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Friday, April 2, 2010

How will NEM affect us?

THE much awaited New Ecomomic Model (NEM) has finally been released although not in its entirety but at least the first part has been made public. Now it will be up to us to grasp the core message and digest the fundamentals.

The immediate question that arises is the mapping of the blueprint. As ordinary people, we are keen to know the mechanics of how NEM policies will be trickled and channelled down the economic funnel.

Although the NEM is based on recommendations of the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC), we must bear in mind that board room findings often do not reflect the true sentiments of the rakyat.

Many of the problem areas highlighted in the NEM are indeed not new to ordinary citizens. Just look at the education system itself for example, we are still struggling to define our basic language needs and debates have been ongoing for nearly a decade with no light emerging at the end of the tunnel.

Fragmented decisions have resulted in delayed implementation of policies, and political pressures have resulted in back tracking many sound decisions.

If we aspire to move to become a high income nation, we must first change the mindset of our politicians. Politicians can make or break a policy as they are indeed the voice of the rakyat.

And false representation can be detrimental in the long run to the nation. Which side of the political divide they stand on is not important. Their main objective is to bring the nation to greater heights.

In order for any nation to move forward, the human capital is the most important element.

It is sad that many innovative and deserving people have not been given a chance due to lack of “political backing”. Frustrations have pushed them overseas and many more are leaving for the same reasons, even today as I write.

It is with great hope that we wait for the release of the blueprint and microscopic details on how the NEM will be modulated to achieve its goal and deliver sustainable benefits in the long run.

The NEAC has been entrusted with an herculean task and it is not going to be rosy all the way.

In a multicultural and multiracial country like ours, juggling different sentiments whilst holding on to principals can make one lose balance quite easily. Nonetheless, we must give credit to the NEAC for the first phase of the NEM. The real challenge will only begin in the next round though.

NARINDER PAL SINGH,

Shah Alam.

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