In the theory of evolution, from where the Darwinian phrase "survival of the fittest" is coined, Darwin suggests that the species that can best adapt to a changing environment will likely survive over those who cannot, or in his own words, "better adapted for the immediate, local environment".
In this "new normal" global economy, where we are entering into a period of slower, uncertain overall growth, how has Malaysia adapted to the new economic realities?
Particularly when export demand is falling, global capital flows are curtailed and the four major economies- US, Western Europe, China and Japan - are struggling, has Malaysia implemented the kind of systemic reforms to rise above our peers?
Against the efforts of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to paint a rosy picture of Malaysia's future, by touting the various successes of his government's ETP initiatives, economic corridors and political reforms, Malaysia is still mired in the middle-income trap because the BN government has not undertaken the kind of bold steps that is crucial to transform the country's mindset and economy.
The BN leaders' brand of one step forward, two steps back incremental "reforms" are leading Malaysia to a gradual, painful death.
Far from being the reformist that he claims to be, Najib is leading a dinosaur-like government - taking small, agonisingly slow steps towards unshackling Malaysia from the chains of corruption, incompetency and democratic restrictions.
Without a meritocracy-based economic structure that operates within a liberal and clean democracy, Malaysia can scarcely hope to maintain its present perch on the global ladder, much less climb up the steps.
Political reforms which are necessary to create an environment where creativity and new ideas are allowed to flourish and take root are few and far in between.
On the contrary, Malaysia is evolving to resemble a "Big Brother" state - where contrarian views are harshly put down, and democracy activists are being labeled as violent revolutionaries.
Institutions such as the MACC, the police, and the Election Commission are still operating under an Orwellian-like hierarchy, where there is rampant manipulation of the truth and curtailing of one's democratic rights.
And where bold measures are actually announced and legislated, such as the Peaceful Assembly Act, the harsh response of the government towards peaceful assemblies such as Bersih 3.0 shows that the reforms are mere cosmetic changes and not worth the ink it was written on.
And new bills that are rushed through Parliament often represent a step backwards to civil liberties and social justice.
Our country's finances leaves much to be desired - our operating expenditure, which is the cost of running the country, almost consumes our entire national revenue, with much of these monies coming from a single entity, Petronas.
The BN government has been weaning off this fossil-fuel bonanza for decades, without a clear strategy till today on how Malaysia can diversify its income stream away from the heavy reliance on this one single source.
On its spending side, rather than embarking on a systematic reduction through a revamp of the subsidies system and plugging wasteful expenditure, Najib chose to create a false "feel-good" factor by doling out BR1M, which is neither sustainable nor effective to alleviate low-income earners from their current predicament.
Our education system is in shambles, with our universities falling further behind our peer countries, whilst those who are educated abroad prefer to remain overseas given the higher potential incomes and quality of life.
Malaysia's education policy is dictated not by professional academics focusing on producing the best minds and talents, but by short-sighted BN ministers who will not hesitate to manipulate the system to boost their political standing even if it meant putting our future graduates at a severe disadvantage.
The scraping of the PPSMI and recent PTPTN fiasco illustrates just how primitive is our current government's vision.
Most glaringly of all, Najib, while on one hand preaches 1Malaysia as the prime minister of Malaysia, continues to tolerate the division of the nation as president of Umno.
Deputy Premier Muhyiddin Yassin recently proclaimed (The Star, June 9, 2012) that the nation's future depended on the unity of Malays and the Muslims, and not Malaysians as a whole.
How can a country progress to fend off global competition, when its people are herded into separate groups, with the notion that it is a zero-sum game - that one segment of the population can only be better off at the expense of another?
How can Malaysia hope to rise above our competitors, if our nation's top leaders, instead of harnessing the collective energies and ideas of all Malaysians, chose to alienate segments of the community by practicing discriminative social and economic policies?
In short, Malaysia, after years of comfortable progress, has become complacent. Malaysia under BN has failed to adapt.
We are more likely to suffer the same fate as Greece, an European dinosaur who have refused to change socially and economically for decades, vs the economic revival of Indonesia, who since the Reformasi, has been the strongest growing economy in South-East Asia.
Indeed, Malaysia may owe to its lucky stars that it is chugging along despites the various factors that are holding it back.
Ruchir Sharma, head of emerging market equities at Morgan Stanley, in his recent book argued that Malaysia has simply been fortunate that it is still growing due to extensive government spending and windfall from rising commodity prices such as palm oil and rubber.
He stressed that it was not due to smart choices taken by the Malaysian government, who is "obsessed with central planning and grand schemes, but often fall short of execution".
But for how long can we count on our lucky stars?
Our next generation is ill equipped to face the new harsh realities of this "new normal" world order. At the rate (of evolution) that PM Najib is advocating for, we are not preparing them for basic survival, much less to thrive and be successful.
Low quality education, English deficiency, burgeoning public debts, stagnant incomes coupled with a political climate that stifles freedom of expression, these negative factors, unless it is reversed with unwavering commitment, will mean our children are doomed to fall behind in the great race of nations.
The young voters who will participate for the first time in the next election should take heed. Unless the dinosaur-age party like BN is voted out, generations to come will be trampled upon and left in the dust if Malaysia continues on its present trajectory.
If Malaysia wants to triumph in the brutal survival of the fittest world order, evolution, of the kind espoused by Najib, will not lead us there.
Neither do we need a revolution - what we need is simply a new government that is not fixated with prehistoric ideas.