YOURSAY | ‘Once, we were to be the next South Korea or Taiwan. Now we try not to be Sri Lanka.’
Vgeorgemy: Malaysian economic figures at the macroeconomic level have always done exceptionally well, except during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, which was our Sri Lankan moment.
Since 1997, we have been the only country that couldn’t recover the wealth that was lost during that financial crisis. We will be at the Sri Lankan doorstep easily if we have another crisis like 1997.
We may be heading that way. We woke up early this morning to hear the price collapse of palm oil. The predicted recession in the industrialised nations next year will bring the collapse of oil prices.
What we should be worried about is the micro-level situation. It is reported that almost all the children in public housing projects are stunted due to low intake of nutritious food.
A generation or two will suffer from low-income jobs amidst plenty. Policymakers need to rewrite our school curriculum to accommodate these children in our educational institutions.
The quality of our human resources depends on the curriculum the nation provides to our children. Many will miss the benefit of the Industrial Revolution 4.0.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, conceptualises rapid change to technology, industries, and societal patterns and processes in the 21st century due to increasing interconnectivity and smart automation.
What’s the point of having good macroeconomic figures if our children can’t enjoy the fruits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
Headhunter: Sri Lanka started not so well off and then ended up badly. They lack resources and like Malaysia, are ruled by corrupted elites.
In the case of Malaysia, we started off well with our rich resources but incompetence, racial and religious intolerance and corruption cause all the damages that we are facing today.
At the rate we are going, Sri Lanka's fate is not too far off.
VS: We were a dragon economy once. Today, sad to say with the rampant corruption by our politicians by the billions, we have been reduced to a poor state.
Internationally, we are portrayed as a kleptocracy. As Malaysiakini columnist P Gunasegaram said we may end up like Sri Lanka if we do not change our ways.
Just A Malaysian: In the 1990s, we were seen to be the next South Korea or Taiwan. Now we are struggling not to become Sri Lanka.
What happened in the last 40 years? Umno and the Malays who support them need to ask themselves why is it so? Has bumiputeraism created a stable, fair and progressive society?
Have deeply ingrained religious beliefs produced upright honest hardworking people? Has government running private businesses succeeded?
We need to reflect fast. New and young politicians need to stop aping the seniors and shift to new narratives. They need to make "defending race and religion" mantra a dirty word. They need to think "building a better Malaysia together".
We are only 32 million people in a sea of nine billion – all of whom are waiting to eat our cake. If we divide and fight amongst ourselves, what chance do we have to fight the other nine billion?
All Things Considered: In all honesty, Malaysia must go through what Sri Lanka is going through now or even worse. We never seem to be learning from our mistakes.
The majority race in Malaysia, especially the Malay elites, have been having it too good for a long time at the expense of the blood and sweat of the hardworking minority. They have been spoon-fed, given all the unfair advantages in education, business, sports, you name it.
They, especially the younger generation born after the implementation of the New Economic Policy (NEP), don't understand what it means to work hard to get anything. Their easy way of life has been ingrained in them so much so that they think that's how life is and not anything otherwise.
On the other hand, the minority has been slogging it out and has been going through the humiliation of discrimination and bullying for a long time.
Many, including the more liberated Malays, have been warning that this gravy train cannot continue, but sadly the ruling Malay elites would like to keep things going as it is for their own political benefits.
This and the unmitigated level of corruption will soon lead us to a disaster worse than what Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Chile and Peru have experienced put together.
Betul Malu Bukan Maluapa: The 1MDB trial had exposed that Malaysia has an outstanding bond debt of US$3 billion which the Finance Ministry has guaranteed but is struggling to repay.
Singapore, once a mud-flat island, is voted the second richest country in the world in terms of GDP to population ratio.
Where is Malaysia, a country which prides itself full of resources such as gas and petroleum, plus being a top exporter of palm oil and rubber?
Without Fear or Favour: Gunasegaram is being kind to say we are still doing fine when compared to Sri Lanka.
Yet all the writings on the wall indicate that bankruptcy is already at our doorstep. Yet our leaders and the majority of the people are still living in deception or "syok sendiri" mode.
The Analyser: When has the Malaysian government been anything but poor?
Previously, poor governance (and poor commerce) have been propped up by high oil prices and low labour costs.
The present situation we are in is the result of decades of poor governance and lack of commercial enterprise because indulgence has been easier than effort in the past.
The present government is probably more benign in its uselessness than many of its predecessors. And the present opposition is more righteous because it has proven to be just as useless, but as usual, will never acknowledge failure.
Dizzer: The fact that Malaysia is still running - albeit not as fast as it should, given the weighty millstone around its neck (the NEP) - is a sign that we still have enough people who have drive and energy, despite corrupt and incompetent leadership.
What I don't understand is why the opposition continues to be so pathetically ineffective. Where is the shadow cabinet, what are the alternative policy platforms, what would they do differently, is there an alternative vision to the one offered by the dim-witted, kleptocratic racists?
The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. In the past year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now.
These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.