Wednesday, January 01, 2020

2020 thoughts of a blogger in a still-developing country called Malaysia

Can we make it happen by 2030? 
Jan 1, 2020: When Dr Mahathir Mohamad launched his Vision 2020 in 1991, none of my kids were born yet. Heck, I wasn't even married. This morning, first day of 2020, one of the kids asked me: 
"Abah, adakah tercapai Wawasan 2020?" 
Me, man of few words, told my kiddo: "Terciput."
[She was asking me if our nation had achieved the targets set for it to be a developed nation by 2020. My answer was, no].
We are still a developing country, ladies and gentlemen.  In some departments, especially the ones involving our politicians and leaders, I'm not sure we're developing at all.
Dr M, in 1991 (he was sweet 65 then), had outlined 9 challenges for the nation in order to be a developed nation by 2020: Source: Wikipedia 
  • Challenge 1: Establishing a united Malaysian nation made up of one Bangsa Malaysia (Malaysian Race).
  • Challenge 2: Creating a psychologically liberated, secure and developed Malaysian society.
  • Challenge 3: Fostering and developing a mature democratic society.
  • Challenge 4: Establishing a fully moral and ethical society.
  • Challenge 5: Establishing a matured liberal and tolerant society.
  • Challenge 6: Establishing a scientific and progressive society.
  • Challenge 7: Establishing a fully caring society.
  • Challenge 8: Ensuring an economically just society, in which there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation.
  • Challenge 9: Establishing a prosperous society with an economy that is fully competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.

I don't think we can even claim to have passed Challenge 1, let alone all nine. But that's my opinion and you're welcome to disagree.  
Dr M, in his New Year/s message yesterday, said he's now confident we can achieve the developed nation status by 2030. But the people must be united, he said. Read:  Stay untied for nation to continue developing, urges Dr M in New Year message. 
But is a decade long enough for Malaysians to overome those nine challenges? I would imagine that the odds are stacked heavily against us. If the people who today lead the nation continue to bicker over who among them will be the next Prime Minister and if they allow themselves to be obsessed with witch-hunting and blaming the previous government (funny, when you consider that many of them, including Dr M, were in previous administrations before), then our progress will be really slow because no work will get done (which was what happened in the last 18 months, basically).
Between Vellfire and vernacular schools, the third national car and that flying car, Jawi and Dong Zong, the doctors' critical allowance and minimum wages, Zakir Naik and Syed Saddiq, Ughyur and the KL Summit, and unfulfilled promises of their general election manifesto, and not forgetting this sodomy vs that sodomy, this government spends too much time solving problems that were created by itself, wittingly or unwittingly I won't waste my breath expanding on this topic (please read my recent posting One PM, Two Oppositions, which I re-imagined from 3 issues pulling down the nation). 
Suffice to say that it's not the people who must be united for this country to continue developing (and hopefully achieve the developed nation status by 2030) but the Government - ie our leaders from the PM and so-called PM-in-waiting to the ministers and deputy minister and their political appointees and officers - who must start working with one another so that everyone and everything else can start moving. 
Happy New Year and Good Luck to us. 


  1. IT.Scheiss1:08 am

    Very well said, Bro.

    As someone who had written about Malaysia's initiatives to develop and ICT (information and communications technology) industry since the mid-1990s, I have too often heard mention of how ICT development will enable Malaysia to achieve the goals of Wawasan 2020 (Vision 2020) to become a developed nation by 2020, and after Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced the Economic Transformation Programme in October 2010, where Malaysia would also become a high-income nation with a gross national income (GNI) per capita equivalent to US$15,000 per annum or equivalent to around RM5,000 per month by now, in addition to Malaysia becoming a "developed nation" by 2020, we also would have become a "high-income nation".

    Note: GNI per capita is an average figure as defined in this UNICEF website as:-

    "GNI per capita is gross national income divided by mid-year population."

    So in countries where there is a large income disparity, the majority of citizens would be earning less than the GNI per capita figure. Statistics deceive, don't they?

    However as I observed Malaysia's progress in economic. political, administrative, intellectual, academic, social and cultural development towards Wawasan 2020 since the mid-1990s, I could see no evidence of that progress on the ground in an holistic way, apart from more physical developments as well as faster Internet speeds and more extensive communications infrastructure and services, and almost everyone becoming savvy at using a computer or a smartphone to access information and social media.

    Sure gleaming and dull-looking high-rise monstrosities have sprouted like mushrooms in our cities and towns, more physical transport infrastructure such as highways and expressways criss cross the nation, greatly reducing travel time, whilst more extensive LRT, monorail, MRT and BRT lines serve the Klang Valley

    On the ground, however, nothing much has changed since the mid-1990s, with worsened conditions of roads, potholes, more frequent burst pipes and breakdowns in water supply, continuation of horrendous traffic jams at peak periods, more political wrangling and conflict especially since Anwar Ibrahim was expelled from UMNO and the nation torn apart by the Reformasi movement, lack of initiative amongst local authorities to monitor and rectify local issues such as clogged drains, in increase in the incidence of dengue in states such as Selangor, decline in the standards and quality in our schools and educational institutions, growing graduate unemployment, inflation eating into whatever increases in our income levels, rising prices and cost of living, and increasing ethnic and religious polarisation especially after Pakatan won governance the states of Penang and Selangor in 2008 and of the federal government in 2018.

    Meanwhile, whilst our ringgit exchange rate which was around RM3.17 to the US dollar until mid 2014, had weakened to as much as almost RM4.50 to the US dollar in mid 2016, then strengthened to RM3.86 in April 2018 shortly before GE14 and then weakened to RM4.18 to the US dollar in November 2018 and stubbornly remains around RM4.10 to the US dollar today. Well, for a nation which imports much of our food and other items, a weaker ringgit means higher prices for us on the shelves.

    Happy New Year - HOPEFULLY.

  2. Well said. Thank you...

  3. Ehmmm...

    "I don't think we can even claim to have passed Challenge 1, let alone all nine. But that's my opinion and you're welcome to disagree."

    'Welcome' apa jadahnya, komen pembaca pun Dato Rocky tak siar atau terlalu lambat siar.

    Yang peliknya, Dato Rocky langsung tak sebut, Pak Lah Tido & Najib adalah penyebab utama mengapa, setelah Dr.M letak jawatan pada 2003, sebahagian-besar 'challenge' Wawasan 2020 gagal mencapai sasaran.

    Dato dah lupa ka... 'Kabinet' Tingkat-4 yang diketuai menantu Pak Lah Tido?

    Lepas bersusah-payah... kena kutip Polis & Laptop dirampas... kerana 'tolong' buang Pak Lah Tido dalam longkang, tiba time Najib & Rosmah... lagi besar musibah kepada Negara, Bangsa & Agama... dia bagi muka pada Dong Zong (Majlis mereka pun Najib rasmikan & didepan khalayak Cina, mahu mempertahankan Sekolah vernacular, selagi ada bulan & bintang)... boleh pula Dato sokong.
    Tu yang saya pelik dengan Dato nih.

    Namun, dalam cita-cita bekas-banduan salahguna-kuasa & liwat mahu jadi PM... saya harap Dato JANGAN sokong pulak.