Thursday, March 3, 2016

Don’t let political muck be bane of nation, say Rafidah

Former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz today said politics and the economy of the country should be separated, so that the nation will not suffer due to political instability. She said it was accepted that in politics, there were no friends, except for friendships and alliances of conveniences and common purposes, but it was important that a country did not suffer because of political instability. In a Facebook posting today, the Umno veteran said instability caused by the country's political woes was giving Malaysia a bad name, despite the country's strong economic foundation. Rafidah said Malaysia had yet to reach a point where the people and business would be unfazed by who was in government, because the system and its institutions were not well-oiled. "Business (should) continue to do what they do best... i.e. do business, and the people (should) carry on with their lives. "That can happen when the various institutions and structures in the system are so well oiled in the context of governance, that they can efficiently operate without the usual rigmarole of 'government'. "Elected politicians come and go. Political parties too come and go. Yet the economy and country continues to grow. "Perhaps one day, when such a situation has evolved, we may see less and less of the kind of politics and politicking we are witnessing now," she said. Rafidah, who was international trade and industry minister during Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's tenure as prime minister, said a political environment which bred unnecessary uncertainty,  concern and a 'guessing game' was the antithesis of stability. She said when politics was not the arena of choice anymore, there perhaps would not be scrambling and struggle for position and power. "Politicians will only be there as mere semblances of democracy in action. "Public governance will be driven by technocrats and the economy moved in the main by the private sector and business," she said. Rafidah noted that at this point, the good economic and social foundation of the country had been "glossed over" or tarnished by much "unwelcome political muck". Unless cleared, it would be the bane of Malaysia, she said. "People will not be bothered to see beyond that to see the country as it really is – a competitive investment location, a very well-endowed vacation destination with renowned eco-tourism attractions, and healthcare services. The list goes on. "But who would bother to visit when the only publicity they get about Malaysia is the endless political shenanigans, the in-fighting and the power struggles that portray instability. "We are responsible for shooting ourselves in the foot for creating our own predicament. Our credibility will continue to be doubted unless we take stock of the situation and repair the damage already done to the country." Rafidah's remarks came following the suspension of former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's suspension as Umno deputy president, and Dr Mahathir's resignation from Umno earlier this week. Both incidents were seen as a result of the two leaders' criticisms against Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak in his handling of scandals and controversies affecting his administration. Rafidah also said every action would trigger a reaction. "We must take responsibility for our actions and the consequences therefrom. "It is also important that every action we take and every decision we make, is well considered, to minimise any ensuing conflict, bad blood and ill will. What has taken decades to build, can be eroded and eventually be destroyed by injudicious decisions and actions. "The backlash of any action, taken without serious and deep thought of the repercussions, may be severe." – March 3, 2016.]]>

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