Thursday, November 27, 2008

CHANGE the Game

Change means courage to challenge the norms, courage to challenge your shortcomings, courage to challenge your competitors, courage to challenge every single roadblock in whatever you strive to achieve.

In other words you become a non conformist

In this sense, Advertising and Politics have parallels. One of those parallels is CHANGE. Both must accept that change is constantly needed, or we become obsolete. When I mention change, I mean meaningful change. Real change. Indeed, change is actually the search for relevance.

“Advertising and Politics have parallels. Accept change or become obsolete.”

In politics, this means a need to stay relevant, to meet the rising expectations of the rakyat.

Obama demonstrates the power of change. Change that brought hope to Americans.

He knew people were tired of Bush, it became change vs status quo. At no time does he project himself as champion of the coloured people. It is the other way round. He rose above racial politics and championed the cause of all Americans, and that energised them. When he started 2 years ago, a lot of Americans, let alone the world then was asking Obama who? He changed all that by clever timing, spinning, packaging and advertising, creating a brand of his own until his brand became an accepted brand. Politicans and Advertisers have a lot to learn from Obama campaign of change and strategy.

If Obama’s platform had been challenging “whites” he would’ve lost. He went with national issues & interests. He wasn’t the hero of ‘colored’ people but for all.
Instead of “Black vs White”, it was “change vs status quo”.

Back home, the 308 election often regarded as the political tsunami, changed the political landscape of Malaysia. It marks the start of the two-party system, hence political parties have to change to be competitive.

“The start of the two-party system means parties have to change to be competitive.”

The rakyat voted for change. It is very obvious, that the BN leaders, my party included, were not prepared and were caught unaware of the voters’ sentiments.

Post 308, what sort of change would the rakyat expect from us?

BN needs to change. It is not an option, but necessary to face the new political reality, to remain relevant and competitive. It is not and cannot be business as usual after 308. Unfortunately, we still have not changed much since...although time is fast running out.

Like advertising, the actual product MUST ultimately match the appeal of the advertising. Or disappointment sets in. It’s like finding out the skin cream doesn’t really make you look younger. Or that the weight you lost has returned. Or Obama isn’t a great president. Keadilan isn’t actually interested in…keadilan.

I think the Opposition and even to some extent the BN is burning political goodwill that was previously built. Ask any citizen and very few will be able to tell you about any concrete improvements in Opposition-controlled states.
Similarly, even after the stinging rebuke of 308, I don’t think any member of the rakyat will say ‘Yes, the ruling government has heard us, they’re starting to improve things.’ Consumers punish disappointment by not buying products. And after 308, citizens have learnt that they can punish politicians by pulling their votes. We are wasting goodwill and we only have a small, limited window to meet expectations. And even when we meet it, we cannot stop.

Change is a process. It is not a singular moment. And if we want change, we must stop looking at it like something that has happened, but something that is still taking effect. It is STILL happening. Which brings me to another point: We have to stop living in the past.

“Change is a process. It is not a singular moment.”

Talking about the fundamental of politics in the country which is organised above racial political lines, WE NEED TO CHANGE so that while we look after our own ethnic group, we need to champion national issues that affects all Malaysians. Issue-centric rather ethno-centric. If Keadilan can project itself to be multiracial and be able to look after the interests of CHI or Indian community, it raises the possibility that MCA,MIC,GERAKAN may not be relevant anymore.

“Our politics is still organised along racial lines.We need to be issue-centric, not ethno-centric.”

I am not so naive as to suggest that race is not an issue. The system, the mentality, has been there for a long while and its improvement will not come overnight. I AM saying that we need to change to address issues beyond the confines of ethnicity. It is very limiting. It is also living in the past.

Learning from the advertising industry - you people are everywhere! One theme, one convention that you cannot seem to lari is ‘three races’ advertising. Every big company sure show some corporate ad which feature coincidentally one Malay, one Chinese, one Indian. What about the ‘Dan Lain-Lain?’

We continue to be defined by our racial lines. Just because we began that way, it does not mean we have to STAY that way. We should be a real melting pot, hence focused on issues – which are really just problems that need solving – instead of colour, which I’m sure Art Directors will agree – is largely a matter of taste.

Think about things like education. The economy. Infrastructure. Are roads more Indian? Is education more Malay? Is money more Chinese? Seems silly when you say it out loud. Because it is. These things are agnostic, neutral. They are problems that can and do happen to any country, any society. Our energy – political and otherwise – is best spent solving problems. Solving problems is better done by skillful people first. And skill is not based on race.

“Solving problems is better done by skillful people first.And skill is not based on race.”

We have to change our approach towards solving problems. For example, the fight for CHI schools shouldn’t be seen as a CHI struggle. If the CHI schools are part of the national education system, it is a national issue. The MCA needs to convey this to the BN leadership. It is a paradigm shift for of thinking for the leadership.

“Chinese schools shouldn’t be seen as a Chinese struggle. They’re part of the national education system. It’s a national issue.”

I hear Creative People always like to try something fresh. As long as it’s better. Can you imagine not being able to do that? Can you imagine always using the old template?

We have to stop using the old template. Our country needs to move on. Moving on is a futuristic thing. We are being defined by the past because we are still living in it. Of course, there are people who will surely say ‘If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!’ Eh friend, it’s broken la.

THAT IS WHY WE MUST CHANGE CONCEPT OF POWER SHARING within BN. The slogan/phrase of ‘Ketuanan Melayu’, of Master and Servant relationship becomes unacceptable…the younger generation of various races will not accept it. We accept Malay Leadership, but not Malay Supremacy.

“We must change the concept of power sharing. We accept Malay Leadership, but not Malay Supremacy.”

When we say we reject ‘Ketuanan Melayu’, we are not challenging the Malay special rights. It is enshrined in our constitution and nobody can take that away at the present moment. In the same way that Bahasa Melayu is the national language. Its status is protected in the constitution, and nobody can change that. That status is acknowledged and respected. So when we learn other languages or put up signs in other languages, it’s not challenging the status of our national language.

We need to change the Malaysian thinking, we cannot be ‘Mono lingual’ in a globalised IT world, we need to stay highly competitive. So learning and mastering more is about enriching our manpower, not anything else.

Malaysians must change to be less confrontational, controversial, emotional on issues that cross racial lines. Bahasa Melayu is a UNIFYING factor, not a DIVISIVE factor.

“Bahasa Melayu is a unifying factor, not a divisive factor.” When you go order food at a mamak you say ‘Boss, maggi goring satu.’ Even if you’re Chinese. And the Chinese guy is ordering food from an Indian man! You never see people going ‘Eh, why are you using Malay?’ We use what works.

If we become less emotional/confrontational and more objective, then the political temperature in Malaysia would be more ‘normal’. There should be more consensus, more accommodating, more equitable basis; not a Master and Servant relationship. The rights of all communities are enshrined in the constitution. Leaders do not necessarily know best. Maybe only what is best for themselves and not for the rakyat.

Hence, this brings us to another change. Malaysians should think more like Malaysians and less along ethnic lines. Practicing your own religion, culture and traditions does not make you less Malaysian. If we can change our thinking that anything affecting different communities affects us as a country, we become more Malaysian, less divided. We really need to change our thinking/mindset to be less ethnic skewed, so that we will not be trapped in this ‘Racial mental Block/Box.’

“Practicing your own religion, culture and traditions does not make you less Malaysian.”

When I decided to stand in the recent MCA party election this year, I actually embarked on a journey of change and hope. I was thinking ‘I must change the public’s perception.’ That a politician can actually be HONEST, when confronted with personal issues. They may be evasive or even outright denials in the case of “look like me, sound like me but it’s not me”.

In my case, I wanted to change by admitting, by resigning/relinquishing all my party and cabinet posts within 24 hours. And when I stood for the party elections, I wanted to change the perception that if you are a public figure you can’t make mistakes and take responsibility over it and move on. Even a convict is given a second chance. What would we tell our children who makes mistakes? That there’s no turning back, no way to rectify the wrong or to own up? So when I stood for the party election I was challenging the norm.

I was hopeful that my comrades, brothers and friends in the party will give me a 2nd chance. I believe that it is better to be defeated by your comrades in a transparent election than by a nameless, faceless videographer and tape that was set up to end my career.

Don’t get me wrong, my (election) as the deputy president of MCA is not an endorsement of the mistake I made, neither is it a reflection of a lack of sensitivity to family values of MCA members. It is just an endorsement from my comrades in MCA, in their belief that I can deliver and lead the party post the 308 political tsunami. The election is not just about me, it is about a change in mindset with regards to our political environment. Where responsibility, effectiveness, transparency, efficacy and leadership of politicians is of utmost importance to the party members (to the rakyat). That they demand more from their politicians and community leaders. That they demand ‘real change’.

Which brings me back to my initial theme – which is also actually my hope. I believe that change is possible, and that change is necessary. I believe that politicians are chosen by the people to be able to change the world into a better one. If we want change – positive change – to be something more commonly found in our society, then we must not fear CHANGE, and have the courage to change.

Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you.

Speech at 2008 Kancil Awards Festival Speaker Series: Change The Game, Thursdar, 27 Nov 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Reduce Dependence on Foreign Workers

There are a total of 10.9 million people in the Malaysian workforce. Of these 2.1 million workers are foreign workers, about 18% of the workforce. According to the statistic from Ministry of Home Affairs, about 70% are Indonesian, the rest from Bangladesh, Thailand, Philippines, Pakistan, Myammar and Nepal.
Foreign workers are widely employed in the Plantation (30%), Manufacturing (30%) , Construction (15%), Domestic Maid (15% ), Services (10%).

The number of foreign workers increasing dramatically from 750,000 to 2.1 million in the last 8 yrs. We cannot deny that foreign workers had contributed to Malaysian Economic Development. However the influx of foreign workers have created many social problems, from crime to diseases. If we include the number of illegal foreign workers plus the legal foreign workers, we are looking at about 2.6 million foreign workers in total. We have reached satuaration point often by convention that foreign workers should not be more than 10% of the population.
The economic slow down will have impact in Malaysia. Next year growth is forecast to be 3.5% and 2010 will be lower. Alot of establishment will be operating at undercapacity. There will be retrenchment and reduction in new jobs creation and unemployment rate will definitely go up.
Hence, the govement need to cutting set up a monitoring mechanism to:

1) Save jobs for Malaysians by cutting cost to save jobs or cut jobs to cut costs.
The government and private employer have social obligation to cut costs and save jobs. Any retrenchment should be foreign workers first rather than Malaysians.

2) Reduce the dependence of foreign worker. Malaysians should be given priority in job placement rather than foreign workers. The government have announced a reduction of 400,000 of foreign workers by 2010. There must be a mechanism to achieve this, otherwise is a tall order to achieve this target.

3) We need to fully utilised the 300 million announced under the stimulus package for training of workers.

a) Important to evaluate the nature of training required so that there is matching of skills and demands.
b) Matching of allowance since various skill training require different allowance.
c) Job conversion training eg. from clerk to retail sector.
d) Professional job conversion training then require longer period of training eg. becoming kindergarden teacher.
e) Retraining so that there is greater skill capability. Companies should use these downturn to up skill and retrain their executives.
f) Job placement for Malaysian retrenched from overseas. It is expected about 30,000 Malaysians in Singapore will be retrenched

Save Mabul Island

I have the opportunity to visit Mabul Resort 2 years ago. I am very impressed with the facilities and the natural beauty of the island, with clear water and plenty of marine life. I remember there were a group of 10 visitors from Germany I met during the trip, said Malaysia’s islands especially Mabul Island, have become preferred destination for their family annual vacation. It is obvious visitors are attracted by its natural beauty and clean environment.

Now we are told that an oceanarium will be built near the Mabul Resort. If it is approved, in such big project, any construction around the island will definitely upset the fragile eco-system and environment of the resort. Tonnes of construction material and the influx of workers to do the construction will cause untold damage to the sea water and with it the marine life.

The Sipadan Island development and subsequent cabinet directive to stop all development should remind the Sabah Authority that any massive development around the Mabul Island will destruct the marine life.

I agreed that Sabah need for tourist spot to sustain its tourism industry but developing an oceanatium around Mabul is definitely not one of them. It does not add value to Mabul Island but to destroy what it gifted. I believe people want to observe not a man make beauty but what nature has endowed us.

I always have my doubt about Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), and the various mitigating measures undertaken. There is hardly any supervision and enforcement, at best the EIA, is just to satisfy the approving authority. One must not forget the carrying capacity in any eco-tourism projects. An influx of unlimited visitors is sure to kill the marine life.

Sabah has great tourism potential because of the sea and natural eco-tourism sites. More promotion and direct air times will boost tourist arrival. For example, The Danum Valley which is located about 70km west of Lahad Datu is hardly known to a lot of Malaysian. I visited it when I went to the Scientific Research Centre many years ago. It is a vast reserve of tropical lowland forest rich in tropical flora and fauna. It has been recognized as one if the world’s most complex eco-systems and I rate it one of the best eco-tourism site in Malaysia.

Friday, November 21, 2008

No Petrol Subsidy

Now that the global oil price is at US$ 65 per barrel, the government would not be paying any subsidy. The saving can be substantial easily more than RM10 billion. Of course whether oil price will remain stable, or continue to fall is a question. There are speculations that by early next year it may drop to US$50 per barrel. While the government saved on subsidy if the oil price remains stable, it will have to decide:

a) The utilization of the saving of RM10 billion to improve public transport system. We can assume that private vehicle traffic will go up with the drop of petrol price.

b) Whether the government should set up a floor price, even if the global oil price continues to drop. We may indirectly promote Malaysia to use private vehicle if petrol price continues to drop hereby chocking our already congested roads.

c) Government need to monitor whether price on essential goods will drop, from the eateries to the public transport and other services where price have gone up purportedly became of the increase of global oil price. When petrol price increase abruptly this year, the hawker centre price of common food item went up between 20 cents to 50 cents, about 10% increase. Now will these item drop in price? Personally, I doubt it will.

d) The drop in Government revenue will be substantial by the year 2010, when the government collect taxes based on income generated in 2009. The drop in price of commodities and oil may reduce the government revenue by 30% to 40% - a substantial shortfall. This will affect the budget in 2010 and the subsequent preparation for the Ten Malaysia Development Plan.

The Economic Council need to address the issue urgently since it is not easy to cover such a substantial fall in revenue. Alternative source of revenue become urgent.

Global economic slowdown and its impact on Malaysia plus the fall in revenue of the government is the biggest challenge to all of us. By year 2010, we need more than just short term economic stimulus policies. The relaxation of 30 per cent Bumiputera equity ownership for companies seeking to be listed but have yet to fulfil the quota requirement as announced by Deputy Prime Minister is only one of the measures. More need to be done.

Economic issue will dominate the political scene in the country and may be the Achilles heel of the BN government in the coming election.







)政府在2010年的稅收将大幅銳减,这是因为政府届时的收税是根据2009年的收入。商品及石油价格下跌料使政府稅收减少3040  --少了很大笔收入。这将影响2010年的财政预算案和紧接而來的第十大马计划的筹划工作。




Wednesday, November 19, 2008

National Service Medical Examination

Now NS trainees have to undergo a compulsory medical examination. This, according to the Director General of the National Service Training Programme is to prevent medical mishaps among trainees.

The logic involved in the medical service is mind boggling. Assumed there are 140,000 trainees divide into 87 camps, each camp will hold average 1600 trainees. The question arises to its effectiveness in the medical screening, since screening is done in the camp by the medical officers. A cursory medical examination will not detect any medical condition in the trainees. The quality on effectiveness comes into question.

Death due to mishaps including accidents and medical conditions will occur in a big batch of trainees. Now will a medical examination by a medical officer in the camp detect any conditions and hence prevent any unfortunate casualty?

The answer, I am afraid is unlikely. Often such medical conditions can often be picked up in the medical questionnaires if it is answered truthfully.

If we analyze death among the trainees, due to medical conditions while undergoing training, about 10 death out of 300,000 trainees (if memory do not fail me). This is become obvious the whole exercise of medical screening need a relook.

Death among the trainees should be prevented at all costs. It is traumatic to the trainees and family members when it’s occurred. Medical examination in the camp is not the best method to pick up the potential candidates. It is the answers they provide in the medical form that will provide the biggest clue, not a physical medical examination by the doctor in the camp.

Trainees must be truthful in answering the question in the health declaration form. They should not think the medical screening will pick up all the medical conditions. If they do so, I am afraid they may be more medical mishaps, despite the medical screening and is provide more ammunition for an outcry.









Chua's bureau: Watchdog on MCA ministers too

Malaysiakini Fauwaz Abdul Aziz Nov 17, 08
MCA deputy president Dr Chua Soi Lek said the party’s recently set-up bureau to monitor government policies will keep tabs on all ministries, even those with ministers and deputy ministers from his party.

"None will be exempt," the former health minster told a press conference at party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.

The bureau under Chua will appraise policies and decide if they are funded in line with the "demands of the time".

It will also identify which policies need review, withdrawal or even create in line with the people’s aspirations, said Chua.

The bureau - to be made up of persons recommended by the state liaison committees - will be professional and provide "constructive criticisms", while its website will help disseminate information and collect it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Biscuit makers seek help

Dr Chua, who is the party's government policy monitoring bureau chief, said major producers representing the RM2.5 billion biscuit industry had expressed to him their frustration at the ministry. These include the ministry's slow lab results and red tape involved in issuing clearance letters to certify that the biscuits are safe.

"Importing countries now want a letter of analysis of the biscuits and letters from the government that guarantee the safety of the product.

"Their problem with the ministry is that there are five labs which take two weeks to test their products. Because time is of the essence for businesses, many producers have sent their products to be tested in Singapore, where it only takes two days to get the results.

"However, the Health Ministry here does not accept these results." Because of the delays caused by the Malaysian labs and the ministry's hesitance in backing up local producers, Dr Chua said demand had been reduced significantly.

"Last week, the 'big boys' (public- listed biscuit producers) told me the export market which used to be RM600 million a year, has dropped by 50 per cent. Local consumption, which used to be worth RM1.5 billion to RM2 billion a year, has also dropped by 40 per cent."

Coupled with the uncertain global economy, Dr Chua said that many producers were afraid they might not be able to finance the loans they had taken.

"Therefore, I suggest that the ministry accept the analysis done by Singapore. The companies which do their testing in Singapore can issue a letter of guarantee to the ministry stating they are fully responsible for the quality of the products. "

The ministry should not hesitate to announce their names should the results be proven untrue. Based on this trust, the ministry should issue a clearance letter for the producer. I think this is fair."

He said the ministry should also educate the public about melamine so that consumers can make informed choices and not live under constant and unfounded fear.

"Melamine in biscuits is different from melamine in milk. In China, they intentionally added the chemical to increase the protein count in milk. Using nitrogen as a measurement, milk from China contained 2,000 parts per million (ppm) of melamine. "

"But melamine in biscuits is a contaminant from the raw materials imported from China, not an intentional ingredient. Human tolerance for melamine is high."If someone weighs 15kg, he can tolerate up to 9.5g of melamine daily. But to reach that level, he would have to eat 32 servings of biscuits a day. Who eats that many biscuits a day?"

(NST, 18 November 2008)
















Thursday, November 13, 2008

The police must be seen to be fair

There is a general perception that the police in Malaysia is not only unprofessional but is also racially biased.

Recent incidents involving police action in enforcing the law when faced with so-called illegal public demonstrations seem to suggest that such a perception is not completely unjustified.

While I am sure, a majority in the police force want nothing but to be seen as law enforcers and they are good. But they have to accept the reality of this negative perception.

The police must not only be fair but they must be seen to be fair.They must ensure they have a better relationship with the public to reduce mistrust and mutual suspicions.They have to ensure all guidelines and procedures are followed when enforcing the law.

And they must enforce the law fairly. They must treat everyone fairly.As such the onus is on the police to repair the mistrust and suspicions which the public have of them.

If it is just a case of a few complaints here and there against the police then we can easily dismiss them.But there is a clear public perception which is negative. Surveys have shown that a majority of the public feel the police are unprofessional and that they are corrupt.

Now there is even a perception that they are racially biased.

This must be addressed. The public must have confidence in the police in order for the force to tackle major issues like preventing crime.

Some senior officers have shown before that they can engage in proper dialogue with the public.They have successfully implemented Community Oriented Policing (Rakan COP) in some areas.In my home state Johor, the police have actively engaged the public in fighting crime.

But all of these efforts will come to nought if the public has no confidence in the police and consider it unprofessional. Perhaps MCA ministers should bring up this issue in Cabinet. The Cabinet can then deliberate on measures to restore confidence in the police.









Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hero Welcome for Ahmad Ismail?

Datuk Ahmad Ismail, the suspended UMNO Bukit Bendera Division was given a hero welcome by his own division. He was received by kompang troupe, silat components performance. He was given a keris and headdress befitting the state of a Malay Warriors. It defies logic when he is still suspended by UMNO Supreme Council.

The Nature of the welcome was obviously in defiance of the UMNO Supreme Council. UMNO Bukit Bendera will sure find it difficult to get Non-Malay support. Common-sense seems to be lacking in some UMNO grassroots leaders. Political Leaders who make race-related statement from both political divide are plenty in our country.

After 308 elections, there was initial euphoria and optimism that racial politics will be less. I am one of those who think otherwise. In fact 8 months after 308, continuous politicking with racial overtones has become our staple diet.

The road sign in Chinese, Tamil and English in part of the Penang Heritage area, is a classic example of misplaced Malay Nationalism and love of Bahasa Melayu as Bahasa Kebangsaan.

BM as the official language is accepted by all Malaysians. It is protected by the Constitution and no one should question its status. Now if we study other languages it does not mean that we challenge the position of BM as Bahasa Kebangsaan, or if there are road sign other than BM, for the convenience of foreign tourists, it does not in any way mean we do not respect BM.

Malaysia, in order to be competitive when we are a trading nation depending on export, cannot have its people to be monolingual – Chinese knowing only mandarin and Malays knowing only BM. Multilingual is the way forward for Malaysia. One should not be emotional and confrontational on language issues. These issues have been resolved by our forefathers. If it is a question of implementation of the Language Policy it should not be divisive.

BM as the National Language should be an agent of Unity and all Malaysians have accepted it. But do not deprive others of learning other languages. I am sure there are more English and Mandarin speaking tourists compare to Arabic speaking tourist.







Monday, November 10, 2008

Bumiputra Housing Quota

The various states imposed various housing quota for Bumiputra in order to help Bumi increase homeownership. If I am not wrong, Kedah have the highest quota for Bumiputra at 50%.

Often the take up rate of Bumiputra quota is slow. The target s is never reached. This causes the holding cost of the housing development to go up and all house buyers end up paying for it.

State Governments should be realistic and more sensitive to the market needs. They should set clear guidelines, conditions and time frame for the reserved Bumi lot to be released to Non-Bumi. For example, 3 - 6 months after construction and after 3 advertisements, the reserved Bumi lot of the housing project should be released to Non-Bumi. Otherwise it will kill the housing industry.

Procedure should be standardized. The procedure and decision should make by a committee, not be at the whim and fancy of the Housing EXCO. Often, red tape and delay in this release causes houses to escalate and breeds corruption.

In a largely rural state like Kedah, setting Bumi housing quota at 50% is unrealistic. The purchasing power of the Bumiputra should be taken into consideration. Kedah State Government does have the financial resources to buy up the bumiputra lot but it is also unfair as valuable resources are tight up in non-productive activity of buying Bumi lot. Eventually the state government may be saddled with a lot of unsold Bumi lot.

Hence it is wiser to set a lower Bumi quota and a shorter period maximum 6 months before they are released to non-bumi. This will take care of the needs of bumiputra, at the same time will not caused the holding cost of housing to escalate.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Stimulus Package is good, but more need to be done.

The Stimulus Package of RM 7 billion is a good move to reduce the impact of the economic slowdown following the American financial crisis.

Pumping money into the system is better than just reducing the interest rate. Basically the stimulus package will stimulate construction and will create the multiply effects of upstream and downstream activities.

The reduction of EPF contribution of 3% which is voluntary will release about 5 billion into the system and will promote domestic consumption.

There is a one off RM 50 million to the Chinese Schools for upgrading works. Some others schools including Tamil and Mission schools also receives the same amount. It may sound unfair as the number of Chinese Primary Schools is 1290 compared to about 500 Tamil Schools. Each Chinese School will get about RM40,000, a small amount for upgrading.

The anticipated slowdown will cause unemployment to go up. The GLC Graduate Training Scheme should be open to all races, and the process of selecting candidate should not be a contentious issues.

The Government is talking about reducing dependence of foreign labour, but there seems to be a lot of talks, very little concrete step to reduce the dependency. This become more important as lay off will increase by year 2010 when Malaysia economic slowdown will be more severe. It will be a sad day when Malaysians are unemployed and the numbers of foreign workers keep on increasing.

More steps should be taken to liberalize the economy. This will include reviewing:

1. The bumiputra equity participation. Bumiputra special rights are enshrined in the constitution. Nobody can take that away. It is a question of how to make Malaysia more competitive and attractive in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and promoting the equity market.

2. Reducing red-tape so that the cost of doing business is reduced. More need to be done for the rapid registration of business, property transfer and application of license that has to go through many agencies. Speed is of essence.

3. Need to attract skilled and professional workers from overseas including Malaysians working oversea. It is estimated that about 30,000 to 50,000 Malaysians working in Singapore will be lay off during this period.

It is obvious that we are unable to achieve the RMK 9 set target of 6% annual economic growth. This year growth is estimated at 5% and 3.5% for next year. As for year 2010, it is estimated to be lower than year 2009 growth.

The time has come for us to be less dependent in oil and petroleum. We have to seek alternative source of revenue to cover the shortfall as the recent of fall in price of oil and also the reserve, which is also depleting. All these call for long term plan which the government must put in place.


政府推行的70亿令吉振兴配套, 我认为将为国内经济带来更全面的效果,长远来说比降低贷款利息更有利于助长国家的经济成长。整体看来,振兴经济配套所提出的项目和步骤,旨于刺激国内消费市场和建筑领域,而这两大领域对国家经济成长有连锁行效应。







简化招聘外国知识专才的程序是一项很重要的措施。我国需要各领域的专才和技术人员(knowledge and skilled),更开明的工作准证程序,及外聘和回流专才家人的移民政策是必要的。










Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obama's victory/ 奥巴马的胜利

I am back to work.

One must admire and congratulate Barack Obama being elected the 44th President of USA, and the first Afro-American to be elected.

This is indeed a proud and defining moment for American politics. Race or colour of the skin does not count in US during election! Obama’s victory is a watershed in US and may change the American political landscape. Civil rights activists have finally realized their dreams and the US’s dream of the opportunity.

I cannot say the same about Malaysia. Colour and religion still play an important role in Malaysia daily life. I am not even talking about the position of the PM and Deputy PM, if the CEO of Government Linked Companies and State Development Corporations colour do matter (e.g. PKNS recently). To many people in Malaysia, race matter a lot.

The colour of the skin may work against you, though you may be the best candidate for the job. Martin Luther King once said: “Judge a man by his content of his character but not his colour.” Racial harmony is fragile and very superficial in Malaysia. Some call it mutual tolerance.

John Mc Cain, fought a long and hard battle, like an old warrior that never die. He should be admired and congratulated for his grace in conceding early defeat and accept the American voter verdict. He had no hesitation in congratulating the winner, no bitterness, no excuse and certainly no signature campaign to show that he still have significant support.

Accept the verdict of the voter and life move on. MCA politicians should emulate Mc Cain’s graciousness rather than bad mouth the victor in the party election. To the loser, it is not the end of the world. To the victor, it is only temporary since party election is once every 3 years.








Welcome to my Blog

As a concerned MCA member, I am trying my best to help in the process of rebuilding and repositioning of the party.

Therefore, I welcome party members and members of public to post your constructive suggestions and opinions on my blog on how to rebuild and reform the party, eventually enabling MCA to regain support from all party members and the community.

Thank you for your suggestions.