KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 4 ― Putrajaya must address the mindsets of Malaysians before it can attempt to implement the ambitious National Transformation 2050 (TN50) plan, said Khairy Jamaluddin today.
The youth and sports minister said that lasting development will not be achieved unless Malaysians are receptive to change as well become more civic minded.
“The greatest fear that I have is whether or not we can change our attitudes and behaviours. That is going to be the most difficult.
“You can have the best laid out plans, you can have a road map to the top 20 nations, but without attitudinal and behavioural changed in Malaysia, then you’re not going to make it,” Khairy said his speech at the National Aspiration Leadership Summit 2017 today.
Among others, he cited continued resistance on waste sorting and the refusal to give way on escalators as indicators of Malaysians’ lack of civility.
The Umno Youth chief also stressed that the TN50 was a good opportunity to broach topics regarded as taboo, such as race and religion, but stressed that these should be through the correct channels.
Khairy said he believed younger Malaysians were mature enough to discuss so-called “sensitive” topics — such as Shariah law, vernacular schools, the urban-rural divide — and should be given the platform to do so.
“Not everything is going to be nice, not everything we hear is nice. Let’s face it, not everyone likes us. We have to have conversations with everybody, even if they don’t like you,” Khairy stressed.
The Rembau MP also said the word “liberal” has been misused by Malaysians and the practice of being tolerant towards someone different should be encouraged instead of vilified.
The TN50 is Putrajaya’s long-term development initiative to cover the period between 2020 and 2050.