According to the Singapore Business Times, Malaysia's "flip-flops over reforms are driving foreigners to put investment plans on hold". [pls read "Recent policy reversals unnerving to investors", SBT, March 15]
Now this kind of news analysis-cum-name-calling will hurt us more than the so-called racist reporting by the China Press on the IGP quitting! But let's not over-react as we have over-reacted to the China Press' report.
Remember we've known flip-flop for 5-6 years and how that took us down south in terms of national morale and economic well-being, so we know better than those guys at the SBT what flip-flop means.
What we are seeing - the delays in implementing the policies - is not a flip-flop. The policies mentioned in the SBT report - GST and the New Economic Model included - are proposed policies. At this point of time, the government is still going ahead with these policies. It's just that the timing has been moved to a later date.
Now if the PM announces tomorrow that the government will not implement the New Economic Model, then (aha!) that's a flip-flop.
The good thing about the delays is it will provide the government the opportunity to do what it may have neglected doing and what it should have done from the start, as Kadir Jasin writes here, which is to:"... turut mendengar keluh kesah dan berdialog dengan rakyat jelata, pembayar cukai dan pengundi daripada hanya mengiakan nasihat pakar dalam dan luar negara. Mereka ini hanya peduli mengenai gaji dan yuran yang mereka peroleh."Najib should take his time, go down to the ground and listen harder to the people. Conduct basic things, like order a White Paper on the proposed New Economic Model which will let the people know what is wrong with the current economic model, why it doesn't work anymore, and why we need a new one. Get the buy-in from the people. Kalau tidak, as Kadir Jasin says and I'm in total agreement with him ...".... bukan sahaja pemerintah akan menjadi lebih tidak popular, tetapi yang lebih memalukan ialah apabila ia terpaksa melakukan “flip-flop” pada saat-saat akhir."