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Monday, January 18, 2016

GTP: Real deal or a farce?

The Government Transformation Programme (GTP) has been an utter failure if we were to look at the way things has been for the last 3-4 years. The transformation mooted by Najib has indeed turn the tables against the very rakyat whom should have benefited from this programme but which it keeps getting worse by the day!

What does it take of this  ‘People First Performance Now’ government to ensure the success of their own GTP?? This is their own initiative and please know that we have moved onto the 3rd and final phase of the many programmes launch by Najib and his cohorts in anticipation of Vision 2020.

And where are we now in terms of the 7 NKRA’s that Najib and PEMANDU has been extolling day in and out in the mainstream media? I strongly believe the rakyat knows better as they are feeling the real pinch than all the data that PEMANDU can spin or churn out.

Reducing Crime

The best measurement for this NKRA is to answer this question – “Do you feel safe nowadays?” Most Malaysians will not hesitate to say NO! Every now and then we are seeing or hearing in the news how are people getting involved with violent crime i.e. murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping etc. There are times we may even know the victims themselves.

The statistics may say that our crime rate has fallen by 40% the last 5 years but somehow we feel unsafe walking down our dark busy streets.

What  is the cause of all this? I firmly believe that the lawlessness at the top has crawl down and many are resorting to the same mindset of taking  an easy way out. Meaning that if you are not happy and want something just rob, maim or finish them. And this is what our country has become!

Unfortunately, if the powers responsible for keeping our lives safe wants to spend a big part of their resources monitoring the social media then we shall end up with an ever increasing crime rate and feeling unsafe most of the time. Whatever the reason of the crime in this country it needs to be addressed holistically and  speedily. Let’s not make Malaysia a haven for crime for anyone and there must be a concerted effort to tackle this challenge without fear or favor!

Fighting Corruption

This must be one of the best jokes of the year whichever year you care to pick!  How could this nation fight corruption when their leaders have the gumption to acknowledge and revise their definition of corruption to commission and then to donation!?? We should have named it as GRAND CORRUPTION!

A national leader which such tainted reputation is definitely not the best poster boy to tackle this menace in the country.

Many have long lamented that nothing gets done in this country unless it gets oiled by some undercut money and the root of this sickness can be traced back to Dr. Mahathir. Corruption has become rampant so much so it has become a way of life of some Malaysians. 

Come to think of it we are no better off than India, Indonesia, Phillipines or most of the African countries.

In addition, data from World Bank has shown that Malaysia is one of the top country in the world to have the biggest illicit money outflow in the world when our national population is just over 30 million! The amount of money just does not make sense if compared to the other top 4 countries such as China, Russia, Mexico and India where their population exceeds 100 million and more.

Which means that even if we are yet to reach the per capita income  of a develop country rest assured we could already be holding the World’s No. 1 of per capita income for black money! Isn’t this crazy?

Our so called “drive” against corruption has spewed more and more illicit money over the years and there are no signs of stopping at all in the near term.

Does this NKRA works? Below data shows  where we stand in the “underground” world!

Assuring Quality Education

Most parents aspire their children to high quality and affordable education. But how can our youngsters be given the chance to pursue that sort education in this country?

Many are questioning about it and there has been a lot of dissatisfaction such as the standard of our schools and universities are falling year by year. Just a simple English test will tell you where we are heading as a nation.

Does it take much for our government to provide proper education to our young people? We pride ourselves in preparing our youths for a steady job market but the question is what sort of job market are we creating for them when those in power are allowing our education standards to fall by the year?

A huge gap exist in the way we plan for our education on paper and the way we are pursuing this particular KPI to provide quality education for our students. We are  great in drawing plans and visions but hopeless when delivering these initiatives and it is being done at the expense of our children’s future!

Critical thinking is definitely  a  prized goal nowadays! The way our education is geared towards is meant to create 2 things:-
-          - To breed a generation of un-thinking Malaysians so that a particular political party could rule in perpetuity
-          - To be a yes man/women to their employers i.e. MNC’s, GLC’s others

I remember very well during my school days some of my best teachers were those who studied up to Standard 5 or 6 only.  But their classes were one of the most enjoyable and educational ones. That generation of teachers are hard to come by now. And come to think of it we don’t really need high flying plans on paper to provide a solid education; just competent and dedicated teachers with great pedagogy for our syllabus.

As far as this NKRA is concern I share with other Malaysians that we are yet to even reach half the level we would like to be. How do we move forward if we keep falling backward?

Raising Living Standards of Low-Income Households Overview & Addressing Cost of Living

Notice that the programmes under this NKRA targets the most vulnerable and poor amongst us which is what it’s supposed to do. Malaysian poverty rate which currently stands at 3.8%  hopes this NKRA will reduce further  down to 2%. I must say there are some good programmes in this KPI such as 1Azam, improving nutrition levels, enhancing healthcare and housing facilities and also business opportunities such as  micro sourcing etc.

The bottom line is what needs to accomplished to improve the standard of living amongst the low income households? If this NKRA wants to raise the standard of living of this group then it must first and foremost bring down the cost of living in this country!

There has been considerable discontentment regarding the rising price of goods and services in this country for a long time but this time around it’s just gotten worse and all complaints from the public seems to be falling on deaf ears!

Some may argue it’s due to yearly inflation problem but it’s been proven most of these the rising prices are cause by the very people who gave us the dreaded GST. On one hand this ‘People First’ government talks about raising the standard of living of the poor but at the same time it is raising the cost of goods and services in this country by cutting down subsidies and implementing GST. Isn’t this contradictory?  The poor has to fork out more now just to get by their necessities. SO, what does this NKRA does forthem?

If you really want to know the impact of these rising cost of living (toll, electricity, fuel, GST, etc) talk to the poor and they could give you a livid demonstration on how they are competing in the market place just like you and me! I hope the data to be produced by PEMANDU will not be a colorful one like in the past but just the plain TRUTH to inform where are we in terms of this critical KPI and what will the government of the day DO about it!

Improving Rural Development

The main tasks of this NKRA is to expand infrastructure access of gravel roads, treated water, electricity and providing housing facilities to the rural folks. The standards are set and implementation is in progress. 

The question we should ask is - As access to the above facilities is open to the rural population (Orang Asal, the Penan and other indigenious groups in East Malaysia) will these benefits trickle down to this group of people or will it open the floodgates to the influx of developers and greedy companies to rob and contaminate their land further?

We know of many incidences in Sarawak whereby the Penans and other rural people has been blocked to harvest the fruits from theirown jungle and land just because certain companies has begun to exploit the jungle resources for their own bottom line! 

This KPI should take into account the needs of the rural people and try to fulfill those needs first without imposing our city people thinking – “We Know Best mentality” on what is good or disastrous for them. The development brought about by this KPI has to be on rural folks terms.  It’s about time we city-folks take some time out and LISTEN to the rural folks on what their needs are. Surely this KPI will achieve its objectives but under whose terms?

Improving Urban Public Transport

It is quite Klang Valley centric but what it propose is to have a sustainable and integrate all public transportation by enhancing the capacity of buses, KTM Komuter, taxis, parking management etc.

But what about the rest of Malaysia? Doesn’t rest of the country needs a fully integrated public transportation as well? Generally, Malaysians are getting fed-up of getting stuck in traffic jams but what choice do we have? 

Many years ago, the government introduce car-pooling for those entering Klang Valley. I thought it was a good idea but somehow it did not take off at all. In fact car-pooling, don’t seem to take a liking for those in Penang island but working Mainland and vice-versa!!

But when the Penang state government introduced Park & Ride bus services between the two areas which feeds all the way to the industrialized zones the buses were almost full. The public is willing but are the authorities prepared to invest resources for a strong system that works for all??

Only a political will on the part of the federal & state government is able to solve this perennial problem for the rakyat.

And what about the ferry services in Penang which is almost in a pathetic state due to certain powers wanting to reduce its ferry to skeleton services - this has cause much unhappiness to its daily commuters as the current arrangement seems is plan to cater to the ferry owner’s wanting to minimize lost.

These grievances needs to be dealt with promptly and systematically in the national NKRA’s or this government is doomed to be known as a ‘Cronies First, Performance Later’ government!

The biggest question is can this government be relied upon to look into the well-being and transform the lives of the rakyat or will it use the NKRA to whitewash its own weaknesses?

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