Thursday, August 14, 2008

Malaysia for Malaysians!

by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

1. When we became independent in 1957 nobody gave us much of a chance to make any progress beyond what had been achieved under the British.
2. I myself at that time thought that the only difference independence would make would be Malaysians would take over the administration of the country from the British. Nothing much more than that.
3. The other day I was given a copy of a news sheet called "Opinion" of November 1968, which I remember was edited and produced by Sulaiman Alias, one of the young political activist in UMNO.
4. It was quite a liberal paper and contained articles by such well-known personalities as Dr Lim Chong Eu (Gerakan), Dr R Kumar (Labour Party), Lim Kit Siang (DAP), Syed Hussain Ali (Parti Rakyat), Tengku Zaid (PMIP), Goh Cheng Teik, Ismail Ghani and several others.
5. I was also a contributor writing "In Defense of Feudalism". I was a Member of Parliament then.
6. The article that most interested me was one by Dr Lim Chong Yah, an economist, entitled "The Future of Malaysian Economy".
7. In it he gave a picture of the Malaysian Economy in 1967, 10 years after Merdeka.
8. The population was a mere 10 million and we were reproducing at 3.7% per annum. Our death rate had decreased from 12% to 7% which resulted in a natural increase of 3% p.a., a high rate, he noted.
9. Assuming decreasing death rate and also decreasing birth rate, the 3% population growth would likely continue over the next 10 years bringing the population to 13 million in 1977.
10. Dr Lim thought that national income should increase at 3% p.a. over the 1967 per capital (sic) income of USD940 p.a. But at 3% rate of growth the gap between us and the rich countries would widen.
11. Still the other developing countries would be behind us. However at 3% growth we would not be able to create jobs at 100,000 p.a. The rate of growth of national income should be 5%.
12. Investment growth (domestic) would not be able to do this.
13. If foreign investment makes up 4% of growth then it may be possible to achieve the necessary rate of investment for creating 100,000 jobs per annum.
14. It was a time when the rubber estates and tin mines were still owned by foreigners. Bringing in foreign capital sounded like increasing overdependence on foreign enterprise. We did not quite relish the idea of more foreign involvement in our newly independent country.
15. But without capital inflow unemployment would be 200,000 by 1977. Together with 160,000 unemployed in 1967, the rate would go up to 360,000, a horrendous figure.
16. The 360,000 did not include a large number of under-employed workers.
17. In the second five-year plan the public section was to spend 4,500 million Ringgit of which 1,900 million Ringgit was to come from foreign sources (borrowing).
18. Malaysia would have to depend on foreign capital inflow. Dr Lim remarked that political independence had not freed us from dependence on foreign capital. Still, he said, it was consistent with political independence. He named several developed countries which depended on foreign capital inflows.
19. He then turned to the rubber industry which was undergoing great difficulties because of the increasing usage of synthetics. He concluded that the difficulties of the rubber industry was also the difficulty of the nation in view of the strategic and preeminent role the industry occupied in the Malaysian economy.

Read the entire article here.

I am touched when I read this article. Tun was right; today we have become too materialistic and selfish.
I am Malaysian and I love the country too. I would mourn to death if it falters and falls. I don’t really know about the politic stuff but the current state of economy is not promising with the leaders (BN or otherwise) still "politiking" on unimportant issues. I just hope the present and future leaders will not destroy what we have achieved so far with their greed and power-craziness!
Happy Independence Day….
Will we enjoy this independence forever?

No comments: