New government should focus on anger management & rakyat

The new government would have to focus on anger management by not appointing those who are tainted with court cases in the cabinet.

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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 not.

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 tummy economy.

“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 utmost needs.

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.

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