Define the ‘new normal’, Rafidah tells govt

Former minister Rafidah Aziz says the education system needs to be revamped, including its components or risk going back to the ‘old normal’.

PETALING JAYA: Rafidah Aziz tonight said Putrajaya needs to define the “new normal”, a term frequently espoused by the government in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

The former international trade and industry minister said a better definition is needed when it comes to governance, the private sector and society.

“Everyone talks about the new normal but without telling the ‘rakyat’ what is going to happen,” she said during a Facebook live session with DAP’s Hannah Yeoh.

The government, Rafidah said, should stop harping on the new normal, but identify what is already in place and what will be in place.

Citing the retail sector as an example, Rafidah pointed out that the new normal now sees purchases made by scanning your phone on barcodes. And consumers, she added, must be acclimatised to it.

And when it came to the government, the “new normal” meant ministers would have to do more than just issuing statements.

“They need to sit down with the private sector and the stakeholders.”

The education system. too, she said, needs to be revamped, including its components or risk going back to the “old normal”.

When asked if the government has done enough, Rafidah said she was unsure as she has “not heard a word from the education minister”.

“We have not seen any planning. They are still fighting for seats and everybody wants to be a leader, but nobody wants to show leadership,” she said alluding to recent talks of seat allocations.

Rafidah said she was saddened by the “musical chairs of politics” in the country.

To a question on whether it was time for a woman prime minister, Rafidah said the post should be based on merit, regardless of race, gender or religion.

“If we start talking about male or female, you may get the wrong people in. We want competent people.”

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