Hornbill Unleashed

December 27, 2010

Pakatan’s 100-day reform plan: Malaysia unbound

Terence Netto

You could call it ‘Malaysia Makeover Phase 1’ – this Pakatan Rakyat 100-day reform plan, enunciated a week ago at its second annual convention in Kepala Batas.

You could also call it by more grandiloquent terms like ‘National Recovery Plan’ or ‘Malaysia Revival Programme’, as both are appropriate to the necessity of the task and its gravity for our future.

Definitely, the latter two labels have got more oomph if less alliteration.

But they suffer for reason of their ready comparison to such monikers as ‘Great Leap Forward’ and ‘Marshall Plan’ – the former a misnomer for a murderously disastrous plan that brought much grief to China, and the latter a programme of economic aid that helped western Europe revive after the devastation of world war.

pakatan 2nd convention 191210 anwarNo, Pakatan’s 100-day reform plan is less hubristic in its goals, though surpassingly vital for the reform of the Malaysian polity.

Malaysians above 40 years of age know the fear the abuse of the ISA by the government had caused the people from their recall of Operation Lallang in 1987 when more than a hundred political and social activists were detained without trial.

They also know what the police force was before the sharp surge in shooting deaths of suspects 14 years ago led to public expressions of concern that reached a tipping point when Anwar Ibrahim emerged with a black eye while in ISA detention in September 1998.

Thus the rescinding of a baleful statue and the restoration of freedom from executive interference for the police would be a radical departure from the status quo under Umno-BN.

Revitalisation of the teaching profession

One is not saying that with these two steps, all would begin to be well with what ails the country; only that, absent these two measures, the rest of the list of reformatory acts – there is a raft of them that begs attention, ranging from reform of the judiciary to revival of academic standards in public universities – would take more time and could not be as adequately sustained, minus ISA nullification and police independence.

The latter two actions are germane to ‘Makeover Malaysia Phase 1′, which is really all about the country’s essential rescue from Umno-BN’s decades’ old deformations.

muhyiddin yassin and education ppsmiOther measures are not as equally critical to the makeover of this country, but they indicate the flight path of a Pakatan administration though Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has already accused Pakatan pilots of ignoring the constraints of gravity.

Giving teachers a RM500 raise across the board is just an early signal of how significant the revitalisation of the teaching profession would be under a Pakatan administration.

We need not advert to what HG Wells said about education as being the race between civilisation and catastrophe for us to recognise that good teachers remain the blood plasma of a country.

Hence the RM500 raise is like an emission from instruments that pick up seismic activity under the sea that warn of an impending tsunami.

Our education system is due for a tsunami of change and the teaching profession will early be primed for the task under the initial propulsions of a Pakatan administration.

Society needs impartial arbiters

The other reforms, outlined in the Pakatan 100-day programme, are necessarily ancillary to the radical two steps of ISA rescinding and restoration of independence to the police.

Without so much as indicating that other agencies for good governance would be similarly freed under a Pakatan administration, the latter two steps would cause peer pressure and generate a healthy sense of competitive rivalry to make the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Election Commission to follow suit as impartial arbiters.

That Pakatan has indicated that they would indeed free these two agencies in the first flush of their reformatory ardour only serves to underscore the urgency of their intentions and their certainty that the public would back them unreservedly.

The Pakatan 100-day reform plan is the opposition coalition’s response to Malaysian society’s urgent hunger for change in areas where such change matters the most.



TERENCE NETTO has been a journalist for close on four decades. He likes the occupation because it puts him in contact with the eminent without being under the necessity to admire them. It is the ideal profession for a temperament that finds power fascinating and its exercise abhorrent.



  1. Readers may be interested to watch the much discussed Animal Farm in this web site lately.

    You can draw your own conclusions from this famous animated film.

    Comment by peoplespower101 — December 27, 2010 @ 9:11 PM | Reply

  2. Sarawakians want this corrupted man out!Everybody know who he is…..(clue:4WORDS)

    Comment by babai — December 27, 2010 @ 7:26 PM | Reply

  3. Terrence your comments on the Great Leap Forward (GLF) exposes your naive extreme political bias. Are you part of the smart arse pro-western/US CIA journalist cabal? Or is it your cynical value judgement- because of your anti-communist stand?

    Don’t laugh or feel superior like all reactionaries do to denigrate the Chinese people’s effort to change. China achieved in 30 years what Malaysia failed to achieve in 47 or 53 years and is doing its backward flip.

    Journalist should present the facts without political flavouring. As an “experienced” journalist you should couch your words carefully unless you have first hand knowledge and not rely on what the CIA put out.

    The first Great Leap Forward V1 may have crashed. But was it “murderous” as you emotionally put it? Did the CPC set out to kill its people and supporters? In all its more than 30 years of arduous liberation struggle it had strict rules on preserving human lifes as opposed to the KMT and Japanese scorch earth “Kill Burn & Loot” policies (30 million Chinese murdered/butchered by them in their invasion. The Japanese still try to cover up by denying the Nanjing Massacre/genocide of 1937 (estimated 300,000 raped and butchered) or that they indulged in enslaving comfort women, experimented on Chinese prisoners as live human guinea pigs, use of germ and chemical warfare. How about the US/UK invasion- carpet bombing of Baghdad and mass murder in Iraq? and Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia? Have you ever written on all these other US horrors too in the last 40 years? Which side did you impassionately take?

    The GLF V1 could have been summed up this way.

    “China was politically and physically encircled by the US Western alliance after 1949 and it sought ways to become industrially independent. The GLF was perhaps misguided and not well thought out. The people were urged to produce (primitive and useless quality) steel in their backyards and they got carried away. Food production was neglected and resulted in great human sufferings and many died of starvation etc. (In the end you cannot eat political slogans).” That is more balanced and acceptable view.

    There are many positive and negative aspects of a human revolution which must be weighed out before passing quick judgements.

    How does a people (400 million at the time) with little “advanced western ideas” and means make advances in new social political system when the victors have to contend with the sabotage of the old regime and supporters and US encirclement?

    [Pakatan will without doubt face a similar attack if it wins power].

    After a long painful process it could be said that China has launched GLF V2. It has now taken off and practically everything is “Made in China”.

    Now people like you probably sneer and make jokes about that too. All reactionaries try to encircle and put down the Chinese Revolution. The USA, Japan (“Self-Defence” force now fully re-armed and most arrogantly making warlike noises again) and South Korea are trying to start a fire war by deliberately provoking N Korea. It is a good thing N Korea cannot be easily pushed around.

    YES. Abolish ISA and the secret police Special Branch (they are just tools but the real power behind the power). Independent police? Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

    “There’s nothing wrong in suffering, if you suffer for a purpose. Our revolution didn’t abolish danger or death. It simply made danger and death worthwhile.” H. G. Wells

    Comment by peoplespower101 — December 27, 2010 @ 12:28 PM | Reply

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