August 13, 2010
New capital of Kazakhstan is Astana. Center point of the city is golden egg in its nest, located at the top of 97-meter high tree, symbol of unity and happiness of the young nation. There are flower-beds crossing the park, surrounding the base of giant “beiterek” tree. There is an avenue, from west to east bound, dividing the future super power capital, in two sides of golden egg giant tree.
At the east point of this axis, there is Presidential palace with a blue dome on top, which could clearly be seen from “Khan Shatyr (Palace of Khan)” through the Large arch, which penetrates the building of “Kazmunaigas”, the richest state owned oil company. It is like in Paris, The Triumph Arch links historical Champs Elysées with XXI century town. Part of the avenue is dedicated to only to pedestrians to walk and stroll along the street of flower-beds and fountain as well as shopping centers. In the evenings, fountains blow changing color curtains under the melody of classic music. Name of this street is Nur zhol or Nur path.
Nursultan Nazarbaev’s path was not always filled with successes and accomplishments decorated with such beautiful flowers, there were ups and downs. His true contribution to development of this country will be judged by the history many decades later. Meanwhile, just about month ago on July 5th the country had celebrated 70th birthday anniversary of Nursultan and 12th year anniversary of Astana.
A month prior to this event, Kazakhstan Parliament (Majilis) declared him as “Leader of the Nation” and confirmed upon him and his family lifetime immunity from prosecution.
Oil is the major source of Kazakhstan’s development and protector of huge wasteful at times spending, which hardly any other country’s budget could bear. This country is heavily investing in infrastructure, thanks to oil. The country has formulated number of projects designed to diversify its extraction sector dependent economy and develop other sectors of industry. The major factor for its achievements is its ability to learn from the best experiences of mankind.
To lead the country, it has employed Singaporean leader Li Yu Kuan as advisor. To prepare human capital at world level, special fund “Boloashak (the future)” was created and operating since 1993. It had prepared 2400 highly qualified specialists in western prestigious universities and today there are over 3000 students studying. As for the capital city’s construction is concerned, it has received proposals from 52 best international companies and selected Japanese architecture Kurakawa project and building Astana city according to this exceptionally well done plan. Two most distinct landmark of this city: – Pyramid Palace of peace and consents and new shopping and entertainment center Khan Shatyr, both are the work of famous British architecture Foster.
The difference, compared to Mongolia is that the country has a leader, who ensures the accomplishment of every state decision, and demands the implementation of the decisions at every level of state administration and makes everyone to work hard and if anyone fails to accomplish the target then hold responsible for it in such a way that one can never forget. A leader is a someone, who first of all has a vision, then makes the priority goals, mobilizes all resources and leads personally to achieve the goal and deliver the result.
As far as errors and mistakes, it is not easy to say definitely at the moment. Kazakhstan has been talking for number of years about becoming self-sufficiency in many industries, yet it imports today almost everything to meet their demand.
The income gap in the society is widening, yet it seems the state and government supports it. Another similarity between Astana and Paris is price. Only prices of goods in Astana are bit higher. In one of the restaurants in the new downtown we were bluntly said that if the table order will not reach 30,000 tenge \about US$200\ then there will be no service.
Or, the admission ticket for newly built Khan Shatyr entertainment center is 10,000 tenge \about US$70\ and accordingly there were only very few people.
At the gate of the Khan Shatyr, like at many airports, taxi drivers were looking for passengers, on the way to the hotel a driver of taxi told me confidentially that the city is designed not people like him. Over half of the newly built apartment buildings remain empty, yet it would not hurt the state budget. One of the Government advisors, an economist said that it is better to serve few people with high prices rather than many with cheap prices.
In terms of low income people concern, there was not much difference between our two countries since the minimum income level or per person need for food and other goods and services per month was 13743 tenge \US$92\ close to 80$ in Mongolia.
There is a strong state control over media. It is forbidden to write about anything and anybody regarding cases or accused persons prior to court decision as if it would regarded as effort to influence the judges’ decisions. In such cases, the journalist would be interrogated by the local administration and who should make minutes. A quite number of journalists have been found guilty in this regard and are imprisoned, according to an article published in “Svovoda slov” (freedom of words) newspaper.
Total population is 16 million, of which a half is Kazakhs, and rest are Russian and other nationals. But the language of lingua is Russian. De facto official language used in administration is also Russian. Yet, anyone who does not speak Kazakh language will not be accepted as a civil servant.
In any case, the world community recognizes the achievements of this county and the endeavors of its leader. This year Kazakhstan is chairing Organization for European Cooperation and Security (OECS) and the summit of this organization is going to be held in December of this year in Astana. Almost all leaders of the world will come to this city. A day before yesterday, esteemed Nur has stated that “this summit is a unique opportunity to demonstrate to the world Kazakhstan’s national values: tolerance, respect of tradition, trust and mutual understanding”.
Can’t we Mongolians study the part of experiences of Kazakhstan, where they have made such achievements and reflect in our own action? Or do we must make first own “Leader of the Nation”?