The clock is ticking for Cabinet ministers who are due to present to the public their respective bulletins on their “Achieving 100 Days of Keluarga Aspirations in Malaysia” by the end of this year. The 100-day period began on September 1.
As a member of Keluarga Malaysia, I have some thoughts on what ministers should address in order to craft a great newsletter. I have limited my comments to eight departments (in no order of priority).
1. Ministry of National Unity: This ministry has been put in the spotlight due to the recent turmoil over the racist comment of one of our national athletes by a politician. This was clearly against the ideals of Keluarga Malaysia. To dismiss this episode by calling it unhappy does not hold water. Just two days ago, a dignitary’s wife used the same “K” word to refer to my son. The incident shows that this degrading word is commonly used and calls into question whether we can truly live up to the ideals of Keluarga Malaysia. So this department has a lot of work to do to get good grades in its report card.
2. Department of the Prime Minister (Religious Affairs): This department should monitor the improper behavior of preachers who like to ridicule other religions. To remain silent would send the wrong signal and cause discord in society.
3. Ministry of Education: Schools and colleges need to get the best talent to direct them to better performance. A system should be instituted based on the ideals of Keluarga Malaysia in the promotion and placement of teachers as well as the admission of students to our public educational institutions.
4. PM Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs): This department is responsible for ensuring that the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63) is taken seriously. We all know our fellow citizens in Sabah and Sarawak feel that this issue is not getting the attention it deserves.
5. Ministry of Human Resources: This ministry must use the best labor recruitment policies for the public and private sectors. It must ensure that the public sector has the right mix of Malaysians in its workforce and set an example for the private sector. In short, we want to observe the Keluarga Malaysia spirit in both sectors.
6. Ministry of Defense: Recently, the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) have spoken out to strongly defend their policy of recruiting non-bumiputras. The quota of non-bumiputras is still low compared to the population of Malaysia. All Malaysians should be encouraged to join MAF in defending our nation.
7. Ministry of Youth and Sports: Sport should be used to unite us, not to divide us.
8. Ministry of International Trade and Industry: More Malaysians need to be provided with skills and training in order to make our country an international hub for trade and commerce. Keep the ideals of Keluarga Malaysia in mind when developing policy in this sector. Avoid those that create discord even if they are positive actions.
People will be the judges on December 10th.
MICHAEL S. ANTHONY