Najib’s New Economic Model may look impressive on the surface. But, in our cover story, Jeyakumar Devaraj asserts that NEM policies are actually recycled neo-liberal IMF/World Bank prescriptions for developing countries.
Francis Loh, for his part, wonders how the NEM’s plan to decentralise decision-making can be possible when the BN federal government is uninterested in sharing power with state and local governments.
In the past, there was too much obsession with economic growth. In view of rising social inequality, Toh Kin Woon says it is always important to ask: Who in society is benefiting from this growth?
We also carry a report on a forum Kin Woon moderated discussing what is wrong with our health care service. The free market system cannot guarantee equitable access to health care services; the government has to ensure that the people get access to the services they need instead of introducing policies such as the Full-Paying Patients scheme. The FPP scheme is not just a Malaysian thing; Silvia Vignato reports on her frustrating experience with the FPP in Italy.
And then there are the communities who have been marginalised from the economic mainstream. Yogeswaran reports on a rare Orang Asli protest over the government’s Orang Asli land policy. Anwar Ibrahim had tried to push for accountability from within Umno – but he was promptly sacked from the party, recalls Hishamuddin Yahaya.
The struggle for change will not come easy; nor are there any short-cuts. While elections are important, they should be seen in the context of a much larger struggle for reforms and change spanning decades, reminds Anil Netto.
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