Time to focus and move on

06 Feb 2019 / 19:32 H.

AS I begin to write this on Jan 30, the PH government is exactly 264 days old. During that period, the new government had an overflowing plate of things in front of it. Much was repair work and damage control, ensuring that justice prevails and the litany of abuse of power, and unbelievably corrupt practices was dealt with.

Everyone knows the narrative. It makes one’s blood boil to go through the list ... again and again.

And of course, the nation must move on, catch up on lost time and opportunities, strengthen regional alliances and mutually beneficial collaboration, and address the nation’s resilience and adaptability to face, overcome, and in many cases, benefit from the various transformation and developments in the global economic and technological spheres.

In short, having the capacity and ability to effectively address the imperatives and challenges of those developments.

However there seems to be distractingly continuous (even sickening) sidetracking of focus. Trivial matters and non-issues crop up, often unnecessarily, that trigger debate.

First, it is to be expected, that those still enamoured with the past government (now the opposition), will find any and everything to trigger debate and criticism to cast doubts and to put the PH in a bad light.

That is the nature of power-driven politics. PH must not be distracted by such tactics. Just get on with governance for the rakyat’s and the nation’s benefit. Relegate disruptive debates and arguments to background noise.

Of course, those entrusted with the nation’s governance must themselves not be the source for such unproductive debates.

Please do not broach ridiculous suggestions, which will be scorned by many people, including supporters. Do not entertain proposals that will spark contentious debates, which are divisive.

For example trying to discuss the appropriate work attire for Muslim women.

Surely any right thinking Muslim woman (or any woman) knows what standards of decency should be maintained in the workplace to enable her to present herself well, to be comfortable, and to function effectively.

Why focus on women’s attire time and time again. Are there no better and more urgent things to address? Such as poor educational standards, social ills such as drug abuse, the possible abuse of social media, and the need to inculcate at all levels of society that vital culture of honesty and integrity.

Crooks devoid of honesty and integrity have been exposed. And they were always seen in the “most decent” of attire covered from head to toe. Both male and female. Their garb certainly managed to camouflage their real character.

Please focus on real issues.

There is also the tendency for some people to almost “hold to ransom” the PH government. They keep reminding that they voted for change. They want to see the changes now. And so on.

The sense of exasperation is understandable, as also the impatience.

But the PH government should be given the full term of maximum five years to prove itself, and to present a comprehensive report card of performance.

If we can allow more than a decade of bad governance to practically push the nation almost to the edge of the cliff, why can’t we in good conscience, and with objectivity, allow PH to have that full term to work out what needs to be done, and as expected of them. Let us allow them the space to really govern, and to be constructive in our criticism. It is for our common good if our government can function effectively and show good results.

Let us pick out the wheat from the chaff, the padi from the hampas.

Let not the sometimes raucous background noise drown out the voice of the majority, who only want what is good for them and the nation.

For those in all branches of government, please carry out your duties with responsibility and a sense of accountability. You are all dealing with public funds, the pledge to serve for public good, and for national development, which when effectively strategised and implemented, can result in equitable and fair treatment of all Malaysians, weighted in favour of the underprivileged and the needy, and those who merit getting what is there to be given.

The country must, once and for all, begin to recognise its citizens as just Malaysians; recognising that there will be always economic inequities among Malaysians, (which must be reduced and eventually abolished); opportunities open for all Malaysians to benefit from, especially among our young; to instil that strong will and determination to benchmark against the highest level of performance possible; to put Malaysia back on the global map for our national economic success and good example of national unity in diversity.

There is so much to be done.

We Malaysians are as much the stake-holders in the nation as also all branches of government, and the private sector. We must seek and find convergence in our goals and actions.

Let us provide that conducive environment in which this nation can be governed well.

Let us together have, and exude, that sense of confidence, which can attract investors and businesses to set up operations in Malaysia, as they did in those good times when we were an Asian Tiger and a model for others.

Please do not pass judgment on the PH government after only 264 days.

Sejahtera Malaysia kita.

Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz believes in speaking from the heart, mincing no words. Comments: letters@thesundaily.com

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