Former deputy prime minister and influential UMNO stalwart Tun Musa Hitam predicted the failure of Vision 2020 and blamed this on the man who envisioned the goal, former Malaysia's autocratic ruler Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Musa, who was once deputy to Dr Mahathir, accused the country’s longest-serving prime minister of undermining the ideal by removing potential leaders and of retaining and training followers instead.
“It is ironical that Dr Mahathir’s vision is now certain to fail because of Dr Mahathir himself,” Musa said in a speech at the commemoration of the 113th birthday of Malaysia’s first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, organised by the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) here last night.
“Brilliant as he was, he forgot that in order to succeed, he needed to train leaders at all levels, but most important, political leaders. But his personal leadership record shows that he did away with all potential leaders, one by one and in groups, and retained and trained followers.
“And it is mostly these trained followers that had taken over the leadership of the country now. These trained followers are dedicated and loyal to whoever sits at the very top,” he added.
Musa lamented the state of affairs in Malaysia, saying that Vision 2020, Malaysia’s goal to be a developed nation in four years’ time by 2020, was now “falling apart bit by bit but with alarming speed”.
Vision 2020 was announced by Dr Mahathir when tabling the Sixth Malaysia Plan in 1991 and its objective of transforming Malaysia into a developed nation remains part of the current administration’s goals.
Dr Mahathir said last June that he did not expect Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration to achieve Vision 2020, claiming that the government was focusing too much on using per capita income to measure development.