12mp Devil Is Not In The Details But Lack Of Political Will
ADUN SPEAKS | The 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) was tabled and elaborated by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaacob in Parliament yesterday.
As like the other earlier five-year plans, the 12MP seems ambitious considering the economic devastation of the country wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The financial constraints facing the implementation of the five-year plan are enormous.
The 12MP is all about Malaysians gaining the advantage of the Shared Prosperity Vision (SPV) of the government.
Such vision remains an ideal, but there is nothing wrong to be idealistic, at least from a political point of view.
While the 12MP might seem ambitious, the key to its success remains the government having the political will to implement the promised objectives.
In Malaysia, the gap between government plans and implementation has always been wide and sometimes unbridgeable.
How the present general is going to narrow the gap between theory and practice seems unclear.
It is often said that the devil is in the details about the plan. The details are important but the devil is in the lack of political will.
It is the lack of political will that has bedevilled many government plans, particularly the often ambitious five-year plans.
The concept of a shared prosperity vision sounds good in announcements and on the paper. But what will the vision mean to ordinarily Malaysians remains to be seen.
Former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin
The government under Ismail Sabri is no different to the one headed by Muhyiddin Yassin or for the matter the earlier BN government.
All these governments functioned on the axis of race and religion. Racial considerations in favour of the bumiputera will be paramount in the 12MP.
I have no reason to suspect that this plan will be different from the earlier five-year plans.
As a propaganda piece, the 12MP might not be exclusively concerned with the bumiputera. But when it comes to actual practice or implementation, the definitive racial bias cannot be dismissed.
Ismail Sabri lamented the fact that the bumiputera is yet to attain the 30 percent equity target set when the New Economic Policy (NEP) was introduced in the early 1970s.
It is strange that despite the massive advancement of the bumiputera over the years in public employment and the control of the numerous over-bloated GLCs, banks and others, the prime minister brushes aside the truth to sing the old song that bumiputera is yet to attain parity with the other races.
Same old nightmare for non-bumiputera
As Ismail Sabri is not honest to admit, the NEP is not about ensuring a balance in equity but more directed to attain bumiputera control over the economy. Does not matter whether there is a time span or not.
It is obvious the government's bumiputera agenda is there, meaning that the non-bumiputera has nothing to look forward to in the 12MP.
So much so the NEP is more commonly referred to as the Never-Ending Policy.
In other words, the so-called affirmative action principles normally applied to assist minorities and dispossessed communities are meant to assist the majority, the bumiputera.
It is only in Malaysia this abuse of the noble affirmative action principle is taking place.
In the days, weeks and months ahead economists and social science experts will be spending long hours going through the “magic wand” of the 12MP to see what the plan means to the development of the country, the budgetary allocations and how the non-Malays fare in the five-year plan.
I really don’t know whether one needs to spend much time and effort to dissect the plan. Actually, there is nothing much to uncover in the plan.
It is the same old nightmare for the non-bumiputera.
Even if you have a brilliant and detailed plan to chart the course of the development of the country in the next five years, if there is no political will to address the racial and social imbalances, there is nothing to expect from the plan.
I don’t have to wait too long, mark my words, the plan will be a major disappointment to Malaysians.
It is better not to expect much from the plan rather than to be disappointed later. If the government in power has no respect for the multi-racial and multi-religious character of the country, I really don’t know what to say.
The government of Ismail Sabri is reaping the benefit of political stability under the recently inked Memorandum of Understanding on Transformation and Political Stability.
The benefits to the government far outweigh what the Pakatan Harapan or the people will reap.
Will there be pressure on the part of the Harapan opposition to ensure that the 12MP will not be the repeat of the earlier plans? - Mkini
P RAMASAMY is Perai assemblyperson and deputy chief minister II of Penang.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of MMKtT.
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