punished for crimes and wrongdoings that we did not commit.

Put the words into actions, the actions into solutions, the solutions into development, the development into a strong nation.

Bring back the prime and pride that Malaysia once had and still deserves!

(Ravindran Raman Kutty is an active social worker.)


Ravindran Raman Kutty


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