Update (3/3/09): Thanks Rocky, for the clarification!
Having been (mis?)quoted by others, I must give my own account of the blogger’s meet with TS Khalid Ibrahim yesterday.
The state government was kind enough to host this informal dialogue, and both the MB and his staff seemed humble and genuinely interested in feedback.
Instead of having “complained about the lack of achievements and vision,” I mostly shared thoughts on communications strategy.
My point was that despite all the improvements and efforts of the new government, the public was probably still unclear as to exactly what had been done, and that there was a need to summarise a few key points that represented the state government’s achievements to date.
I emphasised that a more coherent, proactive and hard hitting communications strategy could go a long way.
Both Haris and I brought up the issue of safe space for the PJ vigils, and I hope there’ll be movement on that.
I also disagree that TS Khalid was focusing on politics to the detriment of the economy. I think that anyone listening carefully and objectively would have seen that nothing would make TS Khalid happier than to focus fully on the economy and managing the state efficiently.
The sentiment he expressed, which I have been familiar with for some time now, is that he sometimes finds the transition to politics trying. The multiple interests and different dynamics that comes with politics is considerably different than the parameters of the corporate world with which he is more familiar.
I can sympathise with these frustrations; I’ve seen for myself how difficult it is to run a political party which counts among its strength an immense diversity that truly represents the rainbow Malaysia is. The differences in ideologies, backgrounds and political beliefs co-exist only because all in the party have a commitment to making real change – and not just noble but impractical rhetoric. That commitment is what overrides all the other (very real) differences.
TS Khalid was man enough to admit that his government still had shortcomings, but he definitely gave the impression that his efforts were informed by the same fervent desire most Malaysians have to rid the country of corruption, racism and a debilitating inability to achieve our full potential.
It was good to see everyone there, thanks again to the organisers!
ps- It appears that some people are quite fixated on TS Khalid’s feeling that he’s a better MB than Khir Toyo. What do you think?