Friday, November 15, 2013
Malaysia's Reversing Race towards a First World Country
First world country isn’t about high income or the tax that we pay. It isn’t about abolishing subsidies and rising of prices. These are the effects that come along or after we have become a first world nation. It shouldn’t come before.
I don’t understand why the country is in such a hurry to sit on that first world bench. Surely such a high ambition deserves an applaud, but we must also remember that there is no short cut to anything except for the routes you take to the grocery store or to your friend’s house at the end of the front block.
When you do things in such a hurry, you will most probably end-up doing it wrongly. Building a country and turning it into an advanced nation is definitely something that has no shortcuts. America becomes the America that we know today, in hundreds of years. Japan turned into what it is today in decades, not overnight or in one or two electoral terms.
And the journey of becoming a first world country started off with one thing – the people. You can have the most advance mechanism to come out with good products BUT first, you have to have people who can build the mechanism and people who are able to handle it.
It is sad to say that Malaysia doesn’t have ‘the people’ that fits the picture of a first world country. We don’t have inventors, scientists that can build or discover new things.
We cannot master the technology because we have yet to master the language of technology. We are far from having our own technological or scientific terms because we are not the ones who invented it or discovered it.
I mean, for God’s sake, we are still struggling with language and self identity…!
We may have more and more ‘successful’ people who travel around the world but they are only there to shop not to discover things or learn something. This is because we are not explorers as Malaysians are just not keen about knowledge. The whole country seems to be working only for money, not knowledge.
You see, we don’t have the basic ingredient of becoming an advanced nation. It’s like baking a cake with no flour, butter an egg but expecting the cake to be ready and perfectly moistly just because we have a highly sophisticated oven.
Do you notice that Malaysian kids don’t have the right amount of curiosity or passion, which is what is required in people of a first world nation? So face it, we are nowhere near that ‘first world’ destination.
The only way to get there is to put all the efforts and resources into creating the ‘first nation people’ rather than spending it on the foreign experts to help create good publicity for ‘feel-good’ sake whenever the subsidies are cut.
Get experts to train school-teachers and everybody that involves in the country’s education system, including the Ministry. We need to boost the childrens’ curiosity and make them want to be explorers and inventors. Make them hunger for knowledge not money.
Therefore, we need more teachers who are inspired, so they can inspire the students. We need more teachers who can think outside the box and know how to make lessons interesting. We need teachers who can identify special gifts and talents in children and grow them or groom them accordingly. We need teachers who read…
In the meantime, we also need an education ministry who can come up with good, interesting syllabus and guidelines for the teachers to teach.
All these may seem easy when put in words, but it is an impossible thing to do when nobody really understands what it means. Therefore, I foresee Malaysia as the same messed-up and confused country in a long-long time.