CHAFF FROM THE GRAIN
By HECTOR RONALD ROMERO VILLANUEVA
“Deep within them, there is a conviction that no matter what they decided or do, things will continue to slip from their control, that slowly but surely they are becoming the dispossessed in their own land. This is the Malay Dilemma.” — Mahathir Bin Mohamad, 1970
There is substantial praise and support of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s patriotic ardor, generality, and populist decisions but there is also a simmering discomfort, wariness, and skepticism of the President’s unpredictability, impulsiveness, authoritarian streak, and unorthodox concept of governance which is unsettling.
With the jaded political system well entrenched by 2022, the search goes on for an outstanding leader of great erudition, foresight, integrity, and profundity that will propel this country into the 21st century.
It is recalled that Mahathir lost his election in 1969 and was expelled from the party partly for his critical and adverse views, and subsequently re-entered politics to eventually become the prime minister of modern Malaysia at the same era that tiny predominantly Chinese Singapore under Lee Kuan Yew boldly seceded from the Federation to become what Singapore s today.
What is next?
First, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte should revamp or reshuffle his Cabinet and senior presidential appointees to give the administration a fresh look and new blood, and do away with the parochial mode of vetting by casting a wider net of independent minded technocrats who will not be intimidated by the President like ladies-in-waiting before taking actions or decisions.
It is a fact that bureaucrats, protected by the Civil Service, invariably acquire a done-mindset that is difficult to reform and will run circles around newcomers or retired officers appointed to civil agencies.
Moreover, there is collateral damage to families whose bread winners have been fired for unvalidated corruption.
The shame and trauma in the family and siblings become permanent scars.
This is not the correct way to unite the people or build the nation.
Second, it may be inevitable to impose selective “martial law” to decongest cities of itinerant migrants and traffic congestion by developing untapped islands and idle lands by expropriation if necessary.
In Europe, where roads are superior and wider, vehicles are getting smaller and more fuel-efficient.
Here, have we considered reducing mote disbarment and limiting the importation of luxury vehicles and restricting internal migration?
We have a penchant for procrastinating on crucial issues such as population, and stalling on critical issues such as, insurgency and political reforms, while pursuing with unremarkable success the war against drugs, corruption, and criminality.
In short, the nation wants to know the vision and road map of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in the next two years.
Who is wagging the dog?
You be the judge.