LEAVE THE INDUSTRY?

There are two evils rearing their ugly heads in economies around the world today. The two evils are rising input costs for manufacturers and higher taxes imposed by some governments on certain goods and services.

Higher costs of any kind and higher taxes on any goods or services can spell a lot of trouble for manufacturers and providers in the long run. Instead of helping these manufacturers and providers to remain in business, some governments are indirectly hurting them through policies that restrict their business progress. Eventually, the workers employed by these manufacturers and providers may face the axe very soon. When ordinary people lose their jobs, it may spell even more trouble for those same governments that are taxing their private businesses in various forms.

Therefore, manufacturers and providers must make a firm stand to their respective governments for supporting private businesses in an uncertain global economic environment. If the private businesses don’t get that support from their governments, they must leave their industries.

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HOW TO BEGIN AND END AN INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH

Writing entails a lot of thinking on the part of the writer.

A writer must also be a thinker. In fact, thinking is the most valuable skill that a writer must possess.

For instance, when a writer begins his introductory paragraph, he must attract the attention of the reader at the outset. Once the reader is hooked to the introductory paragraph of the article, the reader will naturally continue reading all that is written in the article. It is at this stage that the writer has complete “control” over the reader’s mind. Therefore, the introductory paragraph plays a vital role in the success of an article or an essay.

The first sentence of the introductory paragraph must contain the topic sentence that will state the topic to be expected in the whole article. Naturally, the reader will know what the topic of the whole article is about. The reader must not be kept guessing what the writer is trying to say in his article. Most writers don’t know this golden rule.

The middle sentences of the paragraph follow the topic sentence. They may be three or four sentences. They will state the details of the topic and what the reader can expect to read in the following paragraphs of the whole article.

The middle sentences form the substance of the whole article or essay. As such, the writer must present what he truly wants to say in the introductory paragraph of the article or the essay.

The ending sentence in that same introductory paragraph is a recap of the topic sentence and the middle sentences. It may be a summary of the whole paragraph stating very clearly the topic again or it may state the writer’s opinions and beliefs about the topic. In short, the writer is telling the reader about his thoughts and feelings about the topic.

Over a period of time and after much practice, the writer will develop his own style of writing that will entrance the reader into discovering what the topic of the article is all about.

In conclusion, the writer must be a thinker who can project his thoughts clearly in the article. Most people fail to become writers because they have not honed their thinking skills in a proper and logical manner.

WHY USE THE STRUCTURAL APPROACH TO TEACH AND LEARN ENGLISH IN MALAYSIA

  1. It is a simple approach based on objective facts.
  2. It is suitable for non-native speakers of the language.
  3. It leads a learner in a logical manner.
  4. It improves the thinking capabilities of a learner in the process.
  5. It covers the basic areas of English – grammar, vocabulary, sentence structures, variety in sentence-building, comprehension, summary, essay writing, letter writing – in a thorough manner. All these basic areas are THE COMPETENCE FORM OF ENGLISH. It makes a learner competent in the English language.
  6. It teaches a learner ANALYSIS: the “breaking-up” of sentences.
  7. It teaches a learner SYNTHESIS: the “building-up” of sentences.
  8. It instils confidence in a learner to use English in all the 4 skills: listening, reading, speaking and writing.
  9. It was widely used in Malaysia before 1970.
  10. It is effective and it delivers the vital results: proficient users of the English language.
  11. It teaches a learner the various sentence-patterns in the English language via Substitution Tables that serve to enhance the speaking skill of the learner.
  12. It teaches a learner SYNTAX.

 

PATRIOTISM FOR SUCKERS

“The dangerous man is not the critic, but the noisy empty ‘patriot’ who encourages us to indulge in orgies of self-congratulation,” writes J.B. Priestly.

The orgies of self-congratulation by noisy empty patriots are in full swing. Many noisy empty patriots will parrot their love for the country incessantly and garrulously during the election campaign. Given the chance, these same noisy empty patriots will even take up arms against their opponents to show how patriotic they truly are to the rest of the world.

Their orgies of self-congratulation will get noisier by the day. All sense of civility will be thrown to the wind. It will be a mindless campaign by the patriots from both sides of the political divide.

The patriots are on a crusade to save the country from all manner of harm, real or imaginary. It is better to stay out of their way.

Sane, sensible and thinking people will just hope for the best outcome without any incidents that threaten the country’s economic progress.

Where does an ordinary citizen like me fit in with all the noisy empty patriots in this mindless madness?

By genuineenglish Posted in Uncategorized Tagged

LEADERS ARE LEADERS; FOLLOWERS ARE FOLLOWERS

True leaders worth their salt will always have some qualities that others may not have.

True leaders display an aura of supreme self-confidence and also possess intelligence that their subordinates cannot match. Therefore, all the poppycock about someone being a follower before he becomes a leader is meant for the faint-hearted to aspire to heights of impossible achievement in the leadership field.

It is a fact that there will always be true leaders and true followers. Either one is a leader or one is a follower.

“PERFECT” EMPLOYEES OR “COMPETENT” EMPLOYEES

Employers are always searching for “competent” employees and not “perfect” employees.

Aren’t soft skills supposed to be honed by a student during his college or university days? What are the lecturers in colleges or universities doing anyway? Are the lecturers sleeping on their jobs? And how did the students complete their assignments during their tertiary studies?

It only shows that most students who enter college or university don’t possess the “potential” to be scholars in the first place. How can those same students show “potential” as employees in the public or the private sectors of an economy?

When every Tom, Dick and Harry or Jill, Jane and Joan can gain admission into a college or university for tertiary studies, will there be such things as quality of education and standards of academic achievement?

FEAR

NORMAL FEAR

Before crossing a road, a person looks to the right, to the left and to the right again. In addition, he must follow the procedure of crossing the road safely: stop, look, listen and think. When there are no vehicles, that person crosses the road safely.

ABNORMAL FEAR

When a fruitcake assumes the mantle of leadership of a country, he runs it like a lunatic threatening to blow up the whole world.

THREE WORLDS IN ONE COUNTRY

Every country in the world adopts a suitable philosophy in its educational system. This is the result of centuries reflecting the said people’s experiences and knowledge gained through trial and error. The compilation of these reflections is preserved for the coming generations to ponder and perpetuate their relevance for the future.

What happens when there are three different philosophies germinating in the educational systems of three different races of people residing in one country? “Each to his own” is a saying very applicable in this context. Ultimately, the three divergent philosophies in three different educational systems produce three different ways of thinking, outlook and reflection practised by three different races of people.

Is there a common ground for these three different educational philosophies to meet apart from their origins in the East? Can there be a common ground for these three different educational philosophies to converge and melt into one in the coming future?

In the field of Malaysian education, the three different philosophies representing three different civilisations of Malaysia’s three races – the Malays, the Chinese and the Indians – are regressive. It is very telling in its economic sector. Malaysia’s economic sector is an extension of its regressive educational system.

Most university graduates are unemployable. Mediocrity at all levels of Malaysian society has deprived its real talent to contribute effectively to Malaysia’s economic development. When mediocrity is rewarded handsomely, it spells disaster along Malaysia’s ever-closing narrow path of economic development.

A global world needs people with a global outlook. And in this global world, only those who are qualified with an education delivered in the global language called English stand a better chance economically. But that better chance does not necessarily equate to a definite place in the world’s economy as other contributory factors such as one’s attitude as well as subtlety of thought in surmising events and articulating them confidently play a crucial role too. In short, intelligence to wade through life’s many perplexities and difficulties is sorely needed by an individual if he is to progress unhindered in his occupation.

Many Malaysians fear the worst. English is viewed with hostility as it will erode both the local languages and the respective educational philosophies of the three vernacular schools, gradually. Hence, the Malays, the Chinese and the Indians in Malaysia will fight tooth and nail to preserve their respective vernacular schools at all costs even though Malaysia loses its economic competitiveness globally. It also reveals how contented most of these Malaysians are when it comes to the education of their young. They are trapped in a self-delusional syndrome of things being economically rosy forever. They don’t see a connection between the country’s educational system and its continued economic performance globally in the future. All they see is the maintenance of their respective mother-tongues as mediums of instruction in their respective vernacular schools.

Educationally, Malaysia is divided. It is reflected economically, politically and socially in its very fabric.

Clinging on vehemently to the relevance of the three vernacular schools in Malaysia, the proponents fail to observe the bigger picture of Malaysia’s continued economic survival globally. As more and more neighbours in the ASEAN region embrace globalisation with its accompanying changes, Malaysia’s economic competitiveness begins to slide. What about the other regions in the world?

“Economic growth means growth in the amount of goods and services produced.” What about the distribution of those goods and services? Who will be responsible for their distribution in international markets – TOM and JERRY? the government of the day? bodybuilders? hospital staff? the fire brigade? the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO)? Baba Ali? It must be the manufacturers and the providers themselves. The sooner the goods and services are distributed, the sooner the Malaysian manufacturers and providers make money and capture new markets.

Most Malaysian business entities have been very comfortable in the local market alone. When the domestic consumption of their goods and services reduce, they will be forced to export. Naturally, their sales, marketing and promotional efforts will be done in the English language.

Besides, they will have to contend with many issues on the global stage. One of them is the quality of their goods and services offered. As a result, they may end up “dumping” their goods and services into countries lesser developed than Malaysia. What about exporting them to developed nations? Any chance of most Malaysian-made goods and services making an impact in the developed countries in the long-run? Are most Malaysian-made products and services able to compete or on par with those found in developed countries? Otherwise, Malaysians should just resign their fate to that of village champions.

The real test for Malaysian business players comes when the world’s economy moves at a snail’s pace. Businesses will compete ruthlessly for their share in the global market. And in that coming ruthless economic environment across many countries, business players don’t speak and write in Punjabi. They speak and write in English.

The world is gradually gravitating towards a knowledge-based economy. In the current age, most knowledge and information are obtained via the English language. No doubt there are other languages that can help one to gain knowledge and information but they may not be on par with or equal to such knowledge and information acquired from the English language. As long as an individual’s knowledge is subordinate to others in the same field, he cannot claim to be in the know of what is happening in his field with confidence. On a macro scale, people with lesser knowledge in a country will not deliver the necessary results in the form of economic power to that nation compared to people with more knowledge from other countries. The former nation’s economic power will be slowly eroded over a period of time, rendering the greater population the inability to earn decent wages for a decent living. The other option is for that said nation to cut itself off completely from the wave of economic globalisation altogether. There will be no need at all for the population to empower themselves in the English language which is the lingua franca of the world.

In the Malaysian context, English was the dominant language in the field of education before 1970. It was the medium of instruction in schools, colleges and the sole university – University Malaya – in that era. It played a major role in uniting the three races in those places of learning as there was only one educational philosophy – an educational philosophy based on the British way of thinking, outlook and reflection. Hence, the learners who acquired and savoured knowledge were trained in the best traditions of thinking and intellectual development based on the philosophies of English penetration and Scottish reflection that permeated the subject-matters in that era.

Most parents from the three races in the old Malaya – the Malay parents working mostly in agriculture, the Chinese parents working mostly in trade and the Indian parents working mostly in the rubber estates – sent their offspring to such places of learning where English was the medium of instruction despite the existence of the vernacular schools. Knowledge delivered in the English language guaranteed the future of young Malayans then.

Thus, for Malaysia to remain economically relevant in a globalised world in the coming future, it needs to re-introduce English as a medium of instruction in its public schools and public universities. It can achieve strong unity among its three races and empower its young intellectually for the constantly changing world.

So long as the policymakers involved in charting the educational needs of Malaysia’s population as a whole in the greater global economic community don’t see the need and the relevance of the English language as a medium of instruction in the public schools and the public universities, Malaysians can expect their coming generations to be a contented lot that will never aspire to the greater things in life. That inaction on the part of Malaysian policymakers will only serve to uplift the economic lot of Malaysia’s neighbours in the ASEAN region and the other parts of Asia, for these neighbours can use Malaysia’s regressive educational system as an ammunition to hit it further in the global economic arena, thereby diverting foreign investors to their shores.

When three races of people are running in three different directions in one country, how can they collectively unite as ONE COHESIVE UNIT to develop the country in all its spheres?

SOUND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, ANYONE?

Garbage sells well these days.

Garbage is infectious and it can infect all pursuits.

The financial health of an economy is one of those pursuits.

Running a country is like running a household. To run a household continuously, its members must have income from various sources. But members of some households may experience a lot of hiccups to generate decent wages for a decent living. Their standard of living deteriorates. The income from other sources just helps them to tide over their pecuniary difficulties. Wastage is not a part of their lives as they are not in a position to squander their incomes freely. As such, the members of that household must be diligent and resilient to overcome any economic hardship that springs out of the blue.

A government is the administrative institution of the state. The government must ensure that the revenue collected from various sources is put to good use. This is to guarantee the continuous existence of the state. Therefore, it becomes incumbent upon that government to prepare a prudent budget that will help the diligent and resilient members of the state to prosper.

When a country’s annual budget looks more like a handout, the citizens begin to question about the economic status of their country.

Always look at the result of an enterprise. When the result of an enterprise shows nothing real for a long period of time, that enterprise is GARBAGE through and through. Those who promote, support and trumpet garbage are garbage too.

The decades of decadence, economic mismanagement and handouts must manifest somewhere and somehow.

Emerson reminds us that “Things refuse to be mismanaged long.”

WHEN A SUPERPOWER IS LED BY A SUPER NUT

Leaders make things happen. Leaders can be good or bad. Leaders can be intelligent or stupid.

A nation’s progress depends on its intelligent leadership. As such, a leader who leads a progressive nation must be intelligent in governing the affairs associated with the running of a nation.

These days, it is becoming very obvious that some nations are led by incompetent leaders. These incompetent leaders enlist the help of incapable subordinates to run a country. It is a classic case of like attracting like.

When the leader of a country is unfit to lead, he will naturally attract only unfitted individuals to work for him. In the end, the citizens of the said country will experience CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE INADEQUATE KIND pertaining to the leadership of the country.

The citizens will be flabbergasted at such kind of leadership as it will reflect their values to the whole world. In other words, the citizens will become the laughing stock of the whole world.

The leadership of a country is a reflection of its citizens. When the citizens practise and uphold cherished values in their lives, those values are mirrored in the leaders tasked to run the affairs of the country.

When a superpower is led by a super nut, how should one describe the leader of that superpower?

THE NUTTY PRESIDENT?