Government knows Best

By Moses Lim

The word is out that the new cabinet under PM Najib will undertake reforms to heed the  changes that the Rakyat wants. One of these reforms is the loud proclamation that the Government often does not know best on what is good for the country and therefore amongst other measures, an advisory council of economic experts will be formed to advise the Government of PM Najib.

Does it sound very familiar to you?

The lyrics have been heard before. Our ex-PM Badawi had been singing and sloganeering on reforms and change and numberless committees formed throughout his premiership. But what happened to him? He was booted out of office. At least to me, he found out that talk is cheap and that he was unable to pay the price for reform and change. It is a simple guess to say that Najib will face the same fate; this time not booted out by UMNO but by the Rakyat unless he deals with these publicly articulated and expounded problems of the country head-on:

* The money politics culture in UMNO is driving good people away from the party. As a result, UMNO attracts candidates who want easy money through political positions. Worse still, it kicks out good people like Zaid Ibrahim who sees the real picture and tries honestly and courageously to serve the country.

A country rises or falls with the caliber of the Government. There are no two ways about it. Najib just does not have enough good people to fill the cabinet posts to form a Government that knows best to serve the country. Money politics must go and proactively talent-search good people into the party!

* The MACC must be made independent and accountable only to Parliament. Otherwise, the talk to wipe out corruption and money politics is mere talk and I as a rakyat am utterly fed-up with this type of cosmetic mechanism that catches only the small fishes and those opposing the ruling party.

* The open tender system of awarding public projects must be carried out independently and objectively. Let us not kid ourselves on getting the best person or company to get the job done. We supposedly have a ‘merit system' of public university entry largely not based on race but you and I know what goes on behind the system. Likewise, some Government departments practice ‘open tender’ but the whole process is not transparent. We need transparency and accountability from the Government!

* Finally, the Judiciary must be seen to be clean and independent. As a non-legal person, sometimes I find the judgments from our courts intriguing if not laughable!

Moses Lim