It is just a couple of days before we approach the new decade.
It is also the year that probably every Malaysian was looking forward during the 1990s.
If we can remember well, it was in 1991 that Tun Dr Mahathir introduced the Wawasan 2020 during the tabling of the Sixth Malaysia Plan. There were several goals and objectives that has been laid down which is to be achieved by the year 2020.
I was in my early years of primary school back then. I vividly still can recall the whole Wawasan 2020 vibes when it was introduced. I would say the whole branding and marketing of the Wawasan 2020 is pretty effective, or perhaps for a kid like me back then. It was on the newspapers, televisions, radio, government events, government offices, and promoted in schools as well. The one that I remember the most is that almost every colouring and drawing competition during that time was about Wawasan 2020.
30 years have passed since then, and the year 2020 is finally approaching. Have we actually achieved the goals of the Vision? Let us look back at each one specifically.
The first one is to establish a united Malaysian nation made up of one Bangsa Malaysia. It is easy for me to judge this. I’d say we have failed this totally. Up until today, we are still talking about protecting and fighting for the rights of our respectives races, and not Bangsa Malaysia. We had a Malay congress, and now the Chinese wants to have their own congress. So are we saying that in every couple of months, there will be other races having their own congress as well? Why haven’t any leaders in the country thought of holding a true Malaysian congress instead? It will be 2020 in just a few years and we are far from achieving this first challenge of Wawasan 2020.
Then we are looking at fostering and develop a mature democratic society. The last parliament session saw one Member of Parliament making fun of a religious practice over the ashes of Chin Peng. There were a couple of times the session was suspended for the lack of quorums and empty seats in the block of Government MPs. An MP watching a football match in the august hall of the Parliament. MPs arguing and debating due to partisanship, and not based on the issues raised. Now tell me, when are we able to foster a matured democratic society, if the nation’s leaders are of such attitude?
And we also wanted to establish a scientific and progressive society. Perhaps the flying car prototype might help? Or not? Although I have confidence in our own people to advance in this field, but I still believe in the leverage of working together with other nation to move forward in a quicker pace. For instance, the involvement of a China company in Proton is helping us instead of waiting for the company to die down slowly. We have great people in the tech industry. Grab is a good example, but unfortunately, the company has moved its base to Singapore. Why? I think we should refer to the policies of the Government in the tech industry.
As kids, we have lots of imagination back then in the 1990s. Thanks to the blockbuster scientific movies like The Matrix, Terminator, Men in Black and Stargate; it has fueled wonderful imaginations for kids like me of the year 2020. Modern transportation and buildings, robots, flying cars and many sophisticated devices was imagined. But, now?
I don’t want to sound too negative though as I think we have positive vibes to be happy about though.
I think the Malaysian community is not all that bad. If it is not for irresponsible politicians trying to fan racial sentiments, we have a fairly harmonious society. People don’t have issues of other race and religion observing their celebrations. All of us have friends or neighbours from different background, but we do not have any serious confrontational issues.
Overall, I think we did not achieve as what was depicted in the Wawasan 2020, particularly when it is about race and religion.
I wouldn’t say that the leaders and politicians are the sole ones responsible for it, but they played a key role in it. I reiterate again that our politics have been too focused on power and money, which makes Wawasan 2020 a failure.
I hope this coming new decade and hopefully in another 30 years to come, we would have an impactful positive change, and it should begin with a healthier politics and governance.
Let’s hope for a best one ahead, and Happy New Year to everyone.
This article has been published in Mandarin in Kwong Wah Yit Poh dated 31st December 2019.