I met a Malaysian who has been living in Taipei for the past 20 plus years. He came back to Penang recently for a short visit.
In 2004, he was tempted back to Malaysia by the government's brain gain promises. He is an engineering consultant. His 3 years stay in Penang ended up with nothing. In 2006, he packed and left Penang for good.
He told me that Taiwan is set to become the next high growth state in the new decade. Taiwan's lacklustre past decade was due to its politics. A number of my Taiwanese friends lamented to the same fact that ex-premier Chen Sui Bian was more interested in playing up political rhetoric than mending the economy and find a new area of growth for the city state. Chen's tenure is now known as the lost decade.
Malaysia may end up with the same fate if politicians continue to play up unhealthy political rhetoric, stoking racial and religious sentiments and use the monarchy for their political mileage. Our politicians should respect the spirit of the federal constitution and not meddling with the monarchy and accuse one another with 'treason'.
Adding the monarchy element into the already messy political situation muddled by race and religion will turn our politics into a dangerous cocktail.
It is sad to note that Malaysia is slipping down a slop of regression. We are no longer a top destination for FDIs. I wonder how top brains can be attracted to come to Malaysia if politicians behave like feudal lords.
We continue to quarrel over Islamic state, history textbooks, a simple handshake of a Muslim woman, personalities etc.
Politicians in Malaysia are probably the biggest hypocrites. Imagine a leader who was caught in a private sex video questioning a married Muslim woman on her choice not to have any skin contact with other men. Imagine a former activist dumping his party and his principles to join another race based party just because he was unhappy with its leadership. Malaysian politics is too personality centric but lacked principle and sincerity.
I am afraid that our politics is going to fail us. Bad politics, poor public institutions, corruption, poor governance and policy direction are among the ingredients of a failed state.
Until and unless the voters can think straight and focus on quality of governance, this country may not turn its declining fortune around.
Sadly, more talents and frustrated people are going to leave the country before the Talent Corp can even start its full operations.