With some 2,000 nationwide activities, over 2,000 projects and 100 programmes, the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) by Najib’s administration declares that it ‘focuses on generating positive outcomes which are based on what the rakyat wants and needs (“People First”) by ensuring fast delivery of results (“Performance Now”) to contribute to 1Malaysia and Vision 2020.’
I admit it makes a great work plan to improve efficiency for the government bureaucracy.
Unfortunately, in the enthusiasm to produce the visible public goodies to fulfill the National Key Result Areas (NKRAs) identified to spearhead the government’s transformation, Najib’s administration forgot to care and manage the intense public distrust for the Barisan Nasional political entity.
Poor communication and unprogressive comments by Barisan Nasional leaders dismissed, rather than effectively minister to concerns on issues like security concerns of missing fighter jet engines or acts of terrorism that fed on religiosity and attacking places of worship.
Emotive polemics that were not backed by reason were given the leeway to intervene in the democratic pillar of legislation’s process to dispense justice.
These contributed to heighten the suspicion of voters that indeed, Barisan has not learnt or understand a cause of its poor results in the 2008’s General Elections.
Literate Malaysians are served generous servings of unthinking and autocratic decrees from Najib’s cabinet ministers in replying to issues of Constitutional rights in religion and right to information.
Apologetic acknowledgement of the problems without legislative follow through over headlined issues by Barisan’s large stable of politicians contributed to make the people more bewildered, agitated rather than informed.
Why are the lawmakers unable to perform their duty to effectively resolve the citizens’ fears and insecurities?
Perhaps, our Yang Berhormats’ media communications were not meant for the everyday rakyat’s consumption.
Maybe their messages are a form of instructions for their underlings, not the rakyat because the rakyat could not compute the logic of what they are trying to say.
I do not envy Rais Yatim on the load he has to bear for 1Malaysia on his national duty as the Information, Communications and Culture Minister.
But his choice of words failed to convince minds and more unfortunately, entrenched him as a Twitter celebrity for the wrong reasons amongst twitterers.
Perhaps it is a result of a clash between the old and young lifestyles and changed aspirations.
It is commendable that Malaysia political parties recognized the perils of modernity and have taken the trouble to invest and keep up their messaging through combined force of new and established media forms since its lesser electoral win in 2008.
However, fervent Barisan Nasional propagandists and their cyberspace avatars have diluted the message of BN’s love, caring and sharing vision for 1Malaysians.
News articles and web postings populate the internet with more emotive religiosity, racism, magnifying distrust and plays on the illusion of Malays or Chinese or Indians under siege by the rest of the other Malaysians.
To be fair, it is not justifiable to rebuke only the members or fans for they must be severely limited in their training and the scope by Barisan Nasional’s political ideology of race nationalism.
UMNO fights for Malay nationalism and bumiputeraism.
MCA usually retreats to negotiate behind closed doors for its Chinese ‘rights’.
MIC is seen to beg for its Indian ‘rights’.
Did you notice how the words ‘fights’, ‘retreats’ and ‘beg’ invoke unintended responses in young and the undecided voters’ brains?
And so, in the interest of political sustenance, relevancy and lifelong learning, it is not a bad option for Barisan leaders to go back to the drawing board, to understand that fundamental constructive approach to communication based on clear political ideology.
Oh, by the way, I applaud the Federal Court’s recent courage to uphold justice to protect landowners from losing their lands to forgers.
After nine years of waiting under the shadow of the Adorna Properties principle, many landowners could finally be assured that their property rights is once again secure in law.
This is one good way to start again into the new economy.
By: Ho Aoi Ling
The writer was a former Senior Research Executive with MCA think tank, INSAP. She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org