25 years have passed since the plan was laid in the year 1991. It was formulated when the then Prime Minister, Tun Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad was tabling the Sixth Malaysia Plan. We are only 4 short years away from the dream of realising that very vision. Yet how close, or far away are we from achieving that elusive goal?
Dr Mahathir posed 9 set of challenges that we as Malaysians had to overcome in order to move forward as an entity and to attain Vision 2020. Out of the 9, how many can we say that we have ticked off?
Establishing a united Malaysian nation made up of one Bangsa Malaysia (Malaysian Race).
Don’t say you haven’t, because for certain you have been bombarded with headlines such as Malaysian Indian Man Helps Old Malay Lady Cross The Street. Yet, does it matter if race was thrown into the mix? Would the headline read oddly if the races were removed?
We are 1Malaysia at the end of the day, regardless of the colour of the skin on our back, and until we can move forth without having to highlight the subject of race in any noble acts we perform, then we have still got some learning to do.
Creating a psychologically liberated, secure and developed Malaysian society.
Psychologically liberated society. Now that’s one way to look at it. When was the last time that you stepped outside of the comfort of your home and held on tight to your bag? It doesn’t matter your gender, the mindset is there that our streets are not as safe and secure as we hope it to be.
And if it is already ingrained in our mindset that we can’t find safety within the space of where we live, then we clearly cannot blame those who choose to leave the nest to find a place which they deem more developed and safer to live in.
Fostering and developing a mature democratic society.
Can we say that we are? I wish we could, but even from the outside looking in, it’s easy to see that the cracks are there and they are visible not just by light, but also by dark. If we want to be a democratic society, there must be no divide among us, and we must all stand for the same cause, but that certainly is not the case.
Establishing a fully moral and ethical society.
If you want to observe whether or not a person is moral and ethical in his ways and actions, don’t look at how he treats his family because we are programmed since young to protect those in our turf. Instead, look at how he treats his neighbours, colleagues, acquaintances, and perhaps even his domestic help.
Videos of maids and foreign workers being mistreated, be it through actions or words, is not uncommon. If we want to move forth and attain Vision 2020, then we have to be able to respect those who choose to dwell in our nation as well, and treat them with kindness. Yes, they may not be born and bred in our country, but we as Malaysians have the responsibility to welcome them with open arms and to treat them as one of our own.
Establishing a matured liberal and tolerant society.
Change is different. But change could be good. Have we as a nation forgotten that? It appears as if we are afraid to fully make a stand about our choices, when it means that we have to forgo what has not worked for our country, and to move on to things which do.
Understandably old habits die hard, but we can be keyboard warriors all we want. Yet if it significant change that we want to see, then we cannot wait for another to make the move. We have to make it our self. That’s what being matured is all about anyways. It’s about doing what you believe is right, whether or not there is anybody else standing beside you, making that same call.
Establishing a scientific and progressive society.
Recently, the education system in our country got an upgrade. We would soon be introducing coding subjects in elementary school. This is perhaps one thing which we got right. It is an underdeveloped, highly-valuable skill to own in the coming days.
What this spells is that a fresh, bright-eyed teen straight out of college, could possibly replace the hardworking long-serving employee who lacks that very skill. It is a complete game changer in terms of future employment and how our nation will progress, and it’s a great step forward in overcoming Challenge 6.
Establishing a fully caring society.
Malaysians are thought to be the ones who care the most. Sure, there would be the odd one out who does not give up his seat for a pregnant lady on the LRT, but overall, we would help those who are in need, and would hardly expect anything out of it.
That is why pages such as Humans Of Kuala Lumpur exists. Besides highlighting the struggles of everyday people, it also shows how we are all just humans, wanting to help another out, and that is progress shown for Challenge 7 of Vision 2020.
Ensuring an economically just society, in which there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation.
Unfortunately, the disparity between the rich and the poor is still towards extreme ends in our nation. We need only visit the city of Kuala Lumpur to witness firsthand how the ground which is stepped upon by a wealthy businessman, is also the same ground that an old beggar lies on when night falls.
It is more than just a sad situation to behold, it is also something which requires fixing. Yes, it might be impossible to completely erradicate poverty, for even well-developed nations observe people groups who are still in lacking. Still, it doesn’t mean that we should do nothing about it. And no, handing out your loose change alone to these citizens of Malaysia is simply not enough for the difference we need.
Establishing a prosperous society with an economy that is fully competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.
It is no secret that our economy is not at its peak nor at its healthiest. Yet, what is amazing is that we are still achieving the resilience aspect of Challenge 9 and we won’t give up without a fight. Despite the global financial crisis of 2009, which still sees its effects rippling in locals shores, we are still fighting. In fact, there is improvement in the industrial production realm specifically, and that is good sign for Malaysia.
So, that’s 3 out of 9 challenges which show promise, Malaysians. What about the remaining 6? We only have 4 short years left, but what are we going to do about this? Ultimately it’s your call too, and you’ll only see the change which you’re willing to tirelessly champion for.
Feature Image Credit: http://www.futuredirections.org.au/