The Transformasi Nasional 50 (TN50) initiative should be run by a more trusted body if it wants to court widespread acceptance, says Tunku Zain al-Abidin Tuanku Muhriz, president of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS).
"...TN50 must not become or be perceived as a partisan agenda. Unfortunately, there is a lot of apathy and distrust in the motives of our Government, even when the government is doing the right thing.
"After decades of blurring the lines between Government and party interests, we must not allow TN50 to be perceived as a partisan agenda. The best solution for this, is to have an independent body or commission to lead the project rather than a specific government ministry," said Tunku Abidin.
Speaking at Ideas' seventh anniversary dinner which also commemorates Malaysia's father of independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman's birthday, Tunku Abidin proposed that a body like the Second National Consultative Council mooted by Ideas Council Member Nazir Razak for the job.
He argued that this would be helpful in inspiring confidence in the consultation process.
"TN50 must respond to everyone in the national conversation, rather than handpicked audiences and pre-planted questions. Otherwise, it will just become another large and an expensive public relations exercise," opined Tunku Abidin.
He added, that partisan interests aside, we have to acknowledge that over the years we as Malaysians have failed to uphold the original spirit and intention behind the Federal Constitution. and this is something that must be address by independent bodies and new blood.
"Unfortunately, vested interests have taken over and the same old people are posited as the solution to the problem, when they were the ones who caused the problems in the first place," he said.
Tunku Abidin also praised TN50's focus on youth as the right thing in paving the way to a better future, as he believe that the aspirations of youth along with the injection of new blood in political leadership, in conjunction with the experience of present leaders, is part of the solution to Malaysia's present woes.
TN50 was announced by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in October last year, a 30-year plan which he boasts as the next stage in the Malaysia's development, after our vision to achieve high income status in 2020.- Mkini