We have always asked among ourselves: Do politicians serve us or do we serve them?
By right, they should be serving the people, especially their voters who elected them to be there. But first, before we can expect much from them, we should also hear what they need and wish for in order for them to effectively serve us.
So what do some of them wish for Malaysia in 2022? NMH editor-in-chief, Hasnah Abdul Rahman randomly asked a few politicians on what’s on their wishlist. Some have yet to respond, not surprisingly as it is a public holiday and some politicians may not have turned on their connection for fear of being disturbed, perhaps.
“It is my wish that the Covid-19 scourge will be ended this year and we go back to normal. At least as normal as we can be,” said Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Ti Lian Ker.
“It goes without saying too that we should treat our environment with tenderness and care so that natural disasters, such as massive floods, can be avoided, or at least the impact is lessened.”
Like most of his peers who were interviewed, he wishes for political stability. “When this can be reestablished, the elected government of the day can return to good governance for the benefit of the people,” said Senator Ti, who is also the Vice-President of MCA.
Three Prime Ministers
For former premier Najib Razak, who is facing a slew of court cases, one would think he would be hoping for fair trials and judges who are independent of any political influence. Instead, his first wish is for political stability in the nation. Well, not surprising, really, since in the last three years, Malaysia has had three prime ministers. Definitely a record for the country, and perhaps in most parts of the world.
As a prime minister for nine years and a Finance Minister for a good number of years, Najib hopes for the country to gain full economic recovery after having its recent ratings downgraded – in part due to poor fiscal management from the time the PH government took over in 2018, the beatings from the pandemic and global recession, not to mention the massive flood disaster that hit the nation recently.
“As always, I urge the current administration to ensure that the people’s needs will be taken care of. Please help them to get back on their feet. They don’t ask for much, just a chance for them to rebuild their lives,” said this Member of Parliament for Pekan who was seen delivering aid to flood victims in Pahang and Selangor, almost every few days.
“A pro-active political eco-system that will enable political parties, especially those with executive powers in either federal or state governments to plan, execute and review policies that would put the contemporary needs of the rakyat first.
“In addition, it should focus on empowering the political representations of youths in various stages of decision-making in order to achieve a sustainable future,” says MIC central working committee member, Sivarraajh Chandran, while rushing to send aid to flood victims in Kuala Selangor – almost a daily ritual (from when the flood started two weeks ago) for this former youth chief of the party.
Traditional And Established Economy
When GRS was elected, Dr Jeffrey Kitingan knew then what he knows now – that they have to somehow wriggle themselves away from traditional and established economy.
“I knew that Sabah would never be able to compete with her much larger, much advanced neighbours like China and Indonesia.We lack the necessary infrastructure and the right people to launch a new industrial revolution in Sabah. I have dreamed of Sabah becoming a regional hub for high speed internet because of our geographical location, but that proved to be easier said than done and requires a lot of money – money that we do not have,” added the deputy chief minister II of Sabah.
“In fact, for the past decades, we have spent billions of ringgit to develop our infrastructure but the investment we crave never materialised. We can only look with envy at the prosperity of our neighbours. Eight of the ten poorest districts in this federation are in Sabah. Despite all our resources, our oil and timber, we still could not eradicate poverty in our great nation.
“Come to think of it, we are not at all poor. Take a look around you. We are blessed in abundance with our beautiful nature, our heritage. And while the world of old may reward the industrialists, in the world today, green is gold.”
Dr Kitingan opines that for any country in this world, to succeed, they should consider going green and dive into the circular economy. The whole world is concerned about the negative effects of climate change, not only on the global economy and our health, but in the survival of humanity itself due to carbon emissions and environmental degradation.
“And with what we already have, we are in the perfect position to partake in this new economy and walk shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the world. But going green is not just about the environment, nature and conservation. It is also about healthy living and the emerging circular digital economy – smart carbon, green technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, deep learning, big data, organic and sustainable farming and cryptocurrency and blockchain technology and the dawn of metaverse,” said the STAR President.
Transparency And Good Governance
For Dr Nurul Ashikin, Chief of Women’s Youth Wing for the PEJUANG party, 2021 with Covid-19 and the massive flood incident was difficult for most of us, but we made it through with courage and determination.
“Personally 2021 was a hectic year for me, I graduated my PhD, founded Pejuanita Muda, a new women’s youth wing. But with the right kind of spirit among party members, I believe we will make it through and face any challenge in 2022.
“I wish for nothing better than for a better year, with care and concern for climate change, and we demand for more transparency and good governance,” said Dr Nurul who just came back to Malaysia after completing her PhD in Regional Environment Systems, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Japan.
Sabah political activist and former Deputy President of STAR, Daniel John Jambun is concerned that the people don’t know what the recent amendments to the Federal Constitution on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA’63) and Borneo rights entail. He looks forward to more clarity on the issue this year.
Additionally, he feels that the Deputy Chief Minister Jeffrey Kitingan and the Sabah AG are not speaking the same language on the controversial Nature Conservation Agreement (NCA) which involves a large part of Sabah for decades ahead.
“Even if we don’t dispute the idea of carbon credits, the Agreement remains controversial because the outside parties involved have allegedly credibility issues.
“The people hope to see the controversy resolved this year. So many NGOs have spoken up on the controversy while one party has even gone to court to seek greater clarity.” – New Malaysia Herald