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Malaysia Facing Critical Issue sample essay

•“What is the most critical issue Malaysia is facing right now? What can we do to solve it?”

During the weekend of UKEC’s Ordinary General Meeting and annual Project Amanat Negara 2012, Yu Li and I from CEKU conducted a photo vox-pop survey whereby we asked participants to answer a two part question – “What is the most critical issue Malaysia is facing right now, and what can we do to solve it?” We received an interesting array of responses, ranging from issues concerning education, the economy, politics, national building and other miscellaneous thoughts. Politics:

Safe to say, plenty are dissatisfied over the ongoing notoriety that is corruption. Not just corruption in politics, but in other areas such as business, the police force and so on. With elections coming up any day now, most youth we spoke to thought the most pressing issue in the political arena was electoral reform, as highlighted by the Bersih 2.0 movement last year. Most of us ponder whether we can ever have truly clean elections. Others claim a revamp in MACC may help assist this. Another thought to ponder upon is this: perhaps the nation needs to develop a stronger sense of integrity in the electoral process, both during campaigning, voting and the aftermath. Economy:

From unpopular populist policies to questionable government budgets to creating a world-class workforce, the Malaysian economy is a whirlwind of change, but it’s improving slowly but surely. We may not exactly meet our economic target in time but it sure does help to know that our innate resilience means that we’re not about to collapse anytime soon. On a related note, some felt more attention should be given to addressing issues such as the income gap, the introduction of a minimum wage, and instilling a more competitive and meritocratic attitude towards work.

Education:

Moving away from the political and economic arena, the Malaysian education system was also a hot topic amongst our respondents. From the responses we received, it can be agreed that collectively what people want is a change in the mentality of teachers, the way subjects are taught at school and just generally, a more enriching experience for the students. While some traditional methods and ideologies of teaching remain intact in certain type of schools, it is generally perceived and hoped that the national educational system can be reformed in a way that focuses more on the student’s mental development while instilling inspiration and motivation to thrive. And while we’re focusing on what’s best for the students, we should not forget that teachers have the hardest job of being both adminstrators and educators in school. It is high time that they receive the support and credit they rightfully deserve.

Nation building and other miscellaneous thoughts:

Then there are these thoughts outside the box. Very often we hear politicians or just people in general talking the talk but not walking the walk, thus leaving people confused and giving up hope for change. Thus it is time to talk less and do more. With regards to vision, highlighted was an opinion that we should focus more on social and moral values as a yardstick for Vision 2020 rather than the usual economic and political factors. This is an interesting insight as these two factors are easily overlooked when they play just as important a part in fostering positive change.

Other thoughts include procrastinating less as a means of accomplishing more and focusing on giving better job offers as a means of controlling and reducing the brain drain dilemma. All in all, it was very interesting to see the kind of responses we collected over the two days. In the run up towards the 13th General Elections, it is vital that the people in power give ear to these individually pressing issues, and that we as Malaysian citizens work in our own way to solve these critical issues instead of becoming armchair critics. Syahirah Syed Jaafar is a law student at University of Reading. She is also the Outreach Director of CEKU and an editorial officer for Connectwork. The photographs for this article were taken and compiled by Hoe Yu Li.

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