By Koon Yew Yin
After 61 years of Barisan Nasional (BN) rule in Malaysia, Pakatan Harapan (PH) with its clear cut parliamentary majority will now take over the reins of power and form the new government.
Among the congratulatory messages I have received is this one from a highly respected financial and stock market analyst which I can share with my readers and supporters.
“Your analysis of this election is spot on. Malaysian tsunami has swept through Malaysia and in Perak and you have made a daring and significant contribution to this historic moment by writing and campaigning vociferously PH in Teluk Intan and several other ceramah.
Sometimes I fear for your safety for the topics you have chosen to speak on and the authorities you directed these topics to.
Finally, BN fell and PH triumphs.
Well done for helping us win this election against all odds by putting your head on the chopping block. Never would I imagine that I will live to see this very day – to see the defeat of the formidable Umno-led BN juggernaut which held unbroken power for 61 years!”
Even though I am celebrating this famous victory, it is important to emphasise to everyone the hard road that lies ahead.
This is because the damage that BN abuse of power, mismanagement of economy and endorsement of corruption, cronyism and patronage has inflicted on our government, economy and rakyat has been incalculable.
As I have stressed in the many political rallies I have spoken to during the past two months in Perak, in 1970 our GDP per capita was the same as Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. Currently, Singapore is 4 times, Taiwan is 3 times and South Korea is 2.5 times ours respectively.
All these three countries have to import almost everything as they have few natural resources to favour them. In contrast we have been a lucky country with our huge land mass, tin mineral sources and some of the largest supplies of oil and gas in the Asian region.
To catch up with our Asian neighbours who have left us far behind in our economic development and living standard, it is necessary for us to return to a fully meritocratic system and to prevent corruption and abuse of power.
This is the best way forward not only in the West but also in the Asian countries mentioned as well as in China.
The following are some sectors in which the new PH government needs to prioritize a meritocratic system:
- University places should be allocated based on examination results and should not be based on race or other forms of quotas.
- Entry and promotion in civil service, police and army must similarly be based on educational qualifications and working experience. There must be no political or party interference in the civil service.
- Follow the World Bank’s procurement guidelines for all contracts – major or minor. All contracts exceeding RM10,000 must call for an open tender and the cheapest contractor should be given the contract should he fulfil the other conditions of eligibility.
- Finally, but perhaps most important, the PH government must not only acknowledge that all Malaysians are equal under the law irrespective of race and religion but they must also fully practise it.
Now Pakatan Harapan has formed a new government. We have created a 2-party system of government, namely BN and PH. The two parties will have to compete for our votes in every 4 or 5 years in a general election. Then the citizens will become the king makers. We can demand for our rights as citizens. We will vote for the party which has the better policy to serve the people. We must remember, the elected politicians are our servants because we are paying their salaries.