It is an opportunity for reflection and taking stock of both our achievements and failures.
It is also a time to review existing government policies, look forward to new ideas and new ways of doing things to build a better Malaysia for all.
It is with this in mind that I would like to put forward my wish list for the new year.
As we embark on a New Year 2017 I fervently hope that the Government would look into the following:
1. Greater effort and commitment by our political leaders and all strata of society to work towards a united Malaysia by emphasising on diversity, moderation and rejecting all forms of extremism which are inimical to the bilding of a united Malaysian nation. Malaysians need to go back to the 1957 Merdeka spirit and work towards genuine reconciliation, racial and religious harmony;
2. More needs to be done by the Government with the co-operation of the people to work towards the protection of our environment, build a more sustainable environment for the future generation and address all environmental concerns which can cause destructive floods and other natural disasters. Relevant laws should be strictly enforced especially the Environmental Quality Act 1974. Civilisation can be destroyed if it does not make peace with the environment;
3. Turn the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) into a truly autonomous and independent body in the fight against corruption. Continuous and serious efforts must be made to instil integrity and ethical values into both the public and private sectors to counter corruption which is pervasive affecting almost every aspect of live.
This is crucial as the MACC has set the target to eliminate corruption by 2020;
4. Efforts need to be intensified by the Government to promote and build a “Total Safety Culture” where safety is no longer a priority but an enduring value to prevent more accidents and loss of lives either on the roads or at the workplace.
Outdated laws should be amended to provide stiffer penalties to punish offenders and act as a deterrent to others.
The principle of accountability must be upheld where findings of major investigations into all accidents must be disclosed and made public;
5. More initiatives are needed to help Malaysians, particularly the middle and low-income groups, to cope with the escalating cost of living and minimise its impact on the people. The authorities must also take stern action against profiteers while at the same time improve services, facilities and the infrastructure for the people ;
6. Intensify efforts to reduce crime and beef up the nation’s security especially in Eastern Sabah in the interest of public safety. Although the crime index rate has decreased between 4.2 per to 12.6 per cent from 2011 until 2015 more measures and initiatives need to be made to address negative public perception towards police efforts to fight crime;
7. Ensure the emergence of an efficient maintenance culture that will provide the rakyat with better amenities for their use.
These include the public transportation system that covers the MRT, LRT, Monorail and KTM rail service.
Political leaders should reduce politicking and concentrate on managing the country and giving confidence to the people to face the multiple challenges that lie ahead.
Malaysians are greatly concerned about the Nation’s economy. The Government should continue its efforts to bolster the Nation’s economy and provide the people with more and fairer opportunities to secure a higher standard of living and better quality of life in line with the Government’s commitment to become a high-income nation.