We are happy that all Malaysians celebrated 57th anniversary of Merdeka. Looking back, we have done well especially in physical and economic development. One must admit that it is not easy to govern a multiracial, multicultural and multi-religious country like ours. It is a fine-balancing act of catering to the needs and sensitivities of all races. Unfortunately, not many Malaysians are aware of this or only pay lip services. Hence, race and religion continue to be a hot topic. It is unfortunate that often such extreme views are given a lot of space in media. Hence, it is a bad news of race and religion that seems to get all the unwanted prominence.
All Malaysians must accept the fact that we are entitled to our own freedom of expression, our thoughts and opinions but once this infringes the right of another individual, then we are actually crossing the boundaries of freedom of expression. Anti-Malay, anti-Chinese bashing or any form of religious bias should be history and not a daily-stapled diet of any rightful minded Malaysian.
The economic transformation program launched by the Prime Minister seems to bear fruits. From 2010 to 2014, Malaysia has achieved better economic growth than most other Asean countries. One must not be lured into complacency as Indonesia and the Phillipines are fast catching up with Malaysia. Economic growth must also generate employment, equal distribution of wealth, reducing the income gap between the rich and the poor without sacrificing the environment. While we welcome FDI, Malaysia should continue the policy of economic liberalization, coupled with training of more talents and reducing talent leakage.
We should continue to attract investment that has multiplier effect so that all Malaysians will have a feel good factor. Political, racial and religious rhetoric and tension at times will not help our attempt to attract FDI and also in retaining talents. Of greater concern is the education system where the standards of English, Maths and Science seems to go downhill. While we may be aware of it, but we lack the political will to relook at the whole education system. The standard of education system has not tallied with the nation’s growth.