Do we really aspire to be a developed nation ?

Malaysia aspires to be a developed nation in 12 years time, which is not that far away . But do our policies favour achieveing that goal of a developed nation? If not, ask ourselves, do we really aspire to be developed?

Developed countries,  as most people know it,  are countries that have a high level of income. But,   does a high per capita income qualify a country to be developed? Countries in middle East which are high income countries with very high GDP per capita are not considered as developed. To be acknowledged by the world community that a country has achieved a developed status takes more than a high per capita income…

Developed nations have certain characteristics. Firstly, most of them are in the temperate zones. Practically all are deomcracies, where everyone is equal under the law.. Most have very low corruption levels. Most have a highly educated population and intelligent workforce. Most have efficient police force and independent Judiciary. ALmost all have good education systems, producing very sound and thinking individuals. Almost all practise meritocracy which leads to excellence in most fields. ALmost all have high level of religious freedom.

Ask ourselves truthfully, do we have any of these characteristics? Do our policies favour the development of these characteristics? We had some of these in the sixties and seventies. Then, our education system was one of the best in aSIA. Our students going overseas used to top universities and colleges overseas. Many of them have become famous personalities in the countries they chose to stay back. ( See the comments on my earlier post on Brain Drain).

But we can in fact achieve all these except perhaps the climate zone. We are in the tropics but climate really does not matter so much with all the airconditioning and scientific advances.  If we have the will, we will succceed. But how to achieve this?

Promote  people of high integrity into positions capable of making a change. People holding positions like Judges, police officers ,  enforcement officers, ministers , department heads etc must be of high integrity and must not only be fair and clean but must be seen as fair and clean. For the future of the nation and our posterity, positions must be filled irrespective of race or creed, but must be based on the person’s record and merits. Civil service must be open to all races so that there is a much bigger pool of talents to be chosen from. 

 The government must do away with the unwritten rule that only people of certain race/cables can be the heads of departments or committees or councils… This unwritten rule is archaic and is an impediment to advances in knowledge as well as economy. We need the best to come forward to serve the people. So instead of growing a meagre 4 to 5 % a year, with the best people in charge , we could have achieved a growth of 9-10%.  With this policy, our people will no more have any barriers based on race and religions, and a truly united country can emerge. Our children and our children’s children , irrespective of race or creed,  will live better than in the case of continuing the present race based policy.

If we can achieve that, then even if we do not call ourselves a developed nation, the whole world will recognise us as such….

                   True Racial Harmony and Unity (pic. from


32 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. charlie
    Jul 22, 2008 @ 13:04:34

    A good one to ponder over. The focus on the fastest biggest tallest outward development has taken a very big toll on our intellectual capabilities. This is why I advocate the judicial reform. Flaws may be aplenty, but it’s a start. Same thing must be said for the move to rationalize the civil service, and the talks on “special rights and privileges” to be allowed in a moderated, civil and mature manner. What is not good is clamping down on those talks without examining the merits for having them.


  2. monsterball
    Jul 22, 2008 @ 13:38:01

    Doc..UMNO only know how to create slogans…create hopes and desires…for trust and believe in them.
    Mahathir started with Musa Hitam…”Clean ..Efficient and Trustworthy” slogan…remember??
    So 22 years…what did Mahathir do?
    And it’s on going.
    You want to talk logic with UMNO?
    How can a drowning man…stay calm ad talk sense?
    All are exposed..UMNO and BN are not sincere….and what do the 12th election result ….tells you?
    And what did it tell UMNO…after 5 months?
    Just non stop…..denying this or that..and create fear and provocations.
    You write that … hope UMNO and BN understand logics?
    Come on… should write all that…and then…tell us your opinions…of UMNO and BN parties…and come to a final conclusion.
    Vast majority Malaysians and daily growing in numbers…already make up their minds…to vote UMNO out completely.


  3. monsterball
    Jul 22, 2008 @ 13:41:25

    So charlie..what you are saying…UMNO correct all their wrongs….short comings..and lets vote them in again…next election?
    What about the billions ….they stole from us?


  4. nick
    Jul 22, 2008 @ 15:50:25

    When the slogan “Vision 2020” was enunciated by TDM, it captured the Mission for our Nation. It was a beautiful dream. In the early 80’s, I was just a young man fresh out from University. I really believed in this dream and there was period of 10 years from 1987 to 1997 when we were just flying economically. KL was known as the city of cranes and the country was producing millionaires from the woodwork. We had the “can-do” spirit in everything. In 1996, I remembered we dreamt of building strutures on top of the Selangor River! There was so many gargantuan projects but alas the Asian crisis exposed all our weaknesses. After TDM retired our Nation went to sleep. The dream is no more. Today, we just exist from hand-to-mouth. The lucky few can exchange their Perdanas for brand new Mercs, thanks to Umno-workshops in Trengganu. I agree with Dr. Hsu, meritocracy is the key-word. But looking at our set of leaders, I don’t think they understand the meaning. Our Nation has a lot of catching up to do, I am truly pessimistic.


  5. aadya
    Jul 22, 2008 @ 17:31:47

    Hello, doc hsu,

    I understand and believe that change has to start somewhere, it certainly does not happen overnight, and even if the system change, the whole organization in the system has to work together towards achieving and maintaining success of the new system. Like Sir Charlie said, at least we have a start.


  6. Y C Chai
    Jul 22, 2008 @ 17:32:06

    Dear Nick,

    Don’t be fooled by TDM’s so-called world class development project. Those are nothing more than white elephant except PLUS highway and perhaps KLIA. The rest are all non sustainable development and only good to look at only. We talked so much economic achievement during his time, but we forget to look around at our immediate neighbors like Thailand and Singapore. They share the same GDP growth as ours if not better AT LESSER FUTURE COST.
    Privatisation is not a new concept invented by TDM. He merely copy from some western country and remodeled it based on the grand NEP + CRONY (2 or 3 in 1 formula). The result is uncountable Toll within Klang Valley, IPPs which all add up to higher cost of living and doing business. All of us footing the bills in long run and eroding our competitiveness.
    Not everything under sun should be privatised. But in our country, they tend to privatise anything possible as long as there money to be made by those selected few. In the process they did created a group of Bumiputra “entrepreneurs” to justify TDM’s argument of top down approach to empower Bumiputra.
    As pointed out by Dr. Hsu, we need a major overhaul of the entire system within our country in order to be competitive again. The question is how, and by whom and when. It remain a dream at the moment.


  7. pohwatchdog
    Jul 22, 2008 @ 20:27:44

    Have visit many countries in Asia and Australia. Still found Malaysia have a lot of hope and better off than many places. We will be surprise to find that three main social ills affected China today, a so called super power economic corridor namely drugs, AIDS and rising cost of living. China is a large country, or else how it managed a 130 millions population. IMAGINE.

    Voice and vote have been cast, it is time to work. Even PAS and UMNO can sit down to discuss the future of our nation. What we really want is the courage to voice out our aspiration for a fair and just society.

    Malaysia still have the hope and change have been done in the last general election. It is time for the younger generation to care for the nation working harder to make Malaysia a develop nation by 2020. In order to suceed, we should choose person with integrity, capable, vision and sincerity to lead Malaysia into a developed nation in 12 years time.

    We can make it if we can convince ourselves comparing with many other countries around us. We must have the iron will, consistency and less policticking. It is indeed time to care and concern for the well being of the people and nation coping with the increase of cost of living.

    We need foreign investor to create high tech industries, well planned education system, meritocracy system in civil service, well planned landscaping garden, government machinery that is efficient, police doing their beat and confidence in the stability of the nation. Well planned 2009 Budget to stimulate the SME industries, human resource development, vocational training for all races , creating jobs in civil service and do more spending in infrastructure development.

    Where as the civil services is concern, advertise the job vacancy in all main stream newspaper to have a multi racial composition. Quote Deng Xi Ping, black cats, brown cats, white cats or any colour cats as long can catch mice is a good cats.
    We need to give hope to our younger generation to make Malaysia a better place for all of us.


  8. Whatthe?
    Jul 22, 2008 @ 21:06:52

    Forget about all the visions! The country will never be developed before the mat rempits are taught how not to beat the traffic lights!


  9. jeff
    Jul 22, 2008 @ 22:43:27

    Malaysia developed nation ?? another 100 years under a fair leadership, probably will happen.
    just have to see how the political development in the year ahead….


  10. A true Malaysian
    Jul 22, 2008 @ 22:54:05

    Actually, Malaysia does not lack of anything, we have everything to be developed nation. We are just lacking of ‘brains’ that will put the systems right.

    So, without right people, we can never achieve ‘developed’ status. Just look at the Netherlands, they don’t even have land, and yet they are ‘developed nation’.

    Vision without right actions will not make us ‘developed nation’.


  11. darcwil
    Jul 22, 2008 @ 23:17:03

    True YC,

    We must not be fooled by such tangible projects in the past. Most of these are our pride and nation, but do most Malaysians realize we are paying dearly up til now for all the mega projcts done during Tun’s time? Like Putrajaya and Proton, good long term investments? You tell me.

    That is why we need to move on from developing TANGIBLES to INTANGIBLES. It is time to develop from within. And indeed the time is now. Of course, some people under the BN are resistant to change and if they keep to that, well, can we say PR is the better option or not?


  12. monsterball
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 01:29:59

    No one talk about…’Clean..Efficient.. Trustworthy” promises made by Mahathir. That’s why we voted him…in. Is it not? Now..what happen? Did he keep his promise? If not…what shall we all do?
    Why is Dollah and all UMNO ministers…right now… not highlighting this wonderful slogan…..and promise to keep them? UMNO is ignoring…as they know…Malaysians..easily forget…..and they are right. Why Malaysians also easily ignore? Too difficult to handle? lets talk easy subjects?
    No one talk about the RM1.2billion bail out by Mahathir.. to his son…..with our money.
    Why..does it mean..most are youngsters here….commenting and..those money stolen..not stolen…. from their pocket….so don’t feel the pain…nor matter to them at all?
    No one talk about the obvious massive corruptions… UMNO. WHY??
    Most are somewhat….ignoring….ever forgiving….and suggesting this or that…which actually welcoming back UMNO.
    Why can’t we cut out.. all the crab ..and give your final for change…or vote to continue with UMNO.
    And don’t tell me…the middle road formula.
    Why not talk of current issues?
    How many think Anwar is guilty or not guilty of sodomy and why.
    That’s the kind of issues…we must talk ‘
    And what do you think about RPK’S accusations on Rosmah……have a hand in killing Atlantuya.?
    Finally…the Lingam case.
    You see….it is either for or against ..for a complete change of government…orv continue to be slaves to UMNO….that matters….and not all these smart ideas….analysing….suggesting….hinting…and proposing.
    Yes..practice freedom of speeches…and rights… all means…but stay focus and on current issues.
    Otherwise….we are infact…not commited to a clear path….for next election.
    Are we still doubtful….who to do with our votes?
    My vote is no secret. I vote for change of government…and support Anwar to be next PM.
    So….lets be clear..which path are we.. travelling? Oh no…not a zig zag one. That will kill you.
    Just go and read all your comments…here and everywhere…jut commitments.
    That’s what makes UMNO happy.
    That means this blog support UMNO and BN?
    I don’t know…I maybe I read and try to judge everyone’s final opinions…. I find them…always so unpredictable.
    Are you all that smart?
    Teach to be smart…..I am all ears.


  13. jeff
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 01:33:25

    True Malaysian; To be a developed nation is not very bad to achieve, but to have it along with equitable and fair distribution among Malaysians the benefit derived from obtaining that status is harder to reach, without having that goal formulated in our national development goal, it is meaningless.

    See for yourself, we used to have the tallest skyscrapper, palatial official administrative offices, all these superficial physical developments, is that make us any advance when large portion of citizens are begging for food, umemploy, sleep under the bridge, and the top income group are holding 80% of nation wealth generated and enjoy a stunnning hundred times of income than lower income group?


  14. monsterball
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 02:03:13

    Doc…the books I promise…should be delivered by hand tomorrow.
    Please read and let us know your opinion.
    Justin Choo…Please spell out those USA jail house addresses here ..and I will post them out.
    I give you till weekend.
    Failing which….I will cancel my promise. I have many other things to remember and I want to settle this and move on.
    Lets mean what we say….and say what we mean.


  15. jeff
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 03:23:48

    As you probably already know, umnoputra has a very distorted way of twisting “truth” around, for example like the calculation of personal wealth based solely on corporate equity ownership alone is self evident, how can a personal self-worth only consist of corporate shares he owns, and not other assets too? let alone it is not an accurate gauge for measuring wealth, it is also not conclusive as market prices of corporate equity is dynamic itself and subject to flactuation every day n week. But all these reasoning can be covered by umno’s propaganda machines for selfish political agenda.


  16. Dr Hsu
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 10:48:44

    monsterball, I have received the books.. Why worry and What Buddhists Believe.. I will go through them, ad then pass it round.



  17. nick
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 12:40:41

    Thanks YC for your comments. I do agree with them. TDM had his time. His failures are glaring now. Let me say more about Dr. Hsu’s article. If you come from a poor family, what would your advice be to young people? I think it will be along this line: “there is no substitute for good education and hard work”, right? “Education” is the key to our future. If we wish to position our country to be a developed nation, we need to fix the education system, not just build up first-class infrastructure. Let me cite 2 examples of what I mean:
    (1) PTPTN loans – how come the Government lacks the will to enforce collections? I don’t understand this. Why not use the EPF to enforce collection and end all the nonsence debates. Or is there a more foolish ulterior stupid motive? To me this issue is important. If errant borrowers don’t pay up, future borrowers will get to share less. Penalize the families of those errant guys? Why not enforce collections from the working parents?
    (2) Traffic summons – why allow people to escape especially foreign car owners. I know of a Singaporean car with more than 30 summons and the authorities fail to collect from the driver. The car is still driven regularly to Malaysia. In a few more months, he plans to sell the car. Why are our Police force so lethargic? Or so bankrupt in ideas on collection?
    Malaysia will do well to introduce meritocracy in our education institutions. Give promotions based on merit and not race or creed or connections. If we can’t even fix this basic thing, forget about joining the first world. We are better off comparing ourselves to countries like India, Phillipines and Indonesia.


  18. steven
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 08:13:55

    The picture showing a white n black hand, it must be taken from America, not applicable to Malaysia.
    Umno not allow that to happen.


  19. monsterball
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 08:31:38

    Doc….the book…’why worry” was autographed by the author.
    I have all his books….signed personally to me..and foc…..but I do donate to his books printing faithfully.
    Once you read his books….you want more of other titles…..let me know.
    No Buddhists leaders in Malaysia can come close to the late Dr.Dhammananda.


  20. Justin Choo
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 10:23:48

    Dr Hsu,
    I read “Why Worry” in 1968. The first print was half the thickness. I think I paid $2.50 at that time. I still have that book.

    My contact has replied on What Bst Believe:
    I am sending the books to the Triple Gem Society in USA. The society provides prison ministry work. I am not sending the books directly to the prison. This is the address for that society:

    John Mulligan,
    Bodhi House,
    654 Yingling Road,
    Littlestown, PA 17340 ,
    United States of America



  21. monsterball
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 11:50:23

    Do you want me to send a book to the address you put out?


  22. monsterball
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 12:02:42

    Now those books are not less than RM20 each…and price is reasonable.
    But I went … bought an up to date revised Bible last week …for only…RM9.90!!
    Is Francis Yeoh subsidizing the real cost?
    “Gideons” are most wonderful!!
    For more than 40 years…as long as I can remember….they give out FOC bibles in most 5 Stars hotels……all over the world.
    The words of Buddha and his life story….also lying side by side in many hotels……especially in Japan.
    Just take them home…all foc.
    I found one English Bible….with bahasa Indon at Samarang 3 Star hotel.
    See…Indonesia is more democratic than Malaysia. They are not afraid Muslims….become Christians at all.
    I guess the Dutch love to unite and the British love to divide…..and UMNO use that advantage to steal from us.
    UMNO is the crook….not the British.


  23. monsterball
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 12:26:02

    So I have a Bible with Bahasa Indo translation.
    It is ban in Malaysia?
    I recalled I sneaked in Mao’s small red book.
    If found ….you will be charged as a communist in Malaysia…….no small matter…sure ISA for life.
    I used to read and hide it.
    Now……Malaysia so pally with China…Communists are the best?
    In actual fact…it is the best for every poor country….that wants to unite fast..succeed …..move to socialist status……..than get filthy rich….move to be more democratic.
    Here we started of democratic and moving backwards…….year by year…purposely by UMNO and BN…to control slaves.
    Now Malaysians showed to them…who are their booses…..they are threatening with fear formulas…and provocations….with a touch of subtle race clashes……all designed to declare Emergency Rule….by these devils…..we elected in. There is no end to UMNO sinical and sinful ideas. All have to be calm and apply Mahatma Gandhi
    ways……to love your enemy and shame them.
    Anwar will show us how.
    6 Indians are showing us too…under ISA.
    Alway be those 6 Indians…sacrifices …for us.
    Be grateful…always..and open your mind to more truths.
    Be ungrateful like UMNO and BN….they are all actors and gangsters.
    We need top be brave….and don’t fall into their traps.


  24. jeff
    Jul 24, 2008 @ 12:40:04

    Of course umno is the master who want to enslave all Malaysians, trying to steal from our country resources, and shamelessly declared they are subsidizing us, playing wicked game on religion to manupulate our Malay brother n sister, with intention of dividing all citizens into 1st, 2rd and 3rd class in Malaysia, planning all sorts of conspiracies to stall the advancement of Democracy by making allegations on opposition leaders, throw them in jail to prevent them from speaking out for a united Malaysia.

    We believed in them for past 50 years, if continue we will never out of the trap again n will suffer greatly .


  25. Justin Choo
    Jul 25, 2008 @ 00:05:10


    I gave you the address bec you said you wanted to send by yourself.


  26. monsterball
    Jul 25, 2008 @ 07:01:52

    Is that a USA prison house library?
    Please reply.


  27. monsterball
    Jul 25, 2008 @ 07:03:44

    ok…I read your message again….and noted content.
    I will send the book to Mr. John Mulligan.


  28. monsterball
    Jul 25, 2008 @ 11:31:00

    Justin….Book packed and posted by ordinary mail.
    May take one month to reach Mr.Mulligan.


  29. Justin Choo
    Jul 25, 2008 @ 12:20:50


    May you have long life to keep on rolling!! 🙂


  30. monsterball
    Jul 26, 2008 @ 08:08:54

    Thanks…….but to me…..long life is useless if everyone is cursing ans swearing me….for being a crook…robbing and cheating others……especially the poor.
    But some do have very long life…doing exactly that in Malaysia.
    That my friend… a blessed man with a cursed life.


  31. jeff
    Jul 26, 2008 @ 09:56:41

    In Malaysia, one can have long life but suffering daily, another can have palatial residential, plenty of materials n cash but short life to enjoy.


  32. monsterball
    Jul 26, 2008 @ 10:11:49

    Me… have enough…every month struggling to make ends meet..but ok
    Life is a challenge and I like a challenging life.
    More exciting.
    Long life for me… Justin say?
    The day everyone curse me….I wish I am dead!
    Another day..I wish I am dead… when I am a burden to my children.
    But I will die with my eyes open….unhappy to go….if it is due to eating too much white chocolate…introduced by Doc.
    Right now…only hard shit….like rocks…eating them.
    So nice….so tasty..thanks DOC!!


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