I had the opportunity to attend many government functions in China in the last 5 years. What strike me most as compared to Malaysia is:
1) The functions usually start very punctually. The guest of honour arrives right on the dot. Their arrival is without much fun fare. However, there is often tight security and this can cause a lot of inconvenience.
2) Speeches are often short. The salutation is equally short.
3) Even if there is a tea break, there is no sumptuous food served for tea break. It’s either mineral water, Chinese tea or one or two pieces of cakes and some fruits or often nothing at all.
4) For night function, it usually starts at 6.00p.m. and ends at 8.00p.m. Even when we are the host, we are for warned not to prolong the function beyond 8.30p.m. Cultural shows are often limited to 3 or 4 events. If Chinese food are served, often it is not more than 6 dishes.
5) For international conference, there is hardly any door gift or even souvenirs.
6) There is no fanciful backdrop and big banners.
In short, China’s functions can be very clean cut with no time and money wasted. Malaysia needs to learn from China on how to prevent wastage when we host functions. No wonder in a matter of 20 years, China have accumulated enough wealth that today, if China decides to pull out its American Treasury Bill, not only America, but the whole world’s economy will be in trouble. What is certain is that China will gradually diversified its foreign reserve rather than putting all its wealth in the same American treasury basket. Do not underestimate China’s determination to try to internationalize the Chinese yuan.
The recent America financial meltdown is a wake up call to the Americans that they are not the ‘masters’ or the ‘know-all’ about financial matters. The Americans believe that they have the best financial model and let the market forces regulate itself and that the government plays a minimum role. A lot of nations are used to their lecture that the America’s financial success is due to their conviction that the financial market knows best. In the recent American banking fiasco, the government virtually nationalizes all the major banking and insurance institution in America by being the major shareholders. Some even said that capitalism in the America is dead. China and Malaysia have often been on the receiving end of these America’s lecture.
Recently, a lot of economists feel that the Chinese government should be lecturing the American government of how to manage their financial system. America is a consumption economy where its national savings is virtually zero. Until the Americans start to learn how to save like the Chinese in China, America will continue to print paper money to oil its economy and the country continues to be in debt.