A tale of two visions

Malaysia is the only country in the world that has two visions to guide it towards the future. FILE PIC

AS Datuk Seri Najib Razak moved out of Putrajaya and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad moved in following a peaceful change of government after the country’s 14th General Election on May 9, Malaysians are left with two visions of the kind of future they want.

One is Vision 2020 launched by Dr Mahathir in 1991 and the other is TN50 (National Transformation 2050) by Najib last year.

Vision 2020 strives to place a prosperous, equitable and just society in a Malaysia that is fully recognised as a developed nation.

For this to happen, the vision addresses nine challenges for the people and country to achieve. They include a united nation; a liberated, secure and developed Malaysian society; a democratic, moral and ethical society; a tolerant society; a scientific and progressive society; a caring society; an economically just society and a prosperous society.

TN50 addresses the needs and aspirations of youth in a nation that is reaching out economically to be among the top 20 nations in the world. The vision is supposed to follow through from 2020 to 2050, hence 30 years.

Seven focus areas have been identified: a dynamic economy and workforce; a fair and cohesive society; responsible stewardship; education of the future; a solid foundation for healthcare and wellbeing; a vibrant nation; and an accountable and effective government

The two long-term agendas for change in the country may look similar, and share several common goals and strategies.

From the perspective of developing alternative scenarios for the country’s future, both evince interesting departures from the norms observed in the literature on future studies and scenario planning, especially in the areas of needs and aspirations, and determinants of desirability and preferability.

Vision 2020 adopts a top-down approach, while TN50 has chosen to do it via the townhall format, moving from one selected audience to another

Although the latter approach has an advantage over the former, both visions have much in common.

The preferred scenario is a nation that is economically resilient and people who are prosperous and united.

With the two scenarios, Malaysia is the only country in the world that has two visions to guide it towards the future.

But TN50 will not come to fruition just yet for these reasons:

FIRST, the two personalities named have had debates over the issue of which of the two visions would see the light of day. Both laid claims that theirs would be the surviving “vision”; and,

SECOND, the results of GE14 have seen the architect of Vision 2020, Dr Mahathir, being appointed by his party, Pakatan Harapan, as its prime minister to lead the new government. This would mean that Dr Mahathir will see the fruits of his labour materialise when Vision 2020 delivers the perfect vision for the nation.

By Dr Azhari-Karim.

Read more @ https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters/2018/05/370927/tale-two-visions

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