I WOULD like to express my deepest gratitude to the prime minister for appointing me to the newly constituted National Economic Action Council. I will do my best to help and input into the National Development Agenda.
The key word that must be given utmost priority is action. The terminology “economic” actually cuts across sectors and involves society and the nation at large.
The word “council” simply denotes the group that is being formed. It could be a committee, a taskforce or whatever.
What is really important is that after all the discussion and debates, the poring over reports and working papers, there will be expeditious effective action taken by any and all agencies, departments and units in the public sector that have been tasked with the respective responsibilities, on the decisions made as also any decision collectively made by the Cabinet.
We have lost ground and time over the last decade. There is no need for me to retell the narrative.
It is now about hitting the ground running. Not about reinventing any wheel, politicising things and issues, viewing issues from the narrow parochial perspectives (such as purely race or religion), injecting unproductive issues into discussions, which are clearly the antithesis to national development, national unity, and overall national interest.
The government machinery at all levels must be energised to respond and act as expected by the people of “civil servants” (not civil bosses). Devoid of self-interest and ulterior motives, I say this from my heart.
Because unless we all feel that strong sense of service, of responsibility to the nation, and doing our part in our respective roles in society, very little can come out of what we do.
It is not about “working hard” but “working smart”.
It is not about “playing our roles”, such as dancing to whatever tunes people are playing, playing to the gallery, and playing the “chamelion game”, changing colours as and when necessary and expedient. We are all stakeholders in the nation.
We need to responsibly “assume” our different respective roles to add value to the nation’s development.
Clearly we might miss the target of Vision 2020 as measured in quantitative terms.
But developed nation status is not only about statistics and figures.
The qualitative aspects are even more important. The positive mindsets and attitudes of Malaysians, nurtured at home and in schools, and perpetuated throughout life will ensure that our human capital truly are the prime movers of the nation’s socio-economic development.
We must work with some sense of urgency, if only to not lag behind others who were before this actually behind us in achievement.
Many Malaysians are not so much worried about their own future as they are of the future of their children and grandchildren. For example, about whether the public education system has what it takes to enable the young Malaysians of today and tomorrow to be properly and adequately equipped to take on successfully the challenges and opportunities of their living and operating environment.
The people expect good outcomes and results from any government initiative, measure or policy. And more importantly they want to feel that those results are filtering down to them.
I see much would need to be tackled by the council.
I look forward to serving for the good of my nation.
Sejahtera Malaysia kita.
Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz believes in speaking from the heart, mincing no words. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org