Be merry but think of Malaysia
By Chua Jui Meng
AS CHRISTIANS rejoice a blessed Christmas with their fellow Malaysians today, they will also start making their annual resolutions to welcome 2013 next week.
Whatever the vows may be, they are generally for the well being of themselves and their loved ones.
However, I call upon Malaysians to include a resolution to help, either directly or indirectly, steer and enhance the positive socio-economic growth of Malaysia.
Every Malaysian, aged 21 and above, has a very important citizen’s duty to perform this year – to elect the government of their choice once every five years.
Whether you like it or not, politics affect your lives in more ways than you think.
Since gaining Merdeka (Independence) from the British in 1957, we have only experienced the governance of one political coalition – the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) and briefly the Umno-led Alliance Party (Parti Perikatan) from 1957 to 1973.
That’s 55 years of uninterrupted rule by Umno. That’s also a very long time in politics and it is long overdue for Malaysians to seriously look at Umno’s performance for the people and nation, thus far.
A key factor which Malaysians must remember is that Malaysia is a blessed country with vast rich natural resources, including oil and gas.
Next, we must ask and honestly answer the many key questions related to the socio-economic progress of Malaysia and whether BN-Umno’s delivery is acceptable.
Where is our economic standing globally today? What’s the standard of our education and innovativeness in research and inventions?
What’s the level of our freedom of speech and association, the dispensing of justice and human rights in general? Are the competency, accountability, transparency, integrity and honesty of BN-Umno acceptable, to both Malaysians and in the eyes of foreigners whom we want to attract as investors?
Has the wealth of the country really been filtered down by BN-Umno to lift the standard of living of all Malaysians or has it only benefited its families and cronies?
Make your own honest and informed judgment on all the above crucial questions. Then, make the all important decision when you cast your ballots in the next 13th General Election.
To me, the No.1 question is: Why is the federal government’s debt exceptionally high at more than RM620 billion (including off Budget liabilities or sovereign guarantees for private corporations like the Port Klang Free Zone and government-linked company loans ending 2011).
This means the BN government is operating above its legislated federal debt of 55% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
With new mega projects like the Sungai Buloh-Kajang Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project and others factored in, you can imagine how much our debts have breached the debt ceiling.
The boss of Malaysia is not the government of the day. The government is elected to serve the people.
The socio-economic welfare of the people and their future is therefore in their hands – the ballots that they cast once every five years.
Here’s wishing Christians a very merry Christmas as they party with their fellow Malaysian brothers and sisters to forge national unity.
And may 2013 be a year of awakening, hope and truly transformation for the progress of all Malaysians and Malaysia.
MAKE IT A YEAR THAT MALAYSIANS RISE AS ONE FOR A PROSPEROUS AND HARMONIOUS NATION.
Is this the type of transformation that Malaysians want?