I had a dinner with a very well respected political leader two nights ago. I told him my thoughts on our people being given too much protection against competition, which is essentially the same thing that I wrote yesterday in “How about us?” . I mentioned that Malays can be world beaters if they are given a chance to compete like everyone else.
He told me a true story which I will relate here.
In one of his official visits to New York some time back, he was met at the airport by a smartly dressed Malay chauffeur driving a limousine to fetch him. In the car, he struck up a conversation with the Malay guy, and was surprised to learned that this Malay actually owns the limousine service that is fetching him. He came to the States many years back as an ‘illegal’, worked diligently and operated small businesses and ultimately, his status was legalised and he expanded his business and became the owner of many limousines. He also had many people, mainly immigrants from all over the world , working for him. He came personally to fetch the VIP because of his respect for the politician and because the VIP is from Malaysia.
This story tells us that even a not so highly educated Malay can make it on his own in one of the most competitive places in the world, the Big Apple. He did not get any clutches; he worked his way through hardship and ultimately he succeeded and achieved his “American” or shall we say “Malaysian” dream.
This politician actually wants to invite this Malay gentleman back to Malaysia and give talks, to show our people that with hard work and determination, Malay brothers and sisters can be as good as anyone.
As I have repeatedly mentioned in my blog and my writings, the competition for Malaysian is not against each other but rather the main competition is the outside world.
The main obstacle that has made the people less competitive is, without doubt, the New Economic Policy and the abuses and deviation under this system. So this policy needs an urgent review in order for our people to stand up and compete against the world.
It is very simple. Its either that or be left behind.
I am glad that more and more Malay intellectuals and businessman realise this point and hopefully, our political masters can be bold enough to change the system. We need leaders who lead the way and not the other way round.