Most of us followed what happened in the Middle East – TUNISIA, EGYPT, LIBYA, YEMEN, and SYRIA. We know that TUNISIA and EGYPT has fallen down, while the others are just waiting for its conclusion. I do not have any doubt that for the rest, it is just a matter of time.
Freedom is the basic requirement of humanity. They need to be freed, in order for them to determine their fate and future. Without freedom, human will not be able to make their own free choices, and hence hamper development and growth. However, the freedom that we seek always has its own costs and price. How much it will costs us to get our freedom? At what price we have to pay in order to gain freedom?
These countries, after decades of oppressive rules, will have to rise up from ashes. They will have to struggle for decades to come in order to rebuilt their nations. If we take two examples from South East Asia, namely the Philippines and Indonesia – after Marcos was booted out in the early 1980s, and Suharto regime fell down in 1998 – it took a long while before things settled down. If any general guide to be made – it will another decade (i.e. 10 years). The first few years (5 years) it will be a very rocky period of ups and downs, as various political groups and alignment being formed. Indonesia saw the establishment of more than 200 new parties of all sorts and groups. This same thing is happening in Egypt now – more than 100 new parties being registered.
The economic state of these countries will be in a major shamble – piles of foreign debts, left by the old regime, monopolies need to be broken, oligarch needs to be busted, severely backward infrastructure and public transports, banking systems that has to be improved, and so on. With unclear political directions and concentration of power, decision makings to reform the economy will be rather haphazard. The problems are at two fronts – to repair the damage done by the previous regimes, and to set up new things to take care the current and future needs of the Nation. The pull and push on these two fronts will take its own tolls.
What I can say for sure, is that there will be tremendous opportunities for the redevelopment of these Nations. However it requires helps and assistance from other Nations to play helping hand and roles. There will be major requirement for privatizations of various services and public infrastructure. FDI need to be garnered. The question is who will be giving them these supports and helps? I doubt if the United States and the Western World be playing a serious role in this. How about other Muslim Nations?
It is easy to get into the euphoria of throwing off corrupt and bad regimes – but it is another thing when you are entrusted with the task of building the Nation yourself. I pray that God will give them and us guidance during these turbulent times.