As we welcome the Year of the Dog, we should remember that whilst we seek to build an institutional framework that can protect reforms, we must adopt a 4P Partnership of Public, Private, People and Professional(4P) sectors to compel leaders to be problem-solvers not problem makers. Then only can our people enjoy basic human rights and freedoms, democracy, rule of law, environmental protection, sustainable development, equal opportunity and equitable distribution of wealth.
The President of South Africa Jacob Zuma was forced to resign following his misrule in allowing the state capture of public assets and funds by private individuals and interests. Instead of fostering equality, there is greater inequality of income and a new aristocracy has risen to exploit the nation’s wealth as their own. Instead of giving average people control over government, average people feel alienated from government. What happened in South Africa is eerily echoed in Malaysia by an untested young man called Jho Low and Riza Aziz, the step-son of the Prime Minister.
Let us fulfill the Malaysian Dream where accountability and transparency replaces corruption and abuse of power. Where power is shared and not concentrated in the hands of the few, where open tenders for public assets replaces direct awards and public funds are utilized by the public instead of being hijacked by the cronies. Where peace and harmony replaces hatred and disorder. Where mutual respect and tolerance replaces extremism and racism.
Following the resignation of Jacob Zuma, South Africa now holds greater promise than Malaysia. However, it is still not too late to reclaim Malaysia’s promise in the next 100 days. Happy Chinese New Year!
LIM GUAN ENG