Ramon's Resolutions for 2014
by Tan Sri (Dr.) Ramon Navaratnam, Chairman, ASLI Centre of Public Policy Studies
WE are relieved that major elections at national and party levels are over. Thankfully they were conducted under peaceful conditions, although many would have preferred more “free and fair” elections.
We have passed the stage of politicking and rhetoric and should seek to implement all the election promises and deliver beneficial outcomes to the rakyat.Thus, it would be useful for us to review the past, examine our present concerns and needs and to propose inter alia, the following eight resolutions, for the adoption by our leaders and people.
We should resolve as follows:
- Peace and national unity must be strengthened. We should all refrain from hurtful and divisive comments and actions that will cause disunity. We should isolate all those who indulge in extremist remarks and actions that erode our peace and national unity.
The Government should come down hard on all persons who pose a threat to peace and unity in a fair and equitable manner that is accepted by all;
- Security standards have to be enhanced by greatly improving the crime index with more urgency.
The Police could use their new laws to go all out to break up the crime syndicates and get the kingpins, as they promised they would do, in order to get public support for the introduction of the new Crime Prevention Act;
- Corruption is still high and despite all government initiatives, it has hardly improved. New laws need to be introduced and the MACC has to show that it is more effective by reducing the TI Index considerably and more significantly;
- Inflation is a growing threat to our well-being. The poor and lower income groups are now burdened with rising prices.
Despite the BR1M, they find it difficult to cope with daily living costs. The recent reduction in subsidies and the increase in toll, electricity and property rates are not the only cases of rising prices. There has to be an anti-inflation strategy to combat inflation.
The Government has to remove or reduce monopolies, closed and negotiated tendering practices and liberalise the economy much more. We have to adopt principles of the New Economic Model and phase out the abusive practices of the protective policies;
- Social stability has to be buttressed by basic needs policies that have to replace race-based policies and practices.
Race economics have also undermined national unity.Some even claim that there is political and economic apartheid, which is quite ridiculous.However, these issues have to be boldly addressed and overcome, to give greater priority to the poor of all races;
- Unemployment is looming as a serious problem and must be curbed quickly.
Graduate unemployment is a rising social threat. Can the Government seek faster ways of improving our education system by introducing more technical teaching to make our school graduates more productive and thus employable. We might also be able to reduce drug consumption and gangsterism;
- Religious bigotry and religious intolerance have to be clamped down more strenuously before we have more disharmony and less religious appreciation and understanding of each other in our multiracial society.
Can a National Interfaith Council under the Prime Minister or his Deputy be formed next year to promote more religious goodwill?; and
- Malaysia’s Human Rights record has to be improved as a matter of high priority.
We have not signed and ratified all the Core Human Rights Conventions.Malaysia has now to respond to 232 recommendations before the Human Rights Council in March 2014.
Surely, we can show the world that we are far better disposed to the promotion and protection of human rights in our country?
In conclusion, I believe that if we can sincerely adopt and implement the above eight New Year Resolutions, we would make a big leap forward in ensuring for ourselves - a more Happy and Prosperous and United Malaysia in 2014 and beyond!