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Sakmongkol ak 47

Tuesday 7 April 2020

The Economic Transformation of Malaysia: Part 2

When we were asked to look East, we were not shown how the Japanese lived. How do we emulate the Japanese? 

We can get rich if we are actually shown how others succeed. Exposure is the answer to success. People must be physically exposed to living examples if they are to progress. 

That is why the ECR project must be carried out after eliminating the corruption element. People and trade are exposed. Competitive advantage can operate, businesses can prosper.

The present government must honour its promises -- all of it, not 60 or 70 percent. You think the people care two hoots when you have achieved 70%? They don't give a damn! Have you abolished tolls? Have you written off or reduced PTPTN? Petrol and diesel? Have you reduced the price of gas? Please don't give nauseating excuses. The government does not operate on profit motive! That's Government 101.

It is time for this government to set up SEZs in economically-depressed areas such as in the East Coast, Sabah and Sarawak.

To insulate the people from knowing how to behave is a half past six solution. We must not build iron curtains of economic ignorance. 

The concept of self sufficiency is a mythified concept. No one can exist as a Robinson Crusoe economy. The more isolationist you are, the more backward you become. We learn this from China's experience. China was able to free itself from poverty when it opened itself up and freed the creative energies of its people. Now it is embarking itself on the Belt Road Initiative. The ultimate objective is to expand the market for Chinese goods and services.

The Lesson for Muhyiddin is this: He must forcefully remove all barriers that impede the creative energy of the people. 

One of these is the enervating and numbing racism perpetuated so long by UMNO and its blackcoat allies.

To prevent people from learning the object lesson is actually a form of pompous selfishness. Hopefully the creation of the SEZs will free the creative energies of the people. We must stop believing  that progress is possible only as top down. 

But the government can help in some ways -- create micro financing facilities for the rural people wanting to do businesses and specialised financing facilities for urban people. The collateral  must be minimal. The old and the infirm must continue to receive direct cash allowances.

There must be some ways to reduce carte blanche cash disbursements. While politically correct, our people must be taught  there is no free lunch and that rewards accrue to one's contributions.

Pragmatism must underlie decisions taken by the government. Do not be constrained by theories that worked elsewhere. The acid test is, Does this work here? At the end of the day, we shouldn't care whether the cat is black or white as long as it catches the mice.

Successive Ministers of Information failed Mahathir. There were no programmes showing etiquettes of success. We were left to our own devices. That is wrong.

Now the current Minister of Information must show why Muhyiddin is right for Malaysia. He must endear Muhyiddin to the people. Otherwise, all the apparatuses of opinion-building he has at his disposal are useless!


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