COMPETITION

The very mention of competition in Malaysia can send the government and the population into a spin.

The majority of Malaysians are not competitive at all. Meritocracy is dead.

Here, the issue is more about propelling the members of one’s own race forward in the public and the private sectors of the economy even though the members of one’s own race are not suited for the work.

Mediocrity rules in Malaysia, and therefore Malaysia and its population don’t stand a chance to compete against nations that are always moving forward boldly.

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THE “ANG-KONG” CALLED CHINA

People look for a saviour at some point in their lifetimes. It is a sort of reassurance for people to face the unexpected that life will throw at them. It is a human reaction.

When some people place too much trust and faith in a single entity and bestow upon that entity the status of a divine being, it is freakish. It becomes stranger when more and more people worship that entity only on blind faith. There are those who choose to remain blind in their faith towards a belief or a way of thinking even though events around them are crumbling apart viciously.

There is no harm in reassuring oneself that everything will turn out fine. Positive thinkers do that all the time. In negative times and in negative surroundings, positive thinkers infect others with a lot of positivity.

During these negative times, positive thinkers create a God who will be their saviour to save them from the coming tumultuous events. It is akin to injecting oneself with a drug overdose. And in that overdosed state, coming turbulent incidents are portrayed as serene, happy and cheerful times by the positive thinkers.

This overdosed state of worship in a single deliverer that can overcome all impending economic ills is taken to the extreme. The rescuer is capable of anything and everything under the sun. Look towards the deliverer to save your souls. Look towards the deliverer to maintain your economic livelihood. The preserver is impregnated with tremendous economic power.

Like a dragon awakened from centuries of deep slumber, the preserver can breathe its economic fire into the depraved and the economically destitute rendering them invincible to all sorts of approaching economic upheavals. The rescuer attains the status of an “ANG-KONG” in the eyes of his many followers.

When the “ANG-KONG” called China is further hit economically and financially, what then?

In the Hokkien dialect used in Penang, “ANG-KONG” means deity.

SUBMERGING MARKETS

There is a lot of turmoil in the markets these days. In particular, the Emerging Markets (EMs) are submerging. Does the future economic scenario look good for the EMs?

It looks like the leaders in the EMs have their work cut out for them. It is real work in the form of fixing things very quickly in the respective economies of the EMs. The EMs will sink into the abyss of the ocean very quickly if their leaders don’t introduce the vital structural changes.

The EMs will have to contend with many sharks during their descent into the abyss of the ocean. The Great White Sharks, the Great Black Sharks, the Great Brown Sharks, the Great Yellow Sharks and the Great Tawny Sharks will definitely bite these EMs. The EMs will be torn to pieces by the time they hit the abyss of the ocean.

The world is about to witness how fundamentally, structurally and truly strong these economies really are in the EMs.

SAYONARA!

NO PEACE AND QUIET

The atmosphere is very hot and tense. I am not referring to the weather but to the sentiment prevalent among most ordinary Malaysians today.

Everyone is agitated. The agitation is more violent among politicians from the various parties that make up the present coalition tasked to steer the country out of its current malady. Is the current crop of politicians different from the previous crop of politicians? Nothing has changed.

Instead of looking into pertinent issues affecting the layman and his livelihood, the current politicians are more interested in fulfilling selfish motives that will benefit them and their diehard supporters. It is as though the politicians and their diehard supporters will rule forever.

In the run-up to the 14th General Election, the mayhem and the mud-slinging were perfectly understood. But the mayhem and the mud-slinging are continuing until today. As a result, the citizen is deprived of peace which he sorely needs to improve his economic lot.

Instead of concentrating on the dire and immediate needs of the citizens concerning their livelihoods, the current politicians are embroiled in petty issues pertaining to race, religion and language. What are they ACTUALLY DOING?

The term “rule of law” has become a byword. It is just a saying on the lips of self-serving politicians. Although an election candidate stood and lost in the 14th General Election, he is made a deputy minister in one of the ministries. That infraction is a slap on the face of the Malaysian voter. Malaysians have a very weird understanding and interpretation of the “rule of law”.

Nothing has changed. It is the same old bloody wine in a new bottle. It is the same old stale menu. Malaysians are not in the New Malaysia yet. Malaysians are in A TRANSITION PERIOD TO THE NEW MALAYSIA.

Let’s watch what really happens in the Transition Period as a lot of things must be fixed if Malaysia truly wants to progress in all fields.

OF A GOVERNMENT AND ITS DUTY

I am not an economist or an accountant. I am just a simple layman who works and struggles hard to earn a decent living. For a simple layman like me, every cent counts. I don’t have the luxury to overspend or donate to others.

When a government introduces a fund for its citizens to settle its debts, it is whimsicality at its best.

“Governments exist for the preservation of people and property.”

It is not the other way around.

Governments don’t exist to appeal to their citizens to donate generously for the efficient administration of their respective countries. Such governments are not governments at all. They are abominations.

Citizens don’t exist to preserve a government. Citizens participate with a government in realising the nation’s objectives in all spheres of development – economic, political, social, etc.

Are all the citizens so filthy rich that they can donate generously to settle a country’s debts? What happens when even some citizens with good-paying salaries lose their jobs in the coming months? Will those citizens still be patriotic to contribute to the government’s fund when they have other mouths to feed?

In the present global economic scenario, things and events are very negative indeed. Nothing is certain. The only certainty is that people around the world are very jittery about what is happening in the global economy. They are anxious. And they are even more anxious when they see that their governments and policymakers can’t produce concrete countermeasures to stabilise their respective struggling economies.

Why does a country have political parties? Why does a country have politicians, who are the elected representatives of the people, in a parliament? Why does a country hold General Elections? Why does an electorate of a country give the mandate to a coalition of political parties to run the affairs of a state? Why is there SUCH A THING CALLED A GOVERNMENT IN A COUNTRY?

Is it the duty of a government to solicit donations from its citizens to settle the country’s debts?

When a government solicits donations from its citizens to settle its debts, it has failed in its duty to govern a country effectively.

That government has started on the wrong footing and even an ordinary layman can tell very confidently that such a government cannot govern for a very long time.

Instead of depending on a government to run the affairs of a state, the citizens can pool all their financial resources and appoint special groups of people to oversee the running of a country. In that way, there will be no need for a government at all. In that way, there will be no headaches concerning selfish and wily politicians who rob the country’s coffers high and dry. In that way, the citizens will not be subjected to fear, threats, racial abuses and whatnot from “the insidious and crafty animals” called politicians and their so-called leaders.

Citizens who donate to a fund to save the country from financial ruin are doing their patriotic duty. They are PATRIOTS.

What about the citizens who can’t donate to the fund? What about the citizens who refuse to donate to the fund? Are they TRAITORS to the country?

When I refuse to donate to the fund voluntarily, does that make me a traitor to the country?

When a person donates voluntarily, he should not be branded as a patriot.

When a person does not donate voluntarily, he should not be viewed as someone who is not doing his patriotic duty to his country.

Donating voluntarily to a fund set up for the purpose of settling a country’s debts does not equate to showing patriotism for one’s country. That is POTTED THINKING.

Suckers who fall flat to such potted thinking need to stand on their heads for hours to allow the blood from other parts of their bodies to flow into their brains. That gush of blood flow into their brains will enable those suckers to think with a clear head when it comes to the actual duties of a government in running the affairs of a state. In Yoga, they have a name for such a posture, Sirsasana or The Headstand. It makes one look younger too.

When young children (the offspring of misguided parents) use their piggy banks to contribute to a fund set up to settle the debts of a country, it is really demeaning and it doesn’t make any economic sense.

Malaysians should write a book about this extraordinary event: HOW TO RUN THE FINANCES OF A COUNTRY, USING DONATIONS FROM CITIZENS AND THE PIGGY BANKS OF YOUNG CHILDREN.

Once that first book becomes an international bestseller, they should write the second book: HOW TO SETTLE THE DEBTS OF A COUNTRY, USING DONATIONS FROM CITIZENS AND THE PIGGY BANKS OF YOUNG CHILDREN.

Smith, Keynes and Marshall will squirm in their graves. “Why didn’t we think of that, huh?! Solve all the economic problems of a country, using donations from citizens and the piggy banks of young children.

As usual, the ordinary citizens are being taken for a ride, AGAIN. The ordinary citizens are compelled in a subtle manner to contribute to a fund that will help settle the country’s debts when they are already burdened with a high cost of living following the abject failure of the previous government to govern well.

Why does the present government turn to its burdened citizens to contribute monetary wise to a fund? Shouldn’t the present government slash the unnecessary expenditure and wastage accumulated under the previous government? Shouldn’t the present government hold the previous administrators accountable for the huge debts?

When a country is attacked by an external enemy, the soldier must do his duty to protect the country and its citizens. The soldier doesn’t run to the people for help in defending the country during war. As a soldier, he understands his duty very well and he is expected to defend and die for the country.

It all boils down to the question of DUTY. When a citizen votes a new political coalition to form the government of a country, he has done his duty as a voter. That citizen expects the new government to do its duty by acting like a government of the day! That citizen doesn’t expect his new government to solicit for donations from the people. That government is indeed an abomination!

I would rather have no government at all.

THE MANY YEARS OF WRONG EXPERIENCE

Experience is not the best teacher, for there will be some people who have contributed nothing real and useful in their respective vocations.

Many people boast about their years of experience in their fields of expertise. But wise people always ask this question: Is it the right kind of experience or the wrong kind of experience? Wiser people query more in this manner: What kind of results did you deliver in your years of experience? Were the results beneficial or detrimental?

An individual’s years of experience in his occupation is not the sole criterion of his true capabilities. When he has delivered nothing real and useful in the form of right results for everyone to see, his experience screams only failures upon failures.

The many years of right experience in political leadership show that Lee Kuan Yew (LKY), a former Prime Minister of Singapore, left the present generation of Singaporeans a country that is the envy of its surrounding neighbours. During his political leadership, LKY built Singapore, a country with no natural resources, into a developed nation and left a strong legacy of political leadership that will be unmatched by the coming generations of Singaporeans.

Till today, people around the world pay glowing tributes to LKY, the architect of modern Singapore. Despite LKY’s iron rule, that right experience is political leadership at its best!

Current leaders of countries in the ASEAN region should emulate LKY’s leadership qualities.

One of LKY’s contemporaries in the ASEAN region left a legacy of filth (in his misrule) that still lingers for his coming generations to this day. Today, he is back as a leader of his country to clean up his own filth that he generated in his earlier misrule. That wrong experience is political filth at its worst!

It is the same in the field of education.

When the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) Approach practitioners, Malaysians and native speakers, have delivered nothing real and useful in improving the standard of English among Malaysians for nearly half-a-century, don’t the results show that they are egregious incompetents? They have been running in circles on the same spot for nearly half-a-century. They definitely qualify as people who have the many years of wrong experience.

In some cases, experience is definitely not the best teacher.  

THE BOTTOMLESS FINANCIAL PIT

I hate to be a pessimist. At the same time, I can’t afford to be an optimist. That makes me neutral.

When revelations upon revelations (of the negative sort) about the financial health of an economy are unearthed, they can be real dampeners upon a person’s psyche. That person will naturally worry about what is to unfold in the coming future.

In the grand structure of things and events pertaining to the smooth functioning of an economy, the fate of every citizen is dependent on the rise and the fall of the economy. The citizens of a country are interdependent, economically.

Even foreign investors will get very jittery. Naturally, their capital will take flight in the coming days, weeks and months. Don’t expect foreign investors to be too optimistic about the financial health of the country when even a citizen like me is very pessimistic about the country’s financial future.

At this stage, damage control is futile. The whole structure on which the country has been built economically and financially needs to be completely overhauled. That scenario means every citizen must do his duty in rebuilding the country economically and financially in a proper and structured way. That scenario means no special treatment of any kind for one particular lot anymore.

How did the country arrive at this level of financial predicament anyway? Now, the citizen must be prepared to fall into the bottomless financial pit.

WELCOME TO THE BOTTOMLESS FINANCIAL PIT!

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.

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.