WHEN we were young, the most popular question posed to us irrespective of race, religion or ancestry was: “What is your ambition?” We were oblivious to politics then.
When Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak spoke about Transformasi Nasional 50 (TN50), a new “vision” for the nation, it brought back memories of what we wanted to be when we grew older. Some of us achieved our dreams, some had to change and some failed.
TN50 is a jolly good thing to happen when we are at the last leg of Vision 2020 and it’s focused on our youths as well.
For that matter, it is our Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin’s “baby”.
The PM said: “We are responsible citizens and forefathers, to leave behind the best and the greatest legacy to be inherited by future generations. Let the old legacy pass.”
TN50 will seek to transform the country’s economy, citizen well-being, environment, technology, social interaction, governance and public administration.
Najib does not want the initiative to be politicised. “Our government today is a government which is willing to listen and uses the bottom-up approach. I believe our development must be balanced and development must be on the basis that no Malaysians will be left behind,” he added.
The general goal for TN50 is for Malaysia to become a top 20 country in the world by the year 2050.
The responsible ministry said one of the key aspects will be the discussion and networking groups. Other groups are also welcome to participate and share their thoughts.
It will also be working with other government agencies, corporate bodies and NGOs.
As a senior citizen, I feel compelled to lay down a few pointers as my personal input.
1. Leave behind the best and the greatest legacy: It is good to leave behind the best and the greatest legacy in the form of TN50 to be inherited by future generations but the older legacies should not be bypassed.
2. Let the old legacy pass: There is a popular adage that goes something like this: “Forget the past, don’t worry about the future, live in the present.”
But usually those who choose to simply forget the past miss out on its fullest potential. There are valuable lessons to be learned from it – the strengths and weaknesses.
Also, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
It is not so simple to just let the old legacy pass. It is a heritage passed on by our predecessors and we should, where possible, jealously guard it.
3. Compare TN50 with Vision 2020 that called for the nation to achieve a self-sufficient industrialized nation encompassing all aspects of life, from economic prosperity, social well-being, world-class education, political stability as well as psychological balance. As I see it, there is not much difference where TN50 emphasises environment and technology. Therefore, we should try to fulfil or complete what was envisioned in Vision 2020.
4. Finish what we started: There was scant mention of Vision 2020 and how the “Way Forward” paper will be fulfilled. Unfinished jobs/projects can be swept under the carpet but rarely would they pick themselves up and quietly leave by the back door. They never do. It is an unwelcome mark on one’s soul, mind, or spirit.
We should together finish and touch the tape in 2020 and raise our hands in jubilation.
5. Respect for elders: This has to do with how much the elders can help the youths working on this new vision and offer valuable lessons. It is also a sign of compassion and mannerism, traits that many cultures value.
6. Era of “the government knows best” is over: It was reported that the TN50 town hall session is the clearest indication yet of the new paradigm that the era of “the government knows best” is over. I do hope that it will become a reality.
7. It must be on the basis that no Malaysians will be left behind: This is noble but is easier said than done. As an example, the Klang Valley MRT project was for the well-being of the people but quite a number have to suffer with the line or track passing virtually over the roof of their houses.
8. The PM does not want the initiative to be politicised: I fully agree but groups from the other side have to be included to contribute their two-sen worth.
Let us make this a truly all-inclusive Malaysian effort for our future generation.
We are the “legal guardian for future generations” and whatever decisions we make today will impact them.
Let us all be statesmen who think not only for the next generation but for the well-being of future generations. To achieve this, the government has to provide the leadership.
And to be more meaningful, I would suggest for us to produce a longer term or a perpetual vision to consciously guide us.