To Change Or Not To Change

The following are taken from Ed Soo’s Facebook status updates on 26 April 2013.

PART ONE

At the beginning of every year, I make my resolutions for the year. Usually it is for a larger bank account balance and a smaller waist. But by the end of the year, the reverse is, often to my dismay, true.

What I have realized over the years is that it is not good enough to only RESOLVE that you will CHANGE, but that you must TAKE STEPS to change your LIFESTYLE, in order for CHANGE to happen. Making the resolutions is the easy part, taking the steps towards change is the hard part, as these steps are often painful and difficult with temptations lurking in every corner.

Nearly everyone I have spoken to says we need CHANGE in this country. We need to improve our education system, we need better security, we need better public transport systems, we need more affordable homes, cars and other necessities, we need to get out of our middle income trap, we need to eradicate corruption… the list goes on.

Time, I believe, is running out for us to be able to make these URGENT changes. We have lost an entire generation to a second rate education system, which promotes mediocrity. Many of the brightest in our country have left for greener pastures. In 5 years, our public debt has risen from RM267 billion in 2007 to RM502 billion in 2012. Our economy has been stagnant 1996-2007. The list goes on.

The time has come to make STRUCTURAL changes to our country. By that I mean amongst others the following changes:

  • Getting rid of the “Bumiputra policies” which has been abused by those in power to enrich themselves, and replacing them with equitable and fair policies to help those in real need.
  • Reforming our EC to ensure clean fair and transparent elections, reforming the judiciary, police, MACC, public service and other arms of government.
  • Reforming the centralization of Federal power, to give power back to the people at local levels.
  • Freeing the press, and guaranteeing the right of expression, peaceful assembly, etc.
  • Reforming the government procurement policies, to ensure transparency and minimize corruption.

Arguments of race, sex, implementation of hudud laws, May 13, etc are mere distractions, to tempt us away from CHANGE.

I believe, that only ONE SIDE is RESOLVING to make these CHANGES in these up coming elections. And that is the side we MUST vote for.

If they win, we must continue to pressure them to TAKE STEPS to effect these CHANGES, as RESOLVING to CHANGE is simply NOT good enough. So on 6th May, the battle is not over yet, and we must continue to pressure whoever wins to take these difficult and painful steps towards CHANGE.

For us, for our children, for Malaysia, our beloved country.

Ed in his yellow Bersih t-shirt and UBAH hat on Nurul Izzah’s nomination day, looking like an overfed chicken.

PART TWO

I am a strong advocate of structural changes to the system, as suggested in my previous posting. This perhaps stems from my interest in philosophy.

Let me elaborate further why structural changes to the system are so important. Lets take our bedevilled education system as an example, using a few of the proposed structural reforms listed in my previous posting.

Getting rid of the “Bumiputra policies” which has been abused by those in power to enrich themselves.

What this will do is ensure that the best possible candidates (on a world wide basis, i add) lead our universities etc. They would be the people who are best able to reform the education system.

At the moment the vice chancellors etc are political appointments.

As Prof Woo Wing Thye said at one of our talks, when asked what was the one thing he would do to improve our universities: “… replace the VCs.” “Smart people don’t like working under those less capable than themselves.”, he added.

This will not happen under BN rule, when people like our ex-Prime Minister and chief instigator, Dr Mahathir continue to say things like: “they (PR) will implement meritocracy and those who are not good enough will be sidelined. They will not get any chance at all. (You) don’t hope to be the navy or air force chief or a vice chancellor in a university in Malaysia.”

In his eager misplaced bid to protect a chosen few, he sacrifices the education of a whole generation of Malaysians. My friends, if we educate ALL Malaysians well — with a 60% Bumiputra population and rising, do you not think there will be more Bumiputra VCs (there on their own merit) in the future? Even now, there are many capable Bumiputras who, perhaps because they are not so good at sucking up to the system, are sidelined.

Reforming our EC to ensure clean fair and transparent elections, reforming the judiciary, police, MACC, public service and other arms of government.

If we have independent institutions, then if the policies of one party is no good, we can vote in the other party at the next election.

The present system is like playing football with one side having a 20 feet wide goal post and the other side having a 5 feet wide goal post, with one side having 20 players and the other side 5 players, with the referee bought over by one side, with rules being changed at the behest of one side.

We need to even out the playing field, in order for real democracy to work, so we can choose the best policies to take our country forward.

Freeing the press, and guaranteeing the right of expression, peaceful assembly, etc.

This allows a proper discussion of policies etc. At the moment, our press are owned by political parties, with its voice stifled to promote the interests of its masters. Thank God for the internet.

Reforming the government procurement policies, to ensure transparency and minimize corruption.

With less corruption and cronyism – there will be less money wasted on stupid crony projects, less wastage (in Penang and Selangor, they recorded a 25% saving in procurement costs) and hence more money to spend on building educational facilities, hiring better teachers and lecturers, etc. Things that matter.

For us, for our children, for Malaysia, our beloved country.


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Posts by Edward Soo

Ed refuses to be defined by words. He is inspired by the words of Emerson in Representative Man: “We too must write Bibles, to unite again the heavens and the earthly world. The secret of genius is to suffer no fiction to exist for us; to realize all that we know”, and is falteringly attempting to write his own “bible”. He dreams of a day when everyone can freely do so.

Posted on 30 April 2013. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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2 Responses to To Change Or Not To Change

  1. Pepper Lim

    Nice!

  2. ahkmlog

    What else is there to add as you have taken it out of mu mouth. LOL.