29 June, 2010

The Impact of Walkabouts


During my recent travels around our beautiful country, I have welcomed opportunities to not only discuss local issues with Malaysians of diverse towns and cities, but to act on those issues and facilitate immediate changes in the interest of the people. These initiatives are meant to offer disadvantaged Malaysians, from all backgrounds, a chance to succeed in life. To see lives and entire communities enhanced as a result of allocations is both humbling and gratifying.

I wrote in a previous blog how my late father as Prime Minister would frequently go on walkabouts to engage with different communities across the country. It is no coincidence that he was recognised as the Father of Development for Malaysia. Community and government leaders had always carried out this tradition, and whenever they go to meet with the people they look after, marked improvements in public infrastructure or community development programmes would follow. Historically and traditionally, this was a way for community leaders and village heads to gather information to benefit their community and for the people to voice and request the needs of a particular area.

Likewise, I would be remiss not to acknowledge that my presence at any town, kampung or housing settlement has helped to resolve long-time issues faced by the residents. I have seen newly-tarred roads, freshly-painted buildings and a general improvement of conditions wherever I make a visit. Most often, the implementation of such solutions requires a lot of funds, which I try my best to allocate once I see the conditions for myself. Officials from related government agencies would also be present to take notes and follow up on the decisions made during these visits. I ensure this happens at all my walkabouts, and not just during by-elections, as some like to think.

Please share your thoughts with me on whether you feel that positive differences are indeed being made in this regard. Do you perceive changes to your quality of life?  I encourage you to submit a comment and get a discussion going!

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