Four members of the Senate’s Finance committee are in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on an official visit to exchange ideas and borrow a leaf from that country.
Delegation leader and Chairman of the committee Hon. Billow Kerrow said that they met the Malaysian senate in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday to learn more about Malaysia’s political system, which is based on the United Kingdom’s Westminster system.
This is despite the fact that Kenya’s system is similar to that of the United States.
“The purpose of this visit is to network and exchange ideas on how to best serve the people who elected us,” said Hon. Kerrow.
Kerrow, who is the senator for Mandera, added that Kenya has had good diplomatic relations with Malaysia since both countries gained independence at the same time and are also trade partners.
Today the team visited Selangor State Assembly near Kuala Lumpur when it was in session and were later hosted by the Chief Minister, Speaker and some members of the assembly.
“There are interesting contrasts. Both (Kenya and Malaysia) were former British colonies that won their freedoms around the same period. In the early 60s, Kenya was ahead in economic development. Kenyatta even gave the visiting Malaysia PM a grant of $2 million in 1973! Now with a population of 30 million, it has a GDP of nearly $500 billion compared to ours of $40 billion; their per capita income is $15,000 whilst ours is below 1,000. It is a newly industrialized nation, the 3rd strongest economy in Far East Asia. When did the rain start beating us?” posed the Mandera Senator.
Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy with a king whose 5 year term is rotated among 9 states. The PM runs the government, modeled largely in the Westminster style.
The team had a lot to learn and if Kenya attempts to catch up with a country that they were once at the same level, then we have to do a complete overhaul of our systems and how we conduct our business.
“One thing you will readily notice in this country’s politics is the high level of patriotism and the responsible journalism that consciously moderates negative political news” says Hon. Kerrow. Adding that the government demonstrates commitment to its stated goals, and in turn enjoys the confidence of its citizens.
The result – a robust economy that literary has less than 2% of its population unemployed!