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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What the PM needs to do now - Ranjit Singh


If there is a popularity poll conducted now, I believe that the ratings for Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak would be at its lowest ebb.
Prime ministers must sometimes make tough calls which would not be soothing for the masses but that's the way it is.
President Obama's Obamacare that governs healthcare spending in the US has not attracted much support but those in the domains of the power must sometimes make unpopular decisions.
Najib's 2014 Budget was mired in controversies. In all fairness, it was a budget which was difficult to frame as the federal debt is nearing its ceiling and government coffers are running dry. Armchair critics would be very vocal in criticising the budget but let's take a step back and see what more the PM can do to uplift the well-being of the rakyat (people).
The GST would a bitter pill to swallow, but it's more important that the ailment is healed rather than just cured.
GST would address the structural weakness and unpredictability in revenue collection. Fareed Zakariya, editor at large at Time magazine who was in town last week, was spot on when he said that "the best preparation for future economic shocks would be resilience and that comes with investments in human capital".
We, as a collective force, must address the issue and the government has not got adequate resources to change the mindset which is affixed in complacency.
Each individual should have a quest to better himself and the government should provide the ecosystem.
Currently, the ecosystem is just not there but more sadly is that we cannot even agree on the medium of instruction.
We get students to eat in toilets and nobody seems to discuss the concept of the school as the alma mater or "nourishing mother".
Friends, it's high time we revamp the status quo because things don't seem to be working top down. We must use the bottom up approach.
Let's begin a public debate on this.
* Ranjit Singh reads The Malaysian Insider.

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