Why is Malaysia not competitive? This is a basic question. But I am sure you may have different answers or reasons.
Recently, I tried to apply for a permit to organize a concert in Penang. If you think that you have had enough with the bureaucracy at the federal level, try come to Penang and you might be frustrated to death. Tourism promotion needs events to attract and entertain visitors.
However, the state bureaucracy starting from the local authority right up to the district office and the police will put any organizers through the grind.
An organizer has to submit 13 copies of application form. The organizer has to go to 6 departments to hand over the copies and get a stamp of approval from these departments from fire department, police, MPPP, district office, state office of ministry of information, communications and culture and then back to the MPPP licensing department again.
This is a mirror of what Malaysia is today. Often there are no rules, no procedures and no KPIs. Even an application is submitted 4 weeks before an event, it may still be too late.
Government officers should help to facilitate the people and not using the bureaucracy to frustrate them.
There should be a one-stop centre for events approval at both the state and federal levels. Unfortunately, the state and federal governments are too preoccupied with political competition that they neglect their duty to enhance the efficiency of their bureaucracy.
Wonder where our vibrancy has gone too? This is just a simple example.
Let me hear from you if you have a story to share.