Speech at the AseanDemoracy& Economic Development Forum in George Town, Penang on 9.3.2012 (en/cn)

The fourth wave of democracy

It is generally accepted that the world has seen three waves of democracy. The first began with the adoption of democracy in early 19th century America and Europe, while the second wave occurred following the end of the Second World War through decolonisation and the restoration of democracy in many European countries. The third wave began in 1974, encompassing the democratic transitions of Southern Europe and Latin America all the way to the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the subsequent democratisation of the Eastern European countries.

In recent times, and certainly in the aftermath of the historic events now known as the Arab Spring, the world is once again undergoing a period of democratisation. In the Middle East, a region which has hitherto escaped democracy’s attention, totalitarian regimes and once-untouchable dictators such as Tunisia’s Ben Ali, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Libya’s Colonel Ghadafi have been unseated and overthrown by their own people. The uprising of the Arab populace has spread like wildfire throughout the region, with many other regimes now under threat, most recently Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad.

This current wave of democracy, which many have appropriately termed as the “fourth wave”,is not merely confined to the Middle East. In fact, we are now seeing repercussions and democratic assertions taking place in our own region, Southeast Asia. From the muted protests of the Singaporean people,to the Yellow Shirt Bersih movement in Malaysia, to the ground-breaking democratisation process in Myanmar, it is clear that the next decade or more in Asean will be an extremely interesting period.

I also feel that these events could not be happening at a morefortuitous time. With the decline of the 20th century economic powerhouses, a new global paradigm is emerging. As the United States, Europe and Japan, the traditional engines of global consumption, find themselves in a quicksand of long-term unemployment and underemployment, we in Asean find ourselves facing a serious challenge.

Ever since the end of the Second World War, emerging economies have been designed around an export-led production model to support these three major consumer markets. But now, with the Americans increasingly turning inward and with the debt crisis threatening to unravel the European economies further, the old model will no longer be tenable. With consumption power set to decline, who is going to buy our goods? In essence, we have to ask ourselves: who will be the consumers of tomorrow?

The answer is obvious. With more than 600 million people or around 9% of the world’s population in Southeast Asia, and nearly 3 billion people or 40% of the world if we includethe rising giants of East Asia and the Indian subcontinent, it is only natural that we arepoised to become the next major consumer market.

The potential for this to happen is certainly real, but we must be aware thatsuch a situation can only be achieved if our people become stronger consumers, which means that they need to have more money in their pockets. In other words, economic democratisation must first occur in order to facilitate the growth of a strong consumer market in the region.

Sandwiched between India and China, Asean must necessarily position itself to take advantage of the shifting global order. We must ensure that the potential for economic growth is leveraged upon in a responsible manner in order to produce greater democratisation and decentralisation, both political and economic. Only by truly opening up both our political structures and our economies can we find the synergy that is required to achieve the goal of a single unitedAsean Economic Community by 2015 and beyond.

Myanmar: Asean’s greatest test

Ladies and gentlemen,

As I mentioned earlier, our region is currently witness to sweeping and remarkable changes, not least of all in Myanmar, long considered as Asean’s collective responsibility.

As Nobel Prize winner and Myanmar opposition leader Aung San SyuuKyi herself observed, “The possibility of a great transformation is in sight.” These are exciting times for all of us in Asean, and we all share the greater responsibility of ensuring a peaceful democratic transition in our fellow member-state.

When Asean first decided to admit Myanmar in 1997, many had reservations. Some held the view that Myanmar should first democratise before being accepted as a full member. However, though it may be 15 years later, change is happening swiftly. In the last one year, we have seen the transition from totalitarian rule by an oppressive military junta to a more participatory and democratic society, albeit still at its early stages.

If democratisation in Myanmar is ultimately successful, we would then be able to offer the world a whole new model of democratisation. Myanmar would become proof that democratic change can occur not only peacefully, but in a wholly different manner compared to the uprisings in the Arab Spring. In the case of Myanmar, we are witnessing a top-down transformation as compared to the mass-led bottom-up revolutions in the Middle East.

We in Asean now have to play a crucial role in this historic transformation. Just as how we helped guide their entry into Asean, at a time when the rest of the world had shunned them, we now need to facilitate and provide assistance to ensure that the democratisation process fully benefits not only the 50 million people in Myanmar but also the other 600 million in Asean.

A new economy is opening up, and we must do all we can to ensure that their participation into the regional economy is as seamless and as mutually beneficial as possible.

Economic democratisation as an enabler of growth

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Arab Spring was a phenomenon that caught the world by surprise. Indeed, naysayers had for a long time claimed that the Middle Eastern people were not ready for democracy. You cannot democratise if your people are poor. As far as causality was concerned, economic development was seen as a prerequisite.

However, the Arab Spring and the worldwide movements it inspired, such as the anti-capitalist protests in Europe and Occupy Wall Street in the US, proved beyond doubt that people of all socio-economic backgrounds, whether they are rich or poor, professional or blue-collared, all simply want their voices to be heard. In other words, people desire for greater participation, both politically and economically.

While the Arab Spring was borne out of a hunger for democracy and political participation, the protests that took place in Europe and the US signalled a yearning for economic equity and participation. They may live in democratic and economically advanced countries, but they had very little economic value as individuals. In short, they were shut out of an economy dominated and advantageous only to a small group of capitalist elites.

Therefore, democracy must not only be understood in the political sense but must necessarily also mean economic equity and participation. The ordinary man and woman must be engaged with the economy in a meaningful and gainful manner.

In this context, economic democratisation can play a critical role as an enabler of growth. In normal circumstances, we talk about economic distribution as the natural next step after achieving growth. However, I now propose that we talk about economic distribution as a growth catalyst.

The idea is very simple. Take Indonesia for instance. If every Indonesian had one US dollar extra to spend every day, that will amount to 240 million US dollars extra circulating in the economy every day. That is no small amount. In other words, if we can increase the purchasing power of our people, especially amongst the lower-income groups, we will be sure to create a great consumer market.

In order for this to happen, we need a strategy that will collectively raise income levels, especially those at the bottom levels of the economy. This can be achieved by democratising the economy, allowing greater access and participation and creating more opportunities. Increasing skills will automatically increase productivity thereby allowing workers to increase their incomes. Higher incomes will mean higher purchasing power, and the natural result of that will be a healthy economy.

Therefore, our challenge in Asean is to identify this synergy between democracy and economic development. A truly democratised economy where people engage in meaningful participation will mean that we will no longer compete to see who can provide cheaper costs of business, but rather we will compete to produce more consumers. Instead of cannibalising each other and competing for FDI, it is far more productive for us to enrich each other.

Decentralisation as a key factor of multi-cultural Asean

Ladies and gentlemen,

Another key aspect of democratisation is decentralisation. It is an integral process that is based on the basic principles of freedom, empowerment and the sharing of responsibility.

We Asean countries have many things in common, chief amongst them a traditionally centralised structure of authority.Yet the process of democratisation in our region has seen these traditional structures broken down in favour of a more effective system where decision-making processes are shared through greater local autonomy for people at sub-national levels.

Decentralised structures of authority also allow central governments more space to focus on national policies rather than trying to resolve issues such as the collection of garbage or the efficiency of a bus route in a province hundreds of kilometres away. Unfortunately, my own country has been a little slow in adopting this approach, but we are hopeful for change when we take over.

Decentralisation is an exceptionally important issue in Asean, because our region is such that almost every country is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, and by extension naturally wrought with the problems of identity politics.

For example, one third of Myanmar’s population is made up of various non-Burmese ethnic groups. In Thailand there is the question of the Muslims in the south, as is the same in the Philippines, while Indonesia’s expansive archipelago encompasses a myriad of different ethnic groups. Malaysia on the other hand is divided by the South China Sea, and with that comes many issues that divide Sabahans and Sarawakians from Peninsular Malaysians.

The question then is how do we resolve such issues? Do we resolve them by force and heavy-handed central authority or do we instead adopt a power-sharing approach?

In post-Reformasi Indonesia, democratisation has entailed a degree of decentralisation that has been remarkable to say the least. Some have termed it as “big bang decentralisation”, in which significant responsibility and financial resources were transferred to local levels of government. Regional spending multiplied, public service facilities were handed over to local jurisdiction and a brand new intergovernmental fiscal system was put in place.

Today, we see an Indonesia with flourishing sub-national regions. This is a case in which democratisation has meant greater accountability and competitiveness at the local levels resulting in a dynamic growth model that has been able to withstand global economic pressures without much adverse effect. For example, Indonesia’s secondary city Surabaya has been able to spearhead economic growth, surpassing the national average and continues to expand by capitalising on its niches and peculiar strengths.

Though far from perfect, Indonesia has been a somewhat successful experiment and indeed a model for the rest of Asean to learn from. Because of the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural nature of Asean, decentralisation is an issue that we need to be cognisant of. While important, decentralisation must necessarily be approached in a careful manner in order to create a situation of co-existence without compromising on national sovereignty.

Penang at the forefront of democratisation and economic development in Malaysia

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am glad to report that Penang has not been left behind in these developments. Ever since this government assumed power in 2008, Penang has undergone a process of democratisation, both in governance and in economy.

When we first took power, my first act as Chief Minister was to implement a new guiding principle for governance: CAT (Competency, Accountability and Transparency). Based on these core principles, Penang has become the first state in Malaysia to introduce an open tender system for all public procurements and supplies. This move, while simple, has been ground-breaking in Malaysia.

On top of that, we have also made available government contracts for public scrutiny, another unprecedented move in Malaysia. What’s more, our public projects also involve rigorous public consultation. For example, when we announced our intention to undertake four major public infrastructure projects last year, we held numerous press conferences asking for public opinion and even engaged various civil society groups in two townhall-style forums which I personally attended.

As a result of the above measures, we have been successful at combating corruption, making us the only state government in Malaysia to be praised by Transparency International.

We have now followed up on that by making a public declaration of assets for every member of the state cabinet. In addition, as a commitment to democracy and freedom, our State Assembly last year passed the Freedom of Information Enactment, which allows people the right to access previously off-limit government information. We have also established the first speaker’s corner in Malaysia, where one can not only enjoy freedom of speech, but also freedom after speech.

Our firm belief in good governance and democracy has paid off handsomely. For two years in a row, we have been tops in manufacturing investment in Malaysia. In 2010, we attracted RM12.2 billion worth of investments while we received RM9.1 billion last year. We have also charted the highest increase in passenger growth among all airports in Malaysia, achieved the highest drop in crime index, and are now rated the most liveable city in Malaysia. We have even achieved the most success in reducing debt – slashing RM600 million out of RM630 million in the last three and a half years – a 95% reduction of debt, the highest amongst all states in Malaysia.

When I spoke about economic democratisation and improving purchasing power and income levels of people, it was not mere rhetoric. In Penang we practice what we preach. Besides instituting the open tender system and achieving economic success, we also became the first state in Malaysia to eradicate hardcore poverty, with every household in Penang earning a minimum of RM600 a month. In addition, we also run a multitude of social welfare programmes, giving cash aid to senior citizens, single mothers, the disabled, schoolchildren, newborn babies and subsidised dialysis treatments. These are all part of our efforts to ensure that the downtrodden are taken care of, and in turn able to contribute meaningfully to our economy.

In other words, democratisation in Penang has taken the form of a people-centric government with people-centric policies. By this, we mean a government that does three things:

1. Listen to the people.

2. Do the people’s work.

3. Focus on the people.

These three principles guide our work as a people-centric government. It is also our commitment to the greater cause of democratisation.

However, the path to a truly democratic society is far from complete, especially in our country. Despite the gains that we have made in the last few years, many challenges lie in our path. Earlier I mentioned the Yellow-shirt Bersih 2.0 movement. On the 9th of July last year, tens of thousands of Malaysians took to the streets to protest against what they believe to be massive electoral irregularities.

Such is the situation in our country where we are plagued by phantom voters, widespread gerrymandering, mal-apportionment of constituencies that totally run askew of our demographics, a compromised electoral roll and incidents of vote-buying. These are critical problems that we need to overcome in order to truly democratise.

However, there is much hope to look forward to. Thanks to the Bersih 2.0 rally last year, the Malaysian public has awakened. Never before has such a massive rally been organised in which the participants represented Malaysians of all walks of life. Young and old, rich and poor, Malaysians from all communities stood together to demand their rights as democratic citizens, standing their ground in the face of tear gas and chemical-laced water cannons that were used by the authorities to quell the demonstration.

We now face a crucial general election that is anticipated to take place this year. The coming polls will be the litmus test of democracy as far as free and fair elections are concerned. We hope that the Federal Government will honour the basic rights of “one person, one vote” and ensure that no Malaysian citizen is disenfranchised.

Conclusion

Ladies and gentlemen,

Asean has set the goal of achieving regional economic integration via an Asean Economic Community (AEC) by 2015. The AEC seeks to be a single cohesive market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, a region of equitable economic development and one that is fully integrated into the global economy.

The time is ripe and the global conditions are in our favour. We must capitalise upon this, and we are certainly able to do so provided we are clear on our foundations.

Democratisation is a key factor for the continued growth of our region, and the fate of Myanmar is our biggest test. As responsible partners in Asean, it is our duty to ensure that the democratisation of Myanmar is achieved peacefully and will result in their becoming a meaningful partner of growth.

Secondly, political democratisation must necessarily be followed by economic democratisation. With the decline of the traditional consumer markets of USA, Europe and Japan, Asean must emerge as the next consumer base, and we must do this by raising the skills, productivity and income of our people. We must ensure that economic growth does not result in widening income inequality. Instead, economic distribution should be seen as a growth factor and not an afterthought.

Finally, decentralisation is a necessary model considering the multi-cultural and multi-ethnic makeup of our region. It is an important issue that we need to tread as part of the ultimate objective of becoming a major global economic player in the future.

In Penang, we have shown that democratisation has resulted in a people-centric government with people-centric policies. Only by listening to the people, doing the people’s work and focusing on the people, can we hope to catch the fourth wave of democracy.

The challenge therefore lies in our ability to ride this fourth wave of democracy, or risk being swamped and drowned by its undercurrents.

Thank you.

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槟州首席部长林冠英于2012年3月9日在槟城乔治市的东盟民主与经济发展论坛上的演说:

第四波民主浪潮

原本世界公认的,历史上只有三波的民主浪潮,那就是第一波19世纪美国与欧洲的民主浪潮、第二波是二战结束后的去殖民化及欧洲重回民主化,第三波是1974年以降的南欧及拉丁美洲民主化,进而连带的推倒了铁慕及最后让东欧国家也走上民主化。

最新的一波就是如今后续还在进行中的阿拉伯之春,全世界又再经历一次民主化的洗牌。极权主义政权及独裁者如突尼斯的本阿里、埃及的穆巴拉克及利比亚强人卡达菲,莫不被其人民拉下台。揭竿而起的阿拉伯民众如星火燎原传偏整个阿拉伯世界,使到其他极权政府备受威胁,最近的一例就是叙利亚的总统巴沙。

如今这第四波民主浪潮并不局限在中东世界,我们更可以看到,它正在我们的东南亚区域中发生。从新加坡的无声示威,到马来西亚净选盟的黄衫军运动,直到缅甸破冰的民主化首航,可以预见在接下来的十年,东盟国家局势将会非常值得关注。

我认为这一系列事情的发生并不是偶然,尤其在20世纪的经济强权衰弱之际,新的全球典范正在冉冉崛起。当美国、欧洲及日本,这些传统消费大国正面对着长期的失业率而困扰,我们东盟正面对严峻的挑战。

当这些经济强权购买力衰弱,谁来买我们的产品?换句话说,谁将是我们未来的客户?

答案很明显,就是占据世界人口9%,拥有6亿人口的东盟国家,外加东亚巨人及印度的两强,几乎涵盖了世界人口的40%,约30亿人口的市场。这将会是我们下一个主要的消费市场。

不过,要形成这个消费市场,前提是要这区域的人口袋里要有钱,拥有足够强劲的购买力。换句话说,就是要先实现经济民主化,以加强区域的消费市场。

东盟国家如三文治般夹在印度和中国之间,有必要在全球秩序重组之际,抓紧机会。我们必须认真进行政治及经济的民主化与去中央化,才能确保我们潜在的经济成长。唯有解构我们的政治经济结构,我们才能以加乘的效果,在2015年之后达到真正一体的东盟经济体。

缅甸:东盟最大的考验

如我之前所述,我们东盟正经历天翻地覆的改变,一直以来被认为是属于东盟国家集体责任的缅甸,却是改变最大的。

诺贝尔和平奖得主,缅甸的反对派领袖昂山素姬也点出“一个巨大的改变可能就在眼前”,这是让我们东盟国家无不振奋的。同时我们更要分担重大的责任,确保我们的邻邦在民主过渡期能和平渡过。

如果缅甸的民主化能够取得巨大的成功,我们就能向世人展现出有别于阿拉伯之春由下而上,群情汹涌的民主化模式,缅甸民主化将见证的将会是由上而下的权力和平转移。

作为东盟内的友邦,我们在这历史性的改变时刻扮演这重要角色,就如当年全世界遗弃他们的时候,我们如何帮助缅甸加入东盟一样,我们必须要协助缅甸在民主化中和平过渡,这不只福泽5000万缅甸人民,也将惠及东盟6亿人口。

新经济将诞生,我们必须确保缅甸能无间的加入东盟的经济体系,并尽可能的互惠互利。

经济民主化才能推动成长

从阿拉伯之春到欧洲的反资本主义示威,再到纽约的占领华尔街行动,在在显示了无论任何社会经济背景,是贫是富、专业人士或蓝领,所有人民只是希望他们的声音被听到。换句话说,人们渴望能在政治及经济上真正的参与其盛。

阿拉伯之春是渴望民主,而欧洲及美国的示威浪潮却是为了经济平等及经济参与,原因是他们虽然生活在进步国家,但是大多数人受到的经济利益少之又少,经济利益掌控在少数的资本精英手上,多数民众被拒于门外。

因此,民主并不是单单局限在政治范畴,它更扩及经济平等及经济参与的范畴。每一个普通的男女百姓都应该获得他们应得的经济权利。

在此,经济民主化可以推动成长。在一般的情况下,我们通常认为要先经济成长,下一步才来谈经济分配。但是,我今天的看法是经济分配应该作为经济成长的催化剂。

以印尼为例简单说明,若印尼人每天额外增加1美元消费,那么每天印尼经济将会有额外的2亿4000万美元在流通。这可不是一笔小数目。换句话说,若我们能增加低收入人民的购买力,我们将制造一个更大的消费市场。

为了让上述说法发生,我们得寻策让人们的收入集体增加,尤其是在经济阶级中最低的一群。这可透过经济民主化达到,允许人们更多的经济参与及制造更多的机会,增加人们的技能,自能增加生产力,也自然增加员工的收入,高收入将会带来高购买力,也自然会带来健康的经济。

因此,东盟的挑战就在于如何驾驭民主与经济发展所产生的加乘作用。真正的经济民主化乃在于人们在获得经济参与权利之后,不必再汲汲于比较谁能提供更廉价的商业成本,相反的是比较如何产生更多的消费者。与其你争我夺弱肉强食及在吸引外资上竞争,到不如一起互惠互利。

展现东盟多元文化的关键——去中央化

民主化的另一个重要层面是去中央化。去中央化是一个基建于自由、赋权(下放权力)及集体问则为原则的整合过程。

东盟国家的共同点或传统就是集权中央。但是东盟国家民主化过程中,这些集权中央的结构在国家层次之下,逐渐被更有效的以民为本的本土化集体决策系统所瓦解。

去中央化能让中央政府更能有效专注制定国家政策,而不是去管理各地方垃圾或是规划离首都数百公里的州属内巴士路线。很不幸的我的国家就是如此,还不能下放权力到地方,但一旦我们入主中央,我希望可以看到改变。

去中央化是东盟国家无法逃避的重要课题,因为我们每个国家几乎都是多元种族及多元文化的国家,这自然就会有身份认同的政治问题。

例如,三份之一的缅甸人是由各非缅甸裔的种族组成。在泰南与菲律宾南部都存在着穆斯林的矛盾,同时在印尼的群岛当中,更是存在着不计其数的不同种族。马来西亚则在隔着南中国海之下,让马来半岛人民与沙巴砂拉越人民产生隔阂。

问题在于我们如何解决这个问题?我们是否以中央的铁腕及武力解决,还是我们更应该以权力共享的方式来解决问题?

印尼在后烈火莫熄时代,民主化运动已经进入到去中央化的阶段,并取得不错的成果。有人形容这是印尼“开天辟地式的去中央化”,很多重要权责及经济资源都下放到地方政府。区域财务多元化,公共交通地方化,而新的政府与政府之间的关系也一切到位。

今天,我们看见印尼国家层级以下的各政府百花齐放。这就是民主化让地方政府有公信及能干,充满动力的地方政府让印尼能抵受全球经济的影响。如印尼次级城市泗水就能获得比国家平均更杰出的经济增长。

印尼的民主化所带来的助益,已经成为东盟国家学习的楷模。因为我们东盟都是多元种族及多元文化的国家,所以我们必须认识去中央化。去中央化虽然很重要,但是在去中央化的过程中,我们必须小心翼翼进行,在不危损国家主权的前提下,创造共存的局面。

槟城在大马民主化和经济发展的前端

自从2008年槟州换政府后,无论在治理和经济上,槟城都已经历民主化过程。

当我们首次执政,我任首席部长的第一件事就是落实能干、公信、透明的施政方针(CAT),在这个原则的基础下,槟城成为全国首个无论在公共采购和供应体系上都公开招标的州属。这是马来西亚第一个突破。

更重要的是,我们的公共工程都征求公众意见,如去年宣布要进行四项公共设施工程后,召开多次的新闻发布会,要求公众提供意见,并在两个市议会举办相关论坛,我也参与其内。这使我们成功对抗贪污腐败,槟城是全国唯一受到国际透明组织表扬的州属。

接着我们公布槟州行政议员的资产,槟州议会也在去年通过自由资讯法案,赐予民众权利翻查之前受到限制的政府文件,我们成立全国第一个言论广场,除了还民发言的自由,也给他们发言后的自由。

良好的施政和民主带来丰厚回报,槟城连续两年在制造业投资额中全马居冠 2010年投资额达122亿令吉,去年为91亿令吉。槟州也是全国机场客运增长率最高的州属,罪案率是全国降幅最多,现在是全国最适宜居住的城市。我们也成功在3年半内减少95%的债务,原本6亿3千万令吉的债务减去了6亿令吉。

经济民主化和提高国民购买力不是空谈的。在槟城,我们除了实行公开招标和达到成功的经济,我们也是全国首个消除赤贫的州属,帮助每月收入低于600令吉的赤贫家庭。此外,槟州也实行数个福利计划,提供回馈金给乐龄人士、单身妈妈、残障人士、中小学生、新生儿和津贴给洗肾病人。

换句话说,槟城的民主采取了以民为本的政策,我们定义一个政府必须做到3件事:听人民的话、做人民的事、关注人民。

这3项原则导我们做个以民为本的政府,也是我们迈向更强大民主社会的承诺。

但是,要达到真正民主社会的路还很远,尤其是在我国。尽管这几年我们已取得一点成就,但前面还有许多挑战。刚才我提到净选盟2.0人民集会的黄衫军运动,去年7月9日,数以万计的马来西亚人走上街头,抗议不公平的选举。

我们的国家存在幽灵选民、不公正划分选区,选区人口统计不公、妥协的选民登记册和贿赂选民问题,这些都是需要克服才能真正做到民主化。

感谢去年净选盟2.0人民集会唤醒了许多人,以前不曾有过涵盖各行各业国人的如此大规模集会,年轻人和长者、穷人和富人、来自各社区的人民站在一线,即使面对催泪弹和化学水泡的镇压,大家依然不畏惧,为了权利和公民民主站稳立场。

预计今年举行的大选很关键,这将是备受关注的公正选举和自由的民主试金石,我们希望联邦政府履行“一人一票”,确保马来西亚公民的基本权利没被剥夺。

结论

东盟通过“东盟经济共同体(AEC),设下在2015年实现区域经济一体化的目标。AEC主要目标是共创一个单一市场和生产基地、一个激烈竞争的经济区域、一个公平的经济发展区域 和一个地区完全融入全球经济。

现在是成熟的时机,全球情况有利于我们,我们必须善用,只要我们在明确的基础上,一定能做到。

民主化是对本区域持续增长的关键因素,缅甸的命运是最大考验,身为东盟负责任的伙伴,我们有责任确保缅甸和平实现民主,成为我们有意义的成长伙伴。

其次,经济民主化必须紧追政治民主化。美国、欧洲和日本的传统消费市场购买能力下跌,东盟必须成为未来的消费群,我们必须通过提高技能、国民生产力和收入,确保经济增长不会拉大收入不平均的距离,经济分布应被视为经济增长的因素,而不是事后才讨论。

最后,下放权力是一个必要的模型,有鉴于本地区的多元文化和多种族结构,这是一个重要的课题,我们需要走在基础的道上,成为未来全球主要经济的一部分。

在槟城,我们已经表明,民主的政府必须实施以民为本的政策,只有听人民的话、做人民的事和关注人民,才有希望赶上第四波民主浪潮。

挑战在于,我们是否有能力驾驭第四波民主浪潮,还是被暗流淹没吞噬。

谢谢。

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