Backman tulis lagi.

Nampaknya artikel While Malaysia fiddles, it opportunities are running dry mendapat respon yang overwhelming, kata penulisnya Michael Backman. Dan 95% adalah supportive!

Ini tulisan beliau:

The response to my recent column ‘While Malaysia fiddles, its opportunities are running dry’, published in The Age newspaper on November 15 has been overwhelming. I’ve received hundreds of e-mails and messages, many from
Malaysians both in Malaysia and outside, of which perhaps 95% have been supportive. Thank you for these. It seems that the column has given voice to concerns that many Malaysians have.

I’d like to emphasise (and as many of you realise already), that I wrote the column as constructive criticism. I like Malaysia very much. I visit often and have many Malaysian friends of all races. I’ve also written a lot that is positive about Malaysia in the past, most notably in a previous book of mine – The Asian Insider: Unconventional Wisdom for Asian Business, which has no less than five chapters to explain to people outside Malaysia why I feel that Malaysia should be given more credit than it gets.

There have been many achievements. There is much about which Malaysians can be proud. Malaysia, for example, is far more politically mature and developed than is Singapore. The media is more open too (but of course not as open as it could or should be.) Malaysians are more entrepreneurial too. AirAsia started in Malaysia and has revolutionised air travel across Asia. In Singapore, there is very much a sense that the government has to do everything.

I also believe that the NEP, which has seen special advantages given to bumiputeras over other groups, has been important for Malaysia. It has been essential for nation building. Malaysia is peaceful and while the various groups may not mix much there is clear mutual respect between them. That is a huge achievement.

However, the problem as I said in my column, is waste. And also the use of statistics that are blatantly wrong. Malaysia also has a big problem with transparency. Too little account is made of how other people’s money is spent. The police too are way too corrupt for a country as developed as Malaysia. The rote learning that is practiced in the schools also needs to be done away with. Generations of Malaysian children are missing out on an education that should teach them how to be creative and critical – this is what a truly modern, boleh country needs. Again, my comments are meant to be constructive. And I make them as a non-Malaysian largely because many Malaysians feel rightly or wrongly that they cannot say these things themselves in their own country.

Since my column was published, plans for a new RM400 million Istana have been announced and the Agriculture Ministry parliamentary secretary has told Parliament that Malaysia’s first astronaut will be playing batu seremban
and spinning tops and making teh tarik while in space. There are countless scientists around the world who would give anything for the opportunity to go to space and do real experiments. For the Malaysian government to send an astronaut into space to play Malay children’s games serves only to re-emphasise my point about waste. Not only that, it makes Malaysia look infantile in the eyes of the rest of the world, which is a great pity when Malaysia has made so many real achievements. The world is getting more clever, more competitive and more dynamic every day. There are too many in Malaysia who don’t seem to understand this.

Of course my views are just that: my views. But I have spent most of my adult life analysing and writing about Asia. I am direct and critical; I do not veil my criticisms because I don’t want to waste my time or yours with readers trying to guess what I really mean. Open debate is absolutely critical for all modern, dynamic countries. The free flow of ideas and information helps to make countries rich. Political leaders cannot do everything on their own be they in the UK, Australia or Malaysia. They need help. Otherwise they make mistakes. And when they do, whose fault is that? Those who prefer to stay quiet? And should I as a non-Malaysian be commenting on Malaysia? Of course. Malaysian political leaders and commentators routinely comment about other countries. That’s how the world is now, an inter-dependent, global world. And the world is much better for it.

I will write another column about Malaysia soon.

Michael Backman
November 17 2006

Sila ke http://www.michaelbackman.com/

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6 Respons

  1. tajam sungguh mamat ni. tapi sapa berani menafikan tulisan dia. tidak juga orang yang mengucup keris tumpul sewaktu berhimpun ramai². hehe…

  2. Bos, saya nak mintak izin nak link blog ni kat blog saya, sebenarnya dah link pun, senang nak dtg lagi lain kali.

  3. 🙂

    terima kasih elmariachi. blog kamu juga telah dimasukkan ke blogroll aku!

  4. Tak semua Malaysia terutamanya Melayu bodoh. Sejak Malaysia jatuhkan kereta Proton kat kutub utara lagi dah bising dah. Kenapalah pemimpin kita ni buang-buang duit kat benda2 macam ni…

    Tapi apakan daya kita? boleh kah kita buat rampasan kuasa???? kalau bleh bagaimana????

  5. Tak siapa kata semua Melayu bodoh.

    Dan tak siapa suruh buat rampasan kuasa!

  6. […] Seperti yang dijanjikan oleh Michael Backman, dia menulis lagi. Tentang Malaysia. Nampak gaya, dia ni macam orang kemaruk cinta dengan Malaysia. Heh heh. Tapi tulisannya bukan surat cinta. Kita lihat siapa yang kena! Rafidah added to her remarks about my column that no Malaysian should say such things. It’s little wonder that she doesn’t welcome scrutiny from her own people. But then the idea that Malaysians cannot comment publicly about how their country is run but a non-Malaysian can, is disgraceful. […]

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