The political culture of self-denial is still rife in the country. Many Malaysians believe that the prevailing racist political framework is what keeping us from breaking apart. Hence, in the recent Johor UMNO divisional meeting the Johor Chief Minister Abdul Ghani spoke up against a very important tenet of national unity - the creation of a truly fair and equitable 'Bangsa Malaysia' or the Malaysian race.
According to him, the concept of 'Bangsa Malaysia' is a threat to the Malay race superiority. Any nation building concept must take the Malay community as its key pillar - his idea of the Malays as a 'pivotal race'.
In the 21s century, superiority = know-how + capability + knowledge + respect. Sadly, these elements cannot be legislated. You either work hard to acquire knowledge or find yourself being left behind.
In the recent report by the Citigroup on Malaysia's economic competitiveness, here's the summary:
- Malaysia today is a pale shadow of itself compared to ten years ago. Whether measured in terms of FDI draw, stock market capitalization or trading volumes, Malaysia is slipping down the ladder. The latest UNCTAD FDI rankings put Malaysia at 62nd place. Stock market capitalization is now the sixth largest in Asia ex-Japan, down from second in 1996. Trading values are now one-third of Singapore and half of Thailand. Private investment has fallen to 12% of GDP
- It is not that Malaysia is moving backward, but simply that it is not moving forward quickly enough. The forces of globalization are being resisted. The preservation of the status quo and incumbency looks far easier to manage than the uncertainties and competition unleashed from opening up
- We think there is scope to arrest the slide by removing the last remnants of the capital controls; internationalizing the ringgit once again; fine-tuning the NEP policy to minimize market distortions and introducing shelf-lives; and allowing greater foreign investment in the service sectors. Complacency will risk further marginalization
- Accepting the NEP objectives, the debate should shift to how best to achieve the 30% bumi equity target with minimal market distortions. Direct subsidies and preferential treatment in social services, such as education and healthcare, are preferable to NEP requirements that
distort the property, labor and stock markets. Price discounts are preferred over fixed quotas in terms of minimizing deadweight losses. Even a race-based income tax system could be a more
The precent policy is impoverishing Malaysians not just materially but also intellectually. In the age of globalisation and capitalism, you have to earn your keep. The is no free lunch. We have to shape up or get kick out!
SAY NO TO RACISM!