A stroke of as­tute lead­er­ship

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPEAK UP -

PRIME Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Ab­dul Razak’s an­nounce­ment of TN50 (na­tional trans­for­ma­tion plan 2050) as the na­tion’s new agenda, while tabling Bud­get 2017 a fort­night ago, is an as­tute move in the di­rec­tion the na­tion should pur­sue.

It re­vealed the lead­er­ship’s abil­ity to ac­cu­rately as­sess the na­tion’s chal­lenges from a broad per­spec­tive while in­te­grat­ing it with the peo­ple’s needs and turn­ing it into what can be a win-win sit­u­a­tion for all. TN50 su­per­sedes Wawasan 2020 or Vi­sion 2020, in­tro­duced by the gov­ern­ment of the day in 1991.

That “vi­sion” en­vis­aged Malaysia be­com­ing a self-suf­fi­cient in­dus­tri­alised na­tion by the year 2020. It as­sumed, among oth­ers, achiev­ing an am­bi­tious level of eco­nomic pros­per­ity, social well-be­ing, world-class ed­u­ca­tion and po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity.

Such a vi­sion “pre­scribed” for Malaysia might have fit­ted the na­tion’s po­lit­i­cal ethos and cul­ture of the 1980s and ’90s.

But, with a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion of Mil­len­ni­als (also known as Gen­er­a­tion Y), the un­der 30-year-olds largely with higher ed­u­ca­tional at­tain­ment and greater as­pi­ra­tion for eco­nomic pur­suit, social in­ter­ac­tion and po­lit­i­cal par­tic­i­pa­tion, it would miss the point to ex­clu­sively fo­cus on a short­cut to­wards a highly de­vel­oped econ­omy and ad­vanced tech­no­log­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture.

The chil­dren and youth of to­day, with ex­po­sure as never before to a del­uge of in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy, want to ex­plore, ex­per­i­ment, make up their own minds and pur­sue what is best for them­selves.

And, re­mem­ber, they are the workingage pop­u­la­tion of to­mor­row, the back­bone of our na­tion.

They want to be an ac­tive part – not merely pas­sive re­cip­i­ents – of the process of change and devel­op­ment. They want their fun­da­men­tal rights met and equal­ity of ac­cess to ameni­ties, ben­e­fits and op­por­tu­ni­ties.

They want the fu­ture lead­ers in ev­ery facet of their lives to emerge from within their own ranks.

In a way, they are chal­leng­ing the sta­tus quo in all spheres of life.

Parental guid­ance, in­cul­ca­tion of val­ues, ed­u­ca­tion and knowl­edge dis­sem­i­na­tion, and work and life-re­lated is­sues must evolve promptly and ef­fec­tively in line with those de­mands.

In ad­di­tion to the im­per­a­tives of the chang­ing de­mo­graph­ics, the slower grow­ing econ­omy – de­railed in part by the global eco­nomic slowdown and fall­ing de­mand and com­mod­ity prices, ex­ac­er­bated by height­ened social and po­lit­i­cal con­cerns, need to be ad­dressed and re­dressed in a ma­ture, ef­fi­cient and in­clu­sive man­ner.

And, all that re­quires time and space, which is ex­actly what TN50 seeks to do – build­ing a plan from its foun­da­tions, a par­tic­i­pa­tory ap­proach to devel­op­ment, in­volv­ing the grass­roots in so­ci­ety es­pe­cially the “Gen Y”, with a stronger fo­cus than hith­erto on social co­he­sion and na­tional unity.

No su­per­struc­ture can be en­vi­sioned, least of all “or­dered” to be erected on a top-down time­frame, with­out a solid and com­pos­ite un­der­ly­ing ba­sis to cope with the stresses and strains it will have to bear in the medium-to-long term.

Clearly, the Youth and Sports Min­istry charged with en­gag­ing in a pre­lim­i­nary con­sul­ta­tive process will do well to fo­cus on the young across, and in­ter­act with, all social, eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal sec­tors, com­mu­ni­ties and geo­graphic lo­ca­tions to ob­tain the nec­es­sary feed­back for pol­icy for­mu­la­tion and pro­gramme im­ple­men­ta­tion to specif­i­cally bet­ter peo­ple’s lives and liveli­hoods – which, in fact, is the em­pha­sis of Bud­get 2017.

Care­fully man­aged and mon­i­tored, TN50 to­gether with the right re­source al­lo­ca­tion and util­i­sa­tion, in­deed, has the po­ten­tial to truly re­spond to and ben­e­fit all sec­tors of the pop­u­la­tion – a “Peo­ple First” ex­er­cise, while pro­gres­sively mov­ing the coun­try on the path to­wards achiev­ing re­al­is­tic de­vel­oped na­tion sta­tus.

Rueben Dud­ley, Pe­tal­ing Jaya

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.