Over the years, Malaysia has managed to carve out a respectable economy among the emerging markets. Nevertheless, Malaysia could be so much more, so very much more than where we are now. Let me just cit the THREE major business factors that have been conveniently swept under the carpet, ignored, not discussed, not leveraged on, not expanded on, etc. These 3 factors are hugely important and would have allowed Malaysia to be a few notches higher the overall scheme of things. Are we too shay, politically scared, or rather lacked the political will to maximise our potential. The three factors cannot be glossed over. They represents who we are, you cannot change that, we can only be a better country and better citizens once we come to an acceptance of who we are, where we are in the world.
The 3 Biggest Under-Leveraged Business Factors For Malaysia:
1) Most-Neutral/Moderate Muslim Country - While that has been brought more to the forefront over the last 5 years, especially in the areas of Islamic finance and Islamic banking, we need not be shy about the fact that Malaysia is regarded as being the most neutral/moderate Muslim country. Being in that category allows us natural benefits, many countries want us to be engaged in talks and as the link to the Muslim world. Being pragmatic, we need to be clearer of where we are and don't be shy about our links.
2) Overseas Chinese - Name me the country which has the most overseas Chinese who have become citizens of that country. (Take Taiwan out of the equation, Taiwan doesn't count). Its Malaysia.
3) Overseas Indians - Name me the country which has the most overseas Indians who have become citizens of that country. Its Malaysia.
China and India have been growing in their economic might for the last 10 years. We only have Khazanah opening its Beijing office, LAST YEAR!!!!??? In Malaysia, we have the BIGGEST population among its citizen that have ancestors who have come from China and India - and we still speak the languages there. The natural connection should have allowed Malaysian companies and businesses to leverage on those two factors to greater business ties. Why didn't that happen? Does it seems to be "unpatriotic" to leverage on our backgrounds to do business with China and India? That shouldn't be the case, but we rarely dare to talk about these issues. We need to be clear about our identity, no fellow Malaysians should question our Malaysian-ness. Once we have got past that, where our citizenry and loyalty lies, only then can we leverage on our common strengths and advantages without fear or favour.
Its still not too late.
Swifz has alerted me to a more correct classification of overseas Chinese and overseas Indian. I stand corrected but I think my points are still valid. Thanks for the correction.
|Major ethnic group|
|Minor ethnic group|
p/s photos: Eri Otoguro