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Monday, February 19, 2007

A Legacy of Not Much to Speak of

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About a week ago, Walski put up a poll, rhetorically asking you lot how you felt Pak Lah would be be remembered as the nation's Prime Minister.

Create polls and vote for free.

Okay, so it was a very loaded survey (nobody said it was scientific. Or fair), designed to bring out the best of the worst results. Big deal. Boo fucking hoo...

Seriously, though, despite being loaded, the survey does show that Pak Lah as Prime Minister will probably leave a very forgettable mark, like one of those forgotten footnotes in the annals of history. The one person (yes, just one) who actually thought that Pak Lah exhibits leadership? Well, he or she was probably not being serious.

Come to think of it though, Pak Lah's stewardship will be remembered for quite a number of things, apart from falling asleep at boring functions (actually, who wouldn't?), and as some would claim, on the job as well.
(the Pak Lah Legacy, or lack thereof, in the full post)

Usually, legacies are identified after a particular leader has relinquished the leadership. Walski, though, believes in being proactive. Besides, the writing's already on the walls - in bright, multicolored, psychedelic, flourescent paint.

Image taken from Wikipedia, hosting by PhotobucketFirst off, never before has Malaysia seen such a bloated Government. For example, while most other countries can only speak of one, Malaysia can boast of two ministries of Education - why higher education needs its own ministry, and what real good it has done, remains a big question. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the bigger something is, the more inertia it exhibits. Bureaucracies are like that, too, if not more so. The bigger the bureaucracy, the more difficult it is to get things done.

So, when there are problems with the delivery system (i.e. how initiatives get translated into real-world action), what's the most logical thing to do? Why, add more bureaucracy, of course, by establishing a task force on how to improve the Government's delivery system. Pak Lah wants results in 6 months. Uh huh... which is probably do-able, if they're willing to dismantle the bureaucracy that's grown almost exponentially in the last decade. Walski understands that the Malaysian Civil Service is disproportionately big compared to the country's population.

Second, Pak Lah's Government has vowed more transparency. With the recent invocation of the OSA, Walski wonders what this vow actually means. Maybe, what's really meant is the use of more transparencies, as opposed to Powerpoint? Remember transparencies? Does anyone actually still use 'em anymore? Heh heh...

But yesterday, the longest serving minister in showbiz, Samy "The Buck Never Stops Here" Vellu, Drama Queen of Blowhards, declared that he's gotten approval to release the toll concession agreements to the public sphere. Hmmm... but, pending the agreement of the toll concessionnaires themselves. Yeah... blame every other party for keeping these lop-sided agreements a secret. Good sign, one supposes, that not every embarassment should be shoved under the OSA carpet, and that the draconian piece of legislation not be invoked so easily in the future.

Third, and it shows up in the survey, Pak Lah may just end up to be remembered as the Father-in-Law. Of KJ - the alleged superpower that's really pulling the puppet strings. For someone who's not been elected, it's interesting that he came out to announce that there's no need to rush to have fresh polls. Oh yeah, he's the UMNO Youth so-and-so... Walski forgets sometimes that UMNO is the Government of Malaysia, for all practical purposes.

But as far as the polls go - as in the General Elections, that is - blog pundits seem to think differently, however. Among others, KTemoc, The Malaysian, and Howsy (and also here) all think so. Walski has no opinion on this, actually - he's just watching and waiting.

And so, in the end, we will still have to wait for history to tell us how Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will be remembered. While the Tunku will be remembered as The Father of Independence, Tun Razak as The Father of Development, Hussein Onn as the Father of Unity, Mahathir as the Father of Modernization, many of you (40%) seem to think that he will one day be immortalized in the history books, as The Father-in-Law.

Not exactly very complementary. That being the case, Walski, if he were in Pak Lah's shoes, would probably prefer 'Pak who?'. To Walski, it's better to not be remembered, than to be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Or worse, the wrong person.