Tuesday, June 9, 2009

China’s no frills government events

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. 


Datuk said...

Dear Datuk Seri,

I have to admit that your observations on China and America were vitually correct.

These implies that good discipline and superior values are critical for a sustainable development.

On the contrary, uncontrolled sensual indulgence and moral decadence are the root of backwardation.

In the political arena, there is a saying that absolute power bringing abosulte corruption!

This principle is valid as i recollect back my old observations in the Malaysia landscape:

i) A devil could be an angel when once carry no power !

ii) An angel became a devil after holding a power.

Do you agree with me???? Can the public in Malaysia ballet with an auto mechanism to end this myth?

D'evil said...

Dear Datuk Seri

This is good observation. I hope you can revail on our civil servants that this should be the standard. In Malaysia, the aesthetics and forms is more important than the content. Huge amount of public money is spent is making things look beautiful for the VIPs. This is waste of money, time and effort. This culture must be discarded.

Poo Ching Loong said...

Thats a good post. Not only small companies, big companies should follow this habit all the time to ensure competitive in any way. Not to mentionn about a country, like Malaysia. Serving Nasi Lemak with fried chicken is not nessasary :)

Unknown said...

Dear Dr Chua,

Your poor observations on China Communist Culture on their official functions based on "kiasu and kiasi" attitudes are totally wrong during your short official visit there. In fact, you have yet to see many rich and famous Chinese bizpeople spend lavishly on their official biz functions together with many beauties escorted their counter partners doing biz in China.

The China Communism govt top officers and ministers set good leadership by example to show that they are less corrupted, good governance, accountability, transparent and careful in spending public funds. Unlike Malaysia corrupted govt and greedy politicians are less sincere in saving the country wealth but to incur more foreign debts in public coffer. Frankly speaking ringgit currency has depreciated almost 2.5 times as compared with a small tiny island Singapore. Chinese leaders in both motherland China and Singapore are financial savvy and prudent in managing public funds as compared with UMNO leaders are pemboros, arrogant, big public spenders, greed money politic and many unethical ways of mismanaged public funds. For two good examples, the public inquiry disclosed by Selangor PAC on the arrogant ex-MB Selangor misused public funds for personal & family holiday trips to many Disneyland tours. The MCA politicians abused their power for self interest on PKFZ scandal of RM12 billion is yet to face the public music.

Many Malaysians have learnt well on good governance from Singapore, a freedom multiracial democracy small island and China, a control communist big nation. Both govt leaders never feed their nation with fishes but taught their people on surviving skills to learn to fish based on meritocracy and open competitions without divide & rule policy. Unlike big bully UMNO dominance power to discriminate their citizens of all races including its BN component parties. The past 50 years record indicated UMNO party favoured the concept of nepotism, cronysm, quotas, race based policies, tongkat ali subsidies and negotiated closed tenders for many contracts cum projects to enrich the rich politicians and their goons. Nevertheless, many Malaysians were sidelines and marginalised including many poor Malays, non Malay and Orang Asli.

Frankly speaking, the financial standing and economy in Malaysia are still badly managed since the financial crisis in 1997 and yet to recover after 12 years in darkness as compared with other neighboring countries. Who are the main culprits for causing the poor economy performances till today ?

Well, Dr Chua should understand a simple Chinese proverb : " It is a long sad stories to tell about Malaysia govt today if we want to compare with other nations like China,India and Vietnam are almost ahead of Malaysia in the main ways in financial management today."

In short, Malaysians spoke proudly about "MALAYSIA BOLEH" but many failed to realise that Malaysia govt has no frills financial stimulus packages.

Do we know that Malaysians are getting poorer by days?

Yes, we agreed with recent Dr M said a strong bigger mirror is necessary to act as a watchdog on BN wrongdoings and losing public confidence by days. A big mirror is vital to check and balance between the Angels (Pakatan Rakyat) and Demons (BN) in Malaysia.

Tan Sri Dr. Chua Soi Lek 丹斯里蔡細歷 said...

This comment is from donplaypuks®.

Dear Minister

Surely you mean "No frills Government event" and not "No frails..."!!

The word 'frails' does not exist in the English language.

It is extremely irritating to read a blog written by a Minister from the Govt and the No.2 in MCA, full of spelling and grammatical errors, e.g. 'for warned' when you mean 'forewarned'.

And we still wonder that the standard of English in our schools is so pathetic? What example are our elders setting to our children?

As for no frills dinners in China, it can be carried to a point where it appears they are going through th emotions to maintain the formality of being a 'good host'. Then it becomes boring and does nothing to improve goodwill bewteen guest and host.

Equally we do not need the M'sian style of over-lavishness with 12 course dinners and entertainment by dance groups costibg an arm and a leg.

As in all things, a balance is required. The China style smacks of 'it has to be done, so let's get it over with as quickly as possibly!'

And I seriously think you should put on your thinking cap again if you are suggesting that much of China's current wealth is due in any significance to what it saved on official dinners and entertainment. I mean, you an stretch a point only so much; otw, it looks like egg-foo-yong all over your face!

Pearls said...

Ya.. no frills and thrills is good. Let's go for it! Cut all those crappy door gifts, souvenirs, program booklets, banners, etc. Most importantly, everyone is to appear/arrive ON TIME without all the huus and haas of outriders and polis escott!

This is the thing I cannot comprehend with our "tua liaps". Always needing polis escott and outriders to open way for them on the road. WHY AH!?

No time management issit? Just arrived in a box from some remote country issit? Don't know that KL traffic is like SHIT all the time and if need to be on time, gotta time yourself and get going la.

Your job is more important and others, like kadam me's job is not important issit? GO THROUGH THE TORTURE JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE LA!! WTF la! Kadam me gotta work to pay these "tua liaps" ah.. and if need to open way, it should be for me la!

And if it is for security.. err.. I dont think any of our "tua liaps" are that "tua liaps" that anyone would wanna gun down or up! So Chill la!

YUP! I had to stop and let some ACS 1 idiot go thru and wasted a good 20minutes of my precious time and was late getting home, hence my little girl had to stand at the gate waiting for me!! I am just wondering if ACS 1 was having diarrhea and is about to shit in his pants, hence the need to open way for him to get his royal ass to toilet on time!

Unknown said...

I only agree on the puntuality that must be improved, those decoration and food is not big deal to safe the country economic.
in fact many SMI(catering, internal design..) is pending on this business to survive, and they did a good job.

It is the corruption in other form and wasting money on unnecesarry project that must be avoided! those are multi million of our money spend w/o supervision and accounterbility!!!!

Ted Torrence said...

Hello Ah Lek,

What do you say about English illiteracy?

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr Chua,
But there is one very clear cut political system. Malaysia is a democratic constitutional monarchy. This does not change the problem of corruption over there. Almost Malaysian heard of stories whereby grease is needed here and there to make things work in China. Somewhere it is written that medical students in China have to go to the poor villages to serve before they can actually graduate. If this is a fact, the doctors there are not snobbish and this too is something that Malaysia can learn. Air Asia used to be known as a no frills airlines. But as clients grow in numbers, so too are their demands. Now there is no free sitting. You can book online meals, seats you like, express boarding. It is the demands of the people that make this happen and the thing that makes it works is money. Whatever political system it is, money somehow is able to create miracles. China nationals can earn, spend and save a lot. America nationals can earn, spend lavishly and save just enough. Some chineses see RM 1 as RM 1000 and would go all out just to save that RM 1. See how much importance they place on money. Money is their god. The problem with Malaysia is she likes to make things look good and beautiful but functional wise, little or none. Quality does not mean looking good. That is how some business work. As long as it is beautiful, it is saleable. People do not see pass the beautiful condition. They do not need to know whether it functions as it should be. The mind is easily corrupted by things, beautiful, a lot and makes it feel good.

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