Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Malaysia's "breast" fixation

There is obviously a strong school of thought among key Malaysian political leaders that the best way to win popularity is by framing everything in racial terms.

In the matter of Malaysia's lack of economic progress compared to neighbouring countries, it is due to race.

In the matter of Malaysia's declining quality of education, it is due to race.

This reminds me of the story of the sex addict with a breast fixation. This guy goes to see a psychiatrist for help. The psychiatrist gives him a series of questions to test the extent of his mania. When shown a picture of two grapes, he shouts "Breasts!". When shown two papayas, he shouts "Breasts!" This goes on and on until, in exasperation, the psychiatrist shows him a picture of car wipers. The guy shouts "Breasts!" again. The psychiatrist rips off his reading glasses in frustration and glares at the guy asking, "How can you associate car wipers with breasts?" Nonchalantly, the guy says, "Left, right, left, right, left, right!"

This is the Malaysia's political problem.

It distracts us from the obvious, urgent challenge of declining economic competitiveness.

It pulls a wool over our eyes on the obvious decline of education standards.

It prevents us from seeing corrupt practises that is making the cost of doing business too high.

The list goes on....


Emir.sg said...

Interesting analogy.

walla said...

Looking at things around, one is forced to conclude we ain't going to make it even in the next fifty years if real changes are not made soon.

The last and only one time people were galvanized was when some were thrown big contracts coinciding with massive influx of foreign funds into the local bourse and some FDI inflows on account of the look-east policy which actually hid the flying geese scheme.

The end-result was that in the resultant juvenile euphoria redolent of third world mentalities, no one stopped to think about real productivity and preparing for the future. Nationalism was mono-racialized and all the foundations of building a strong and credible population that can interact capably with the global ecosystem were pushed aside in order to fuel the political ambitions of a few playing the race card on the many clueless to the real challenge to their future from the other race - the globalization race.

Perhaps that's why today politicians are reduced to anatomical focus which but expresses a psychological urge to depressurize themselves from their lost causes and punctured self-propaganda. Anything just so long as reality can be avoided another hour and the trappings of denials continued another day so that they can continue to harvest their positions while riding an increasingly restless and hungry tiger of their own creation from which they cannot dismount.

There are urgent things today which need to be done yesterday:

modernize the education system from schools to universities and colleges and align it to global standards and demands;

increase investment attractiveness targeting high-income production, creation of new products and services, re-engineering of the traditional industries for more optimized growth and revolutionizing the roles of the SMEs;

professionalize all services towards know-how, speed and accuracy in delivery, global-surpassing standards and new business models within an embedded continuous quality improvement paradigm;

strengthen the socio-political structure to enable and guarantee the pillars of society - freedom and means to know, choose, defend and extend real democratic elements of progressive and clean nation-building;

make the environment more livable and lively, infused with openness but guided by values, energized by constant streams of ideas, challenged by achievable visions and targets, renewed by self-examination and borderless exchanges with those who have 'arrived';

liberalize the market completely, make choice the privilege of all citizens, and here the world's best place to earn high-incomes in the most price-competitive consumables market with the lowest tax rates;

make learning and health life-long passions, and the examined life a new measure of the modern Malaysian.

Against the realities of today, pipe dreams? Yes. That's why the first thing to do is attract a massive infusion of brains into the country. But that's for another discussion.

Meanwhile, as those from the IT industry may say with some dismay, it's not about that part of the anatomy whose constant focus might explain the terraflop of this land. It's just those floating points. They make all the difference.

orang kampung said...

Mao Tse-Tung said, 'A spark can start a prairie fire.'

Considering the tenacity racial issue being currently played up by many quarters, let's pray we don't see the day the spark alighted that has far reaching security implication.