Panel: Nation’s ‘state of race relations cause for concern’

  • Nation
  • Friday, 30 Aug 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The state of race relations in the country is a cause for concern, said National Higher Education Fund Corporation chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan (pic).

“There are politicians out there who are willing to divide the people to retain or regain power, ” he added.

Politicians from both sides of the divide should exercise responsibility when making statements.

“There are times where certain issues should be discussed quietly among themselves (politicians), and statements should only be made when the issue has been resolved, ” said the panellist at National Economic Forum 2019 yesterday.

MCA Youth chief Nicole Wong Siaw Ting, another panellist, said there was a general feeling of disappointment and frustration felt by the people.

She said this might be due to the lack of transparency and inconsistency with regard to recent government policies.

“I propose that the government hold public polls before deciding on a policy. What is happening now is that a ministry comes out with a policy which other ministries are not aware of.

“This has resulted in the government having to make a lot of u-turns, ” said Wong, adding that young people should also be given a direct voice to the government through social media platforms such as online chat rooms.

Meanwhile, Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry deputy secretary-general Datuk Ng Yih Pyng felt that the government was slow in responding to the needs of the business community.

Ng, another panellist, said the government must be able to implement economic initiatives swiftly as many businesses were now in survival mode.

“I hope the government will facilitate businesses, and not compete with businesses, ” he said.

Wan Saiful, Wong and Ng were part of the panel for an open discussion titled “Malaysia’s future – What should the Government do?”

Meanwhile, more than 60% of those polled during a recent poll by the forum organiser said the country is headed in the wrong direction in several issues.

In a poll where 85 of the 600 forum participants took a stand, 63% felt the country was headed the wrong way, as opposed to 12% who felt otherwise, while 25% remained neutral.

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