Published by EMIR Research, image from Malay Mail.
The new cabinet that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will form needs to think of the rakyat by taking into consideration the importance of “perut” (tummy) economy which are actually bread and butter issues.
At the same time, the new government
would have to focus on anger management by not appointing those who are tainted
with court cases in the cabinet.
This was the points made by
the President and Chief Executive Officer of Emir Research, Dato’ Dr. Rais
Hussin Haji Mohamed Ariff at Astro Awani’s talk show, “Consider This:
Post-Pakatan Malaysia” on Sunday evening.
The other panelist in the
programme is Dato’ Sri Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos, a lawyer and founder of a
non-governmental organisation, Rakyat Penyelamat Negara.
With the appointment of Tan
Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as Malaysia’s Eight Prime Minister by the Yang di-Pertuan
Agong, Dr Rais observed that some people are jubilant, while others are equally
Quoting a recent EMIR Research
Inaugural Poll that showed 41% of Malaysians supporting Pakatan Harapan while
38%, Muafakat Nasional (Umno and PAS) based on an estimated margin of error of
plus and minus 3%, Dr Rais also said the new government which is Perikatan
Nasional, should be focusing on how to manage the people’s anger mostly on the
“The first thing the
government should focus on is what I always called the tummy economy or the
perut economy which means mitigating the cost of living, improving the quality
of life, creating credible jobs and by that I don’t mean the jobs created by
the gig economy, affordable homes and affordable healthcare. These five things
become very important,” said Dr Rais.
Not only that, the new PM
should bring in technocrats and professionals while ignoring those tainted by cases
in courts and also for once, the new government should put aside all these
political games and focus more on rebuilding the nation.
“Focus on what the people want
and not what the politicians want, that is the tummy economy and then … focus
on the new politics … Datuk Sri Dr Zul
was an excellent Health Minister, you cannot get a Health Minister better than
him, bring him in.
“This is what we called out of
the box solution but if you want to go back to the same old, same old politics,
political accommodation, bring in tainted guys … then I think we are going to
have a bigger problem,” added Dr Rais.
Earlier Dr Rais mentioned
about the Indonesian model where about 50% of the cabinet is composed of
technocrats while the remaining members of the cabinet are politicians
including member of the opposition.
He also stressed on the
importance of maintaining the independence of the judiciary. “And the third one
that is very, very important is that … make sure the independence of the
judiciary is maintained. The executive must not interfere in the court cases.”
Echoing the points made by Dr
Rais, Dato’ Sri Jahaberdeen said the extremely important things are the good
structure of the cabinet, the credible cabinet members and the successful
policies to be implemented.
Both panelists also emphasised
on the need for the current government to think about how to deal with future
economic challenges and build domestic economic resilience.
According to Dato Sri
Jahaberdeen the general dignity of the rakyat must be highlighted because the
non-Malays are now worried about the resurgence of the Bumiputera government
and the new government should address this issue so that they do not have to
worry about any racial and religious issues in the future.
In this regard, he is
confident that there would not be a problem for the new government because they
have been working with other race-based parties before.
Meanwhile, Dr Rais felt that all
politicians should give serious focus towards reviving and reinventing the economy
since the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is coming.
He also talked about the right
political optics in the sense that politicians should leave their politics at
home and start working for the rakyat to gain their trust and satisfy their
The politicians also have to
take a step back, learn from the past, be responsible for their roles and go
beyond power as the national interest is extremely important rather than the
interest of parties and individuals.
Reform must be done for the country
by fulfilling the manifesto because it is not just a book but it is the
laborious work that has to be fulfilled.
Hence, the politicking needs
to be stopped and the rakyat should contribute towards empowering and building
institutions for a better Malaysia.
Farhan Kamarulzaman is Research Assistant at EMIR Research, an independent think tank focused on strategic policy recommendations based on rigorous research.