Mar 30, 2008

Let Us Live Happily Together In Malaysia

Okay now everyone, election is already over.
We have been captivated, mesmerized, inundated with politics for too long. Remember, too much of anything is always bad for you. Politically speaking, politics can make you sick if you indulge too much in it and can also make your life miserable.
Now let us all face it.
We are all guilty of manslaughter against Malaysia by butchering and decapitating it politically so much so that many will not hesitate to leave if given the opportunity.
See, politics also kill.
How many of us really, I mean really, think of the many wonderful aspects that Malaysia has to offer?
I was having my usual tea at a coffee shop when I saw two blind men, an Indian and Malay walking by, the Indian leading the way with the Malay man putting his hand on the man’s (Indian) shoulder. It was indeed truly a heartwarming scene.
These two men, although being blind had shown us the true meaning of racial cooperation.
It is indeed shameful for all of us that despite our full vision, we fail to see what the blind have already ‘seen’.
If it is blindness that can unite us, than let us all be color blind.
Malaysia is a multi-racial country with the people practicing different cultures and religions harmoniously. Such diversity is seldom seen in other parts of the world.
We celebrate our festivals together, can eat together and play together. This joy of togetherness must be treasured by all.
It is imperative that the government must promote racial integration at the early stage of the education system. It is the young ones, after having learnt the importance and significance of racial unity, will make Malaysia a happy place to live.
The medias have a major role to play to promote integration among the people.
Take sport as an example.
When there are players of different races that emerged as champion in a tournament, it must be highlighted. For example, it will be wonderful to see Lee Chong Wei hugging Misbun Sidek when the former has won a championship and being headlined in all major newspapers.
Likewise, any successful outings by our sportsmen or women that feature various races together must be highlighted as front page news.
Such news will truly bring joy and togetherness among the Malaysians.
It is without doubt that sports can be a major unifying factor among the people.
Much of the sufferings in the world are caused by wars that are fought in the name of God or religion. Many of the victims have never experience a sense of happiness, let alone understand its meaning. The Iraqis, Afghans and Palestinians are all dying for happiness which we have always taken for granted. Their lives are full of miseries and their sleeps full of nightmares.
When the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists, we were all shocked and awed by this terrible act of cruelty.
As we watched the buildings collapsed, our hearts sank and as the dust spew on the ground, tears flowed from our eyes.
The once mighty icon of capitalism had been reduced to ashes and the barren land is now aptly named Ground Zero.
With the World Trade Center gone, the Americans are going to rebuild another iconic building, which is named Freedom Tower .Whether it is surprisingly or coincidently, to name it Freedom Tower just does not seems right as it is freedom that the terrorists are fighting for that causes so much turmoil and to name it after their cause sound silly.
What freedoms are they referring to?
It is the souls of those perished that are going to be freed or is the world in general and USA in particular going to be free of terrorists attack?
I have a vision for Ground Zero.
It will be a wonder if the Americans can build the various places of worship of all major religions on Ground Zero.
Just imagine the possibility of Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and other religion followers going to the same place to offer prayers.
Instead of having a capitalist icon, it will have a symbolic icon for world peace.
Since the Americans are not doing it, then let us build this symbolic venue of peace and unity in Malaysia.
The government can easily identify a single piece of land to build a mosque, church, Hindu Temple, Buddhist Temple, Sikh Temple and other religious buildings of worship that are being practice in Malaysia. The entrance to this venue will be through a single entry point so that a congregation of all Malaysians of different faiths, rather than segregation, can be achieved. It will be truly wonderful to see the people of various races going to the same place and entering the same gate for prayers.
What a happy feeling and a joyous sight for all !
How can we define and measure happiness?
Generally, there is no fix definition and parameters to measure happiness.
However, it is interesting to note that the people of Bhutan treasure happiness more than material wealth and is currently embarking on a programme to measure the level of happiness known as Gross National Happiness (GNS).
I believe the ability for us all to earn a living to feed our families in a peaceful environment and a good healthcare and education system do constitute some of the parameters in the measurement for happiness. And Malaysia can offer all of these, plus an abundance of food available.
Further to this, Malaysia is bless with many natural resources and is very fortunate to be free of natural disasters. Instead of having volcanoes and earthquakes, it has many beautiful islands and instead of torrential rain and drought, it has so much greenery.
It is truly a paradise !
Can we now discard all the prejudices against Malaysia and prepare a new journey to paradise?
Happiness is like death, once gone can never be resurrected.

Mar 21, 2008

A Letter To The Prime Minister

Congratulations to you for having just concluded a successful election.

I would like to express my sincere thanks for an incident free election and also allowing democracy to take its place.

As the euphoria and sadness of post election are slowly subsiding, I am sure you must be wondering, like many of us ,what actually happened and what really 'hit' BN so hard that it was denied a two-third majority by the people.
As was headlined by the newspaper, it was a political tsunami !

Please allow me to tell you, the reasons are many.

In actual fact, the writings were already on the wall during the election campaigns by the opposition parties and which your political advisers failed to see.
During the ceramahs, the attendance of the opposition parties was a sea of people, whilst the BN sides was almost deserted.
Almost everyone was talking about voting for the opposition parties.It was truly a political revolt!
The people are basically more interested to know about the contentious issues rather than the rhetoric of politics.

I am very sure that you must have realized that your party, UMNO has hurt the feelings of the non-Malays far too often.
The keris wielding, threats of May 13, drumming of the ketuanan Melayu have certainly built-up the egoism of the Malays to an extent that the other races seem irrelevant.
How do you feel if you are like me, a non-Malay?
Doesn't this country belong to all Malaysians?
As the non-Malays felt threatened, the government,UMNO to be precise, seems oblivious to these threats.

You have vowed to fight corruptions during the last election which you won by a vast majority.
And what we see now instead is a government that is full of corruptions with the Zakaria case of Port Klang as a classic example.
It is with astonishment that no case is being filed against him.
The Lingam tape controversy and the Mongolian murder case have further add to the already tardiness of the judiciary system.
How then can we have an efficient government that has declared to advocate transparency?

The NEP is always been deemed sensitive to UMNO, so much so that the mere mention of it for discussion can provoke the Malays.
What a stupendous level of intelligence-if not for the wrong reason.
For far too wrong the Malays have been depending on the NEP, without which they seemed to be doomed to fail.
How then, can they be successful when half the battle is already lost?
If you want to talk about a level playing field, whether it is economic or education, then you must not be afraid to allow all the races to compete freely and along the way, can learn the art of survival from one another.
Free handouts will certainly impede a person's intelligence.

The continued escalating cost of living had created a deep sense of frustrations among the people.The increased price of petrol, among others, had set a chain reaction in the overall cost of living.
Malaysia is a bless country, having many natural resources, with petroleum being the most important one and which we also export.
With the price of oil hovering around USD100 a barrel, we would have reaped in billions of ringgit in profits.

Transparency in governance is one of the most important yardsticks to measure against corruptions.

In this aspect, we would like to know many millions or billions of ringgit in business and study loans that are given under the NEP that have been written off or not repaid.
Furthermore, we would also like to know how many millions of ringgit more that has been paid to companies that are been set-up under the NEP as suppliers to the government agencies.
Another classic example is Pharmaniaga, a company which monopolizes the supply of pharmaceuticals to all government hospitals.
This company which acts like a middleman will just increase the cost of supplies to the government,without the hard work as usual.And God knows how much is the marked-up price.
And there are many more such companies !
One can just imagine the amount of money that can be saved if the government deals directly with the suppliers.
Remember the Auditor-General's Report?
At the end of the day, semua-nya OK.
Therefore, your constant arguments that the government cannot afford to continue subsidize the cost of petrol do not hold true.
It is the prudence in governance that goes a long way in benefiting the people.

We have been reading far too many reports of crimes everyday so much so that the people do not have a sense of security.
Although you have pledged to increase the police force, its presence in public places is hardly felt.
The increased in the crime rates, whether committed by the locals, illegal immigrants or the infamous mat rempits have strike fear as if there is no law and order in the country.

In many countries, the standard of education is of paramount importance.It is with an educated workforce that a country can be developed into prosperity.
Although we have placed equal importance in education, the standard of our universities are constantly going down as per the international rankings.
What is actually wrong with our education system?
To add salt to injury, every year there have been reports of leaked questions during examinations.
So, is there any wonder why the ranking of our universities are going down?
The education ministry needs to halt the further decline in our ranking before we are left far behind other countries.
Thus, I would like to propose that our Education Minister use more of the pen rather than the keris.

In a nutshell, the fundamentals of good governance, ie. transparency, efficiency prudence are sorely lacking and to put it bluntly, the people are simply getting fed-up!

Mr.Prime Minister, you have been given another mandate to govern the country without the two-third majority, which means you have won the battle but not the war.
To win the war, you must have a solid backing of the people,without which this war can never be won.

I, like my fellow Malaysians love our country very much.
Please make us love you more.

Mar 9, 2008

The Power Of Marketing

This McDonald's logo,which is known as "The Golden Arc" is instantly recognize by everyone throughout the world for its quality fast-food.

Everyday in our lives, we are bombarded with advertisements from the various medias the moment we woke-up from our sleep.

Many multi-national companies are spending millions of dollars to promote their products to create a positive sense of perception.
In many companies,the success of a product depends highly on its marketing plans.

Marketing is an art of perception.

Kentucky Fried Chicken,like McDonald's is perceive to be selling quality fast food.Coca-Cola is perceive to be an excellent thirst quencher.Panadol is perceive to be an effective pain killer.

Malaysia has developed a product that has gain international recognition through the art of marketing by the government.
This product is call NEP.

The NEP(National Economic Policy) is developed to assist the Malays who are perceive to be weak in various fields.

In the education system,many Malays are given scholarships to pursue further studies in the local universities and overseas even though their results are less than impressive than the other races.

When the Malays want to buy properties,a special discount is given, even though the buyer is a millionaire.In the development of projects,30% of the units must be reserved for them and in the event that these units cannot be sold,it can only then be sold to non-Malays on further condition that it can only be resold back to the Malays.This is to preserve the ownership of land and properties by the Malays.

Likewise,30% share equity must be allocated to the Malays in major companies.Almost all high positions in GLCs are held by the Malays and private companies are encouraged to give the Malays special preference for promotions.

There are many avenues for the Malays to get loans to start a business.And many a times,when the business failed,the loans can be written off by the stroke of the pen.

In many international trade negotiations,NEP is usually being discussed to allow the foreign investors to understand and comply with the requirement,even though the foreign investors are not comfortable with it.

Lets take an analogy of buying a car.

A company(as in the government) is offering to sell a brand new car(the NEP) at RM10000 and comes with many freebies.
A free DVD player, leather seats , sports rims , ABS and air bag.Furthermore, it is interest free for the car loan which can be repaid anytime you like.

Naturally,this product will attract many buyers simply because it is too good to resist.

However,the joy of driving the car is short-lived when there are frequent breakdowns.Thus,precious working time is lost by sending the car for repairs.And what's more,quality parts are compromised which can cause serious accidents and endanger lives.
As such,there will be a backlash of anger and frustrations from the customers and ultimately,the company will have to close down.

Marketing is about perception.

NEP as a product has created immense perceptions about the Malays.
They are perceive as not being able to survive on their own due to the many assistance given by the government.
The graduates are perceive to be of low quality due to the preference given in the education system.Thus,it is not surprising that there are many unemployed Malay graduates.
In the business world,they are perceive to be incompetence and lacking in trust due to their frequent dependence on government contracts.

The greater the government advocate the NEP,the greater will be these perceptions.
We have to bear in mind that no race is born superior.
Superiority comes from hard work and the willingness to learn.I strongly believe the Malays have the abilities to be on par with the others without the NEP.
They just need to change their mindsets,work extra hard,move away from the rhetoric of politics and be focussed on their wants and needs.
There are already many successful Malay businessmen and also many Malay intellects in the academic and medical fields.
The willingness to learn and adapt will certainly move the Malays from a state of consciously incompetence to a state of unconsciously competence.
And that will be respect well earned.

Yes,there is no doubt that the Malays can rise up on their own.
The NEP, like the car has caused a lot of frustrations and anger from the Malays in general and the non-Malays in particular.
The marketeers in the government have apparently failed in the implementation and therefore must be sacked,regardless of whether they are Oxford graduates.

Our lives evolve around change.

The world is changing at a fast and furious pace economically,socially and politically.
It is imperative that our government must reinvent its marketing strategy to bring benefits for all and create a strong perception in good governance for its people who, like the consumers would "buy" instantly,without the anger and frustration of course.

Payment will be by votes.