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WHAT'S WRONG WITH MALAYSIA? DR M HAS THE ANSWER

DR M must be referring to the VISION 2020 BLUEPRINT, I guess. It seems no one is referring to it lately and has taken the back seat. Hence in case of Malaysia, it is neither failing to plan, nor planning to fail but the case of not doing the right thing right the first time. Take the case of petrol price hike in one solid jump AND now reducing the price gradually in step to the chagrin of the suppliers, retailers and manufacturers. The damage had been done. Try to reverse it? No way.

Dr M: Malaysia lacks good decision-making

Karen Arukesamy of sun2surf

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 26,2008) : Malaysia is lacking in good decision-making because it fails to anticipate the problems of the future.

Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said to achieve Vision 2020, "we must anticipate the problems we may face in the future and be ready to make decisions to counter them".

Mahathir, who introduced Vision 2020 to Malaysia, said the world is going through price hikes in fuel, food, aluminium and steel and Malaysia now needs to be able to handle the high-cost situation.

"Our people are used to very low cost of living, services and food and they are not prepared to face a high cost of living. I think we need to learn from countries with a high cost of living -- how do they survive, how do they prosper and how to be competitive," he said, at the Futurist forum 2008 entitled "Mindset: A framework to anticipate the future" today.

"If we do not do that, then I think we cannot achieve Vision 2020."

Addressing questions from participants on Malaysia's incompetency, Mahathir said: "Malaysia is the most planned country in the world. But people do not follow the plans prepared for them. If people had followed the plans, we would have been a developed country by now."

He said every plan has to have an implementation strategy, without which the plan is useless.

"Fortunate for Malaysia, we do have an implementation unit and the Economic Planning Unit," he said.

Mahathir said planning for people is much more difficult because people resent others telling them what to do or how to think.

"I have spent 22 years trying to change the mindset of the Malays, for example, and I must admit that I have failed in that, but people won't give any more time."

Among other issues, Mahathir also said the education system had become very politicised.

He said the people's mentality has not changed, they want different kinds of education system because they want to preserve their own languages, they want more emphasis in religious education and so on.

He said the people like to blame politicians but the politicians are complying with the people's wishes.

Mahathir also said national intergration is difficult to achieve because politicians are bringing out sensitive issues which create more division amongst the people.

"People think for a multiracial country, we are doing rather well but even then we need to be extremely careful," he added.

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