However, the new national educational blueprint 2001-2010 is not the only national masterplan which is being drafted in utter secrecy without public input, consultation or knowledge - as another example is the K-economy masterplan, which is being formulated totally at variance with the culture and mindset of an information society.
In fact, Malaysia has chalked up another world’s first in taking the longest time to formulate a K-economy masterplan after being one of the last countries with IT ambitions to embark on it!
Although the government first announced the drafting of a K-economy master plan for Malaysia to make the transition from a P-economy (production-economy) to a K-economy (knowledge-economy) in the 2000 Budget in Parliament on October 29, 1999 - it had started work on the K-economy a full year earlier. The country was promised that the K-economy masterplan would be completed by the end of 2000 and that it would be used as input into the formulation of the 2001 budget, the Eighth Malaysia Plan and the Third Outline Perspective Plan, 2001-2010.
The 2001 Budget, the Eighth Malaysia Plan and the Third Outline Perspective Plan have all come and gone, with the last two approved by Parliament in April this year, and the 2002 Budget would be presented in just over a month’s time but the K-economy masterplan has still not seen the light of day.
On March 8, 2000, at the Second Global Knowledge Conference, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad announced a new time-frame for the the formulation of a K-economy Master Plan as the "Strategic Initiative One" to reinvent Malaysian society to grasp the opportunities of the Information Age.
He said the K-Economy Master Plan would be "for the entire nation and for every citizen" and would not be drafted by the best brains behind closed doors because it must be relevant to Malaysians and become a personal master plan for all.
He said "the whole process of national consultation, brainstorming, drafting and national mobilisation should be completed within 18 months from this day" and that the formulation of the K-economy Master Plan would "not be an elitist process but one involving everyone from the teacher to his pupil, to his fisherman father, to the mechanic, to the secretary, janitor and the chairman of the board."
The 18-month period for the drafting of the K-economy masterplan is now up, and there is not only no sign of its appearance, "the whole process of national consultation, brainstorming, drafting and national mobilisation” for its formulation as promised by the Prime Minister had not taken place at all - as whatever work done on it had been an “elitist process” behind closed-doors!
DAP had right from the beginning supported the government in drafting a national K-economy master plan to create a knowledge-driven economy, but we had publicly expressed our reservations that there could be an effective or successful K-economy masterplan without Malaysia first developing a K-Government and a K-Parliament, which has now been vindicated by events.
Other countries take just a matter of months to complete the process of formulating a K-economy masterplan, but Malaysia could not produce a K-economy masterplan after more than two years’ of birth pangs - despite Malaysia being a Johnny-come-lately in this field.
As one calender year is equated with five Internet years, this means that Malaysia had lost over ten Internet years to formulate a K-economy Masterplan, which tantamounts to a national cyber-crime in dragging down the national aspirations for Malaysia to take the quantum leap to join the ranks of the IT superpowers in the world.
Can the Prime Minister throw light as to what has happened to the Malaysian K-economy Masterplan after ten Internet years since its first announcement in October 1999?