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Should Malaysia Be Led By Technocrats? - Syahir Sulaiman (Part 2)


“And We sent not (as Our messengers) before you other than men whom We inspired; and ask the Followers of the Remembrance if you know not.”
(An-Nahl: 43)

MALAYSIAN ECONOMY - THE REMEDY

Coming back to the survey on ‘What ails Malaysia and how to fix it’ by The Edge in December 2016, several solutions emerged as the answer for our beloved Malaysia.

About 80 percent of respondents want the government to spend prudently and minimise wastages and leakages. The same number of respondents also want a stronger ringgit and purchasing power as a way to ease the burden of high living costs, while BR1M handouts are totally unpopular, with only 3 percent choosing it as a solution.

On political contestation, almost 75 percent respondents want institutions such as the Election Commission and MACC to play a more independent role in discharging their core duties. In addition, almost three in four respondents want politicians to declare their assets and expenditures, followed by almost 60 percent who would prefer the imposition of a fixed term limit for political office bearers.

Fairly interesting, with regards to the solutions for the Malaysian economy, more than 60 percent of respondents would like to see more technocrats and fewer politicians in policy making, followed by almost 50 percent who similarly would like to see improvement in skills and talent pool, restoring business and consumer confidence, and reducing public and household debt levels.

TECHNOCRATS FOR MALAYSIA

The concept of a technocrat government is still alien in Malaysia, but it has been a deus ex-machina in Italy, where economist Mario Monti was appointed as the prime minister and Greece, where economist Lucas Papademos has been named as the prime minister.

In view of the alarming and impending economic and political fiasco in Malaysia, PAS President, YB Dato’ Seri Tuan Guru Hj Abdul Hadi Awang mooted the idea in 2016. He aptly introduced this concept, urging Malaysians to explore the idea of forming a technocratic government, with its leaders being appointed based on their professional expertise and academic qualifications.

Describing it as the way forward, the party’s deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man also said that such a system would reduce the current narrow-minded polemic based on mere perception, abuse of power, and slanderous politicking.

“Based on the country’s history, we must accept the fact that not all technocrats know how to be in politics, and not all politicians have technocratic minds”, he added.

As such, the question we should ask ourselves, is Malaysia being led by a group of competent and professional leaders?

And a more fascinating question is, what can technocrats achieve that politicians can't?

- Syahir Sulaiman, Head of Strategy, PAS Youth
- 12 March 2017

*This is Part 2 of his article on technocratic government, as a prelude towards ‘Konvensyen Profesional Malaysia (K-Pro)’ entitled ‘Mempersada Kerajaan Teknokrat’, to be held on March 18, 2017 at Cyberjaya.