Tota comes up with a fourth set of wishes for the new Malaysia.
Here’s continuing my wish list:
- Provide a just recognition and reward for Ambiga Sreenevasan, a committed, consistent and inspirational campaigner for civil and political rights and for clean and fair elections.
- Provide some recognition for Lim Kit Siang, a great patriot who has sacrificed his life to build a better Malaysia.
- Get rid of the current discriminatory per capita allocations to schools. Make the per capita grant for all types of schools the same. Every child is precious and should be treated equally.
- Ensure that when money from public coffers is used for lunches, dinners and banquets at state, federal and government agency levels, the food is halal/okay for everybody including those from minority religions. Cater to vegetarians/vegans as well.
- Revamp RTM completely. Give ample air-time time to showcase all religious festivals – Hari Raya, Deepavali, Wesak Day and Christmas. This will give meaning to Malaysia baru.
- Persuade Citizen Nades, the best investigative reporter in the country, to run an independent newspaper free from party affiliation. If finance is a problem, Malaysians will gladly start a fund for this purpose.
- Transfer ownership of Penang Port and Penang Bridge to the state.
- Close down the Kamunting Detention Centre – a symbol of repression. It is a disgraceful and despicable blot on the nation’s conscience. Send all officers there for compulsory rehabilitation.
- Establish Parliamentary Select Committees (like the US model) to increase the efficiency and efficacy of Parliament’s function.
- Revamp the entire education system, which is in a mess. There should be no room for racist and bigoted individuals. At present, there is little scope for meritocracy and many appointments and promotions seem to be based on racial or religious considerations.
- Avoid showing the slaughter of animals on television especially if might upset the sensitivities of people of various faiths and animal-lovers.
- Abolish so-called controlled schools which are perceived to be discriminatory in its admissions policy. Ensure that poor children living in the vicinity of the schools are not denied admission while the children of the rich and famous from further away gain admission. Make the playing field level for everybody.
- Reflect deeply on whether any institutes of higher learning should cater for only a single ethnic group. How would such mono-ethnic institutes be able to promote inter-ethnic interaction and forge stronger ties? The lack of interaction would go against the spirit of Malaysia baru.
- Review the quota system for jobs, scholarships and admission to colleges and universities. Has the system enhanced educational standards and public confidence in the quality of doctors, lawyers, and engineers that it has produced?
Tota, short for Theatre Of The Absurd, is the pseudonym of a regular contributor to our Thinking Allowed section.