It is ironic that there is so much brouhaha about Christopher Lockwood's survey in the Economist of the achievements and shortcomings of Mahathir administration ( 'No' to publications that belittle M'sian leaders: Syed Hamid ). Many readers would think it balanced.
According to New Straits Times , Acting PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi expected an apology from the renowned international publication.
However less than two months ago in a "tough, no-holds barred speech on 'Competing for Tomorrow' to the Oxbridge Society, Abdullah himself spoke of "the malaise affecting Malaysia that may well jeopardise our way forward is a case of having First World infrastructure and Third World mentality".
Well said! After 20 years of Mahathir administration, we have the achievement of "First World infrastructure" but the failure of a "Third World mentality". Isn't this an indirect vindication of what the Economist basically said or implied?
In general, a people cannot be blamed for Third World mentality when leadership has failed to guide and elevate their mentality to a higher plane.
Mahathir has developed the First World infrastructure; it remains for Abdullah Badawi to change the Third World mentality to that of First World. Can he rise up to the challenge?
First thing first about 'First World mentality' is acceptance of criticisms from others like the Economist . We rebut in print and expose specific inaccuracies of report rather than demand apology or threaten to ban it if that were not forthcoming.
The first course would earn respect; the second, derision.