Since the beginning of the Mahathir era until today, the Umno-led government has accumulated a trail of unresolved national misfortunes, by-products of long-term bad governance and gross abuses of power.
It has compelled Malaysians to collectively act (read 2008 polls tsunami) in order to save the nation from the these ills and their consequences.
Hence Pakatan Rakyat, as the opposition coalition, must take the initiative now to address these failed policies and practices instead of waiting until it is elected to office as the next federal government.
These long-standing, unresolved products of mismanagement have generated into toxic national waste harmful to the national, political and economic environments that have earned Malaysia the tag as a “sick nation” and the laughing stock of Asia.
Pakatan must tackle these national disasters now ahead of the impending 13th general election, bearing in mind the grim possibility of a double tragedy – declaration of an emergency and a crackdown on the opposition before the election is held, thereby clearing the path for an easy election victory for the Umno-led Barisan Nasional.
Pakatan must therefore foresee these possible circumstances and stop any and all impending election tragedies now to enable it to overtake the incumbent federal government.
It is critical that Pakatan proves to the rakyat that it can tackle these national misfortunes and produce a strategy to overcome these grim election possibilities prior to the general election.
The Pakatan leaders should set up steering committees to analyse and establish the facts and offer solutions for each one of these issues and situations.
Set up steering committees
Key issues that the steering committees should address are:
- To ascertain the real amount of Bank Negara colossal foreign reserves’ losses in currency speculations involving the British pound in 1992/93 in the London foreign exchange market during the tenure of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
- Revisiting EPF’s losses during the Mahathir era. From the Mahathir-era until today, funds from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) have been abused for mega projects.
- Tax evasion by BN crony companies. The revenue for 2012 is expected to be around RM187 billion only. This constitutes about 20% of the GDP. In Western countries the rate would be much higher.
- Granting of free MyKads and citizenship. Pakatan must end this despicable act by Umno to give away identity cards and citizenship to foreign workers on condition they vote for BN. Pakatan should gather the actual figures and present them to the 13 million Malaysian voters and demand the cancellation of these illegal documents.
- Clean electoral rolls. There are about 13 million registered voters in the electoral rolls. If the Election Commission fails to clean up the messy electoral list, then it should be directed to use the 2008 electoral list instead in the coming national polls.
- Tackling crime. Currently the police force is trained to solve crimes. But tackling crimes requires the virtues of honesty and integrity on the part of the police. An honest police force can arrest/stop criminals, thereby bringing down crime possibly by more than half, while a dishonest one will become a willing accomplice to the criminals.
- Education revamp. The education examination system must be cleaned up of irregularities. For many years the Umno-led government has been manipulating the public examination procedures. Malay students from selected schools in the peninsula are taught to cheat in the public examinations to enable them to score well, namely in the PMR, SPM, STPM and matriculation tests, which is haram in Islam and illegal.
- Human values. Morally crooked Umno leaders are teaching their young kids and others the trait of cheating themselves and others to succeed. These kids when they grow up are likely to lead a crooked way of life and will lose God’s blessings.
- Reviewing federal-state ties. Pakatan must prepare a new oil-sharing agreememt and review the current status of the signatories to the petroleum agreement. The agreement must respect the status of oil-producing Sarawak, Sabah, Terengganu and Kelantan. Petronas should be regarded only as a mere contractor on behalf of the federal government.
- Hudud. There is a need to tackle the law together with the eradication of poverty and social problems through economic development and religious upbringing respectively. From this perspective, PAS needs to upgrade its leadership qualities. At present, it appears that the PAS top echelon leaders are not confident enough to lead the Pakatan coalition, let alone lead the nation.
- Islamic banking. The current Islamic banking system is only a rebranding of the western concept of banking system. A true Islamic banking system has two functions – to give out loans especially to those in need without interest and the do business as an investor partner in joint-venture projects to make profits for the depositors and the shareholders.
It must be well-prepared for the battle and be able to show clear signs of victory before going into the battlefield.
Awang Abdillah is a political analyst, writer and FMT columnist.