Malaysia 2020 Where Art Thou?

How is it that the man who holds the country’s top post, a post that demands the most ethical and integral a person to occupy can so far avoid scrutiny against a very serious charge of murder?

By Cranky Ramblings

Ever since the days of our much loved 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia and Malaysia’s longest serving dictator, Mahathir Mohammad, we have been touting the idea of a Malaysia being a developed nation by the year 2020. That’s just over 10 years away, a very short time. Let’s see, 10 years is like how long my daughter has been on this planet. She was born in the year 1999 and it’s now 2009 and unfortunately nothing much has changed to make Malaysia a developed nation in this past 10 years. How is it then that Malaysia and its esteemed leaders still think this goal is achievable in the next 10 years when we have hardly made any progress in the last 10 years?

On my recent trip back to Malaysia I noticed nothing much had changed over the years. Here are just 10 reasons why I think Malaysia will struggle to achieve developed nation status by the year 2020:

1) Malaysia’s public transportation is still in utter shambles. The buses are never on time, the services are mediocre to say the least, taxi drivers are still ripping off passengers under the noses of the authorities, usually at world renowned landmarks like the Petronas Twin towers and the international airport. The rail system usually cannot cope with the demand and experience frequent downtimes due to a lack of proper maintenance. It is also inadequate and proposals to extend it to more populated areas like Subang and Cheras have not come to fruition despite years of talking (usually during election time).

2) Traffic on the roads seems to be getting worse, especially during rainy days where you can be caught in a jam for hours before getting to your destination. The government have not been able to build sufficient roads which are toll free for the masses to use. What roads that have been built using private/ public companies are charged heavy toll fees and are under utilised. The drainage system on most roads has not been improved and it’s not uncommon during heavy downpours to have sampans (boats) on the roads in addition to the cars. The road rage bullies are also all over the roads and as usual think that the roads belong to them and no other. There is little chance of these bullies getting caught by the authorities either or nothing a RM50 note won’t be able to “solve”.

3) Malaysia is still using manual toll collectors instead of scanners or readers to deduct the toll monies. The automation or a lack of automation of such straightforward processes like toll collection reflects a lack of technology, lack of willingness to use the available technology or it could be a matter of keeping these people employed in the highly skilled job of putting their hand out to collect coins or a combination of these. Whatever it is, having people at toll booths to manually collect coins are the distinct characteristics of a third world nation and not a developed one.

4) The scourge of illegal workers loitering around our greatest landmarks like Bukit Bintang and KLCC has made these places dangerous especially late at night. The Malaysian authorities do not seem to have the resolve to address this issue satisfactorily.

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