Perhaps Second Minister of International Trade and Industry (Miti) Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan has not quite grasped how a good government helps make a good country and this boils down to the very minor details of even Malaysia’s cleanliness levels.
In a Malaysiakini report, Ong allegedly said that complaints by Malaysians are partly to blame for the country dropping seven places in global competitiveness.
The Star reported that the World Economic Forum released its annual Global Competitive Report (GCR) 2016-2017 which saw Malaysia slip seven places to 25th out of 138 economies, from 18th (out of 140 economies) last year.
Ong, they are not just perceptions, as these “grudges” did not surface overnight and are based on ongoing issues Malaysians are facing.
In the same Malaysiakini report, Ong also compared Malaysians to Singaporeans, as he referred that Singaporeans give good comments to the country, whereas Malaysians are seen to be condemning the country.
Ong also said,”I have to say that we have to train our citizens: When it comes to surveys and such, I don’t expect everybody to make up a rosy picture, but at least you don’t condemn the country, you just speak the truth.”
Did he mean that Malaysians should be trained to say only nice things about the country and sweep everything bad under the carpet for the sake of good ratings?
Ong pointed out that just 30 percent of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) 2016 to 2017 was based on quantitative data from the government.
The remaining 70 percent was based on the perception of the locals – in this case, Malaysians, he said, some of whom have grudges against the government.
Instead of blaming Malaysians who are unhappy with the system and the government, Ong should be channeling the survey into understanding the roots of these complaints.
Just last week alone, the water shortage issue was enough to create more grudges against the government or rather, more unhappy Malaysians are bound to express discontent – in other words, complaints about the country.
In Ong’s words, he said “Just speak the truth without emotion, even if sometimes you don’t like the government, don’t blame the country… Because when the rating is down, it affects everybody,”
But the truth is, in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur alone, there are all kinds of problems with the infrastructure, local councils messing up traffic flow, the expensive public transport that broke down twice two weeks back, ongoing badly managed roadworks that are hazardous, flash floods occurring every other day due to badly managed irrigation system and the list goes on.
On top of which cost of living continues to rise with the haunting presence of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the unsolved woes of pollution, more development projects approved despite the glaring non-affordability of Malaysians and corruption problems cropping up every other week.
Apart from these problems that are a plenty to complain about, Malaysians are probably beginning to live in fear of being arrested under the Sedition Act 1948, for expressing freedom of speech.
These are only several problems faced by the urban Malaysians. So, imagine what complaints those who are struggling to make ends meet in rural areas may have.
The complaints Ong referred to are likely more to be just the tip of an iceberg.
Soo Wern Jun@The Heat Malaysia Online