Zaid: Ditch “failed” five-year plans, start fixing real problems now!

IN a scathing attack against the Government, former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim urged the Government to do away with the five-year Malaysian Plan, as they have been proven to be unsuccessful.

“Just to do away with this five-year plan drama. It’s waste of time and money. India did not do well with it and ditched this developing method because its implementation was flawed.

“Ministers come and go and they change policies as they wish. Civil servants also scuttle the policies when it suits them, with even politicians being unaware of what’s happening,” he said in a Facebook post.

Recently, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz announced that the Government was in the midst of preparing the next fine-year Malaysia Plan.

With that, he called upon the public to share their input on the matter so that the Government could enact a comprehensive policy to rejuvenate the country.

Unimpressed with the matter, Zaid urged the public to gauge the effectiveness of Malaysia Plans since its inception, adding nothing substantial were ever achieved with most targets barely met.

“What happened to our great industrialisation plan; the plan for unity and rebirth of the nation? What happened to achieving Vision 2020, where Malaysia will prosper like first world countries?

“Where are the science and innovation in our education system? What happened to creating high-income economy and the empowerment of our people?

“The truth is, all of them are now shelved in the archives of the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO),” he lashed out.

Offering solutions, Zaid called on Tengku Zafrul to resolve five main issues affecting the country to ensure Malaysia would recover and become competitive globally.

Firstly, the former Kota Bharu MP urged the Government to establish a clear plan to deal with COVID-19 and its after-effects.

“How do you plan to spend money on public health infrastructure? How is the recovery plan going to happen? Get the former prime minister to provide details and debate it in the Parliament,” he added.

Secondly, Zaid said that country’s education system needs to be overhauled to instil competitiveness and produce quality graduates.

Education, food and financial services

For starters, he urged the Government to deal with the quota system, without affecting quality of the graduates coming out.

“How do we produce graduates who can earn enough to repay their student debts? Can we produce quality doctors that can be absorbed into the public healthcare system permanently?

“And please don’t expect our Education Ministers to answer this. Talk to education experts and again, debate it in the Parliament,” Zaid stressed.

On the third aspect, he urged the Government to revamp the civil service and make the pension schemes more sustainable in the long-run.

He opined that the Government should consider removing pensions for Ministers who were already being paid well, with some even being wealthy from the start.

“Can we look into slashing the number of civil servants to make it more affordable to maintain in the long-term?

“And please look into this unnecessary appointment of ministry advisers and special envoys,” Zaid stated.

On the fourth issue, Zaid said the Government should look into reviving the agriculture sector radically given the need to improve food security.

“We need to look into using our abandoned lands, some 30 million acres, to help in this effort. The Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MADI) needs to be more in tune with the nation’s needs, especially our farmers,” he opined.

Lastly, he urged the Finance Ministry to issue five more banking licenses to parties who are willing to lend money at an affordable rate.

“Our big banks here should relocate to Manhattan. They have no interest to support small timers and budding entrepreneurs.

“They are only keen to help those who want to make more money, not support those who are financially constrained,” Zaid concluded. – Sept 6, 2021

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