Posted: 27 Aug 2013 02:08 PM PDT
Erna Mahyuni, MM
On the world stage, you have to actually be good. It helps to have a famous backer, no doubt, but making it in Malaysia is a poor indicator of how well you will do overseas. Yet we persist in giving ourselves a pat on the back and crowing about how well we're doing in comparison with, say, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.
We are a nation of Little Napoleons. What else can we call it when we have our own Malaysian equivalent of the Guinness Book of Records to reward ourselves for creating new culinary records?
Like over-indulgent parents who treat their children's random scrawls as though they were Louvre-worthy masterpieces, we like to congratulate ourselves for the silliest things. The biggest roti canai, for instance. Really, Malaysia?
This ever-enduring love affair with mediocrity is puzzling. While our own Chinese arthouse directors go overseas and win awards at film festivals, we prefer instead to celebrate the likes of James Wan who may be Malaysian-born but is technically Australian.
Merdeka is just around the corner, but I wonder when we will ever be "merdeka" from our hilariously low standards.
Our government's approach to improving everything — from the economy to the Malay dilemma — is to throw money at it.
Sadly, the money does not seem to go where it is supposed to, with much of it ending up in the pockets of our overfed politicians and their cronies.
The reason our more successful Malaysians thrive overseas is because our country is really no place to gauge your true marketability or competitiveness.
On the world stage, you have to actually be good. It helps to have a famous backer, no doubt, but making it in Malaysia is a poor indicator of how well you will do overseas.
Yet we persist in giving ourselves a pat on the back and crowing about how well we're doing in comparison with, say, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.
"At least we're not Myanmar!" a friend once said to me when I bemoaned the state of our nation.
The brainwashing clearly was strong in that one.
Yes, I know that it is depressing to compare ourselves with even the likes of Singapore.
Honestly, how can that tiny island nation still beat us in the things that matter most: education, economy and "most likely to be remembered as a nation by a clueless American"?
The thing here is not to be depressed about not measuring up. We have to learn to face up to our shortcomings instead of denying they exist, unlike a certain education minister who insists our education system is world-class.
Third world, maybe, Mr Minister.
Yes, the bar is high. Yes, we are still far from approaching it much less getting over it. The solution is not to drop it so low we can crawl over it — we have to set our sights higher and learn to say: "We're not there yet, but we're working on it."
So, let's take off our rose-tinted glasses (I'm looking at you, PEMANDU) and start seeing things as they are: not great, with an ocean's expanse of room for improvement.
Raise that bar and let's all learn to jump. And maybe, just maybe, we'll learn to fly.
- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/opinion/erna-mahyuni/article/the-mystery-of-jaguh-kampung-pride#sthash.6fVY3OPb.dpuf
Posted: 27 Aug 2013 11:49 AM PDT
Our children must learn to play together and share common experiences, rites of passage and values. Getting our children together is the most effective way in future- proofing the nation, and driving it forward.
Zainul Arifin Md Isa, NST
NATION-BUILDING: Solution lies in a single education system for all
MALAYSIA, by most accounts, is a young country. This can be both unfortunate or a blessing, just as one would conclude the proverbial glass to be half-empty or half-full.
|You are subscribed to email updates from Malaysia Today - Your Source of Independent News |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610|