I’m 25, Malaysian. Should I give up on Malaysia?

by Alex Lee
Friday, 28 October 2011

My recent trip back to Malaysia made me realise the lack of political awareness in the country. Business owners, working individuals, family and friends have virtually given up trying, or simply not want to court unnecessary trouble. They continue to complain of our government’s incompetence. But simply complaining will take us nowhere.

Only abusers and authoritarians, who do not want to hear the truth and how we feel want us to be silent, allowing them to continue squandering our nation’s coffers and they be left unpunished. Countless loopholes in the legislations are making the rich even richer, and the poor to continue to suffer.

A simple example is the real estate situation in Malaysia. Housing has become impossible for new starters to own, with the unaffordability standards at an all-time high. Yet, the rich are still able to continue reaping gains from the market, inflating prices, causing houses to be even more and more unaffordable. In the rural areas, people are struggling to access basic needs such as water and electricity, not to mention basic healthcare.

Malaysia has an incredible pool of talent, and I would attest to that, having gone to school with many of them. Unfortunately there has been a continuous brain drain from our country; and these are intellectuals with tertiary-level education. The outflow of talent has not been matched with equal and compatible inflow, thus damaging the quality of Malaysia’s narrow skills base.

54% of the brain drain can be traced to Singapore, 15% to Australia, 10% to the US, and 5% to the UK, resulting in Malaysia’s economic growth rate to fall to an average of 5% pa. Major push factors include corruption, social inequality and lack of academic freedom.

Malaysia is now at a unique moment in its history. For the first time, there’s a broad realisation that the country must move in a new direction.

Malaysia is fortunate to have some great political leaders, who have made huge sacrifices, and facing countless allegations, are still standing strong to fight another day for our country. They have shown us the way and given us hope to introduce the true essence of a democracy.

We are on the verge of being able to make a great change to our country in the next coming election, but will it be possible without the support from all of us?

Is it important for Malaysians to realise that each of us have a role to play in creating a Malaysia we can be proud of? We live in Malaysia, and we love Malaysia. Malaysia has so much potential, and so much unique diversity that if we are able to deal with all the grouses and discontent that people speak about, we would be a world-class country.

But we must act. Our communities must be transformed and become independent, action communities that perhaps one day there is no need or a reduced need for us to rely on politicians. We need to build a non-partisan, issue-based, youth-driven, community-centred platform to promote greater ownership, participation and seek workable solutions to problems that affect our communities.

We need to learn how to ask the right questions and make more informed choices in our daily lives. We need to have more control more of over our well-being rather than having “top-down” policies implemented on us without our consent, tacit or otherwise.

Most of all, we need to claim our civil space for otherwise, ruthless, manipulative, racist elements will claim that space for us.

By that time, the damage will be too deeply embedded to allow any rescindable change. The time is now. We need to activate all Malaysians to drive our agenda for a better Malaysia.

Let us all unite and work towards creating a society with integrity.

  1. #1 by raven77 on Friday, 28 October 2011 - 7:58 pm


  2. #2 by DAP man on Friday, 28 October 2011 - 8:46 pm

    Alex, tell that to MCA and they will say you are talking nonsense.
    Tell me Alex, which country in the world has a political party whose president is a porn actor.

  3. #3 by tak tahan on Friday, 28 October 2011 - 10:43 pm

    Alex,you’re considered unpatriotic to say all these unsavoury statements by a certain group of people.To UmnoB we must forever respect the NEP,though a non-social contract,to be accepted as a truly and fully Malaysian according to Umno standard.Ya,you’re right,lets unite and teach them a good lesson when come GE13.

  4. #4 by monsterball on Friday, 28 October 2011 - 11:33 pm

    Alex is a Malaysian at heart and soul…for country and people.
    Young Malaysians are getting smarter and smarter.
    No puppets on the strings to anyone…as far as their votes are concerned.
    Knowing Alex is aware that Malaysian Government politics is so dirty and corrupted…it spells a better future for him and the Malaysians …. like him….soon….very soon.
    As we daily keep on commenting….not one sign of 13th GE “is around the corner” as indicated by Najib.

  5. #5 by boh-liao on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 12:10 am

    Hey, smart Alec, don’t give up n run away; how can U do dis 1?
    Cannot 1 lah, Ng YY needs U 2 work n contribute tax 2 her Tourism Ministry dat overpaid by nearly RM270 million 4 advertisements, according to d AG’s Report
    Young ppl like U no pay tax, how 2 enjoy gavy train n hv gravy masuk pocket

  6. #6 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 12:33 am

    Have you looked at all your other choices before you decide?

  7. #7 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 12:36 am

    Malaysian ? There are Malays. Then there is ian.

    Put them together and you have Johnny English.

  8. #8 by boh-liao on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 12:56 am

    Y give up when d praying boh hud mantis wants 2 sacrifice himself? Perhaps 2 sacrifice himself 2 let a Bond girl take over his numero uno post – rumour, rumour

  9. #9 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 6:21 am

    Don’t give up on Malaysia.

    Give up BN. Give up UMNO, MCA, MIC, GERAKAN, PPP.

    Give up Njib, Muhyiddin, KJ, NAzri, Muhkriz….

  10. #10 by yhsiew on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 9:45 am

    The rakyat must put people power to work.

  11. #11 by k1980 on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 10:01 am

    //Tell me Alex, which country in the world has a political party whose president is a porn actor.//

    Well, Italy has its “bonga-bonga” PM while Malaysia has its Mr C4

  12. #12 by rahmanwang on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 10:59 am

    Yes do not give up on Malaysia. Take back control. Give BN a miss on the next “erection”.
    Oh sorry should be Election.
    When people post of MCA president, erection comes up in my mind.

  13. #13 by k1980 on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 11:17 am

  14. #14 by dagen on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 1:18 pm

    So you called them squanderers and thieves. And that is obviously driven by a fundamental misunderstanding. They are not what you have described them to be. Members of the umnoputra race are supreme to everyone else. If you understand this point than the whole issue will immediately become clear. They have an unquestionable and automatic and unlimited constitutional prior right to not only the wealth of the nation but also to all personal wealth created by all individuals and citizens and companies in the country. And any attempt to question their right would be anti-agung, anti-sultan, anti-islam jenis umno, anti-melayu, unpatriotic, ungrateful, communist, terrorist etc etc. BTW, you have just committed this grave wrong of questioning their right. Of course you can redeem yourself here. Just post this message somewhere: “I am sorry cintanegara.” three times and you will be ok. Of course your alternative, and only alternative, is to stay away from the country. Good luck.

  15. #15 by balance88 on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 2:13 pm


  16. #16 by k1980 on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 2:20 pm

    I am going to post this message–: “Sorry cintanegara, but I am going to chop down and rip out by the roots your rambutan tree. What are you going to do about it? Come sue me.”

  17. #17 by k1980 on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 2:25 pm

    Aziz Bari has just received a bullet in his mail. I believe cintanegara is going to put an anti-tank missile into my mailbox.

  18. #18 by monsterball on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 2:26 pm

    cintanegera will say you are mad.
    He said I am mad when he reads something he does not like.
    And so are we all mad….except cintanegara.
    He guards his rambutan tree…day and night with a whistle.

  19. #19 by balance88 on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 3:11 pm

    Yes you are right and the time is now at the next GE at the ballot box. BUT, as usual, when at the ballot box, Malaysians will once again blindly vote back in BN and then will spend the next 4 to 5 yrs complaining in coffee shops and mamak stalls.

    Malaysians are easily swayed by BN with all the goodies thrown at them. The majority do not think deeply and have very myopic views. Afterall, we are where we are now because of this voting behavior. Many Malaysians are very easily taken in by persuasions and sweet talks. Just take a look at how many Malaysians get conned by the same con scheme day in day out.

    In Malaysia, the public treats politicians like VIPs without realising that we are the VIPs and they are voted in to serve us. As a result, policitians get away with murder and corruption. Everything black becomes white and vice versa. Even David Copperfield can’t match this ability. Politicians when in the right camp are untouchable.

    When there are successes, politicians like Chua Soi Lek claims credit. But isn’t it their job to get things done. That is why they are voted in, in the first place. And yes, only in Malaysia that someone involved in extra marital affair gets voted to head a party. Where is the sense of right and wrong in the Malaysian society?

    So, we would like to believe that the time for a change in govt is now but I am not entirely optimistic. At the end of the day, BN will still stay in power while the voters continue to suffer from high fuel cost, high food cost, less business opportunities, etc, etc and our politicians continue to rape the country and their chilren and spouses continue to enjoy all the wonders of the world like foreign education, diamond rings, etc, etc. Welcome to Malaysia!

  20. #20 by SENGLANG on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 4:13 pm

    My recent trip back to Malaysia………………so Hi Alex are you working down south or down down south? You are writing nice piece but it is just an essay for letting some hot air .. it will not help much you should at least register as a voter if you have not and more make sure you take time off and be in MALAYSIA TO vote for change.

    Many Chinese do not care to vote but just talk talk only.

  21. #21 by Ordinary on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 6:14 pm

    Our whole family move back from Australia to Malaysia 2 months ago.

    We must walk/work around in our town about righteousness and the “message”.

    The Orange Flyer is to reform Polis Malaysia, ACA and Judiciary Independence.

  22. #22 by Ordinary on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 6:16 pm

    We need more cheap fresh milk and beef, not 2nd cable TV. RM2 billion to be spent on 2nd cable TV is unwise as global food shortage and natural disasters are around.

    George Soros sold gold to buy agri land. Why? Malaysia still have much land. If 10% is to invest in a large dairy farm, we would have cheap fresh milk.

  23. #23 by boh-liao on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 7:30 pm

    U want fresh milk n beef – NO PROBLEMO, UmnoB oredi took care of them, dah gave $$$ 2 a wanita chief n her husband n children 2 operate a moo moo farm
    Sit back n relax n wait 4 your fresh milk n beef – but pssst, first come out with more $$$$ 2 make them happi, OK

  24. #24 by boh-liao on Saturday, 29 October 2011 - 9:23 pm

    So, young man, r U staying put 2 VOTE n kick out UmnoB/BN, ABU, or r U migrating?

  25. #25 by cemerlang on Sunday, 30 October 2011 - 9:52 pm

    If Malaysia means nothing to you. Not only you but others too. That is why some politicians say that if you do not like it, you can always go out. Go to Sweden. Go to Finland. Go to Germany. Go to Japan. Go to England. By the way, many Malays go there too.

  26. #26 by GOD on Monday, 31 October 2011 - 9:22 pm

    Malaysia is still a good country to call home. To make it better you just have to shoot the politicians, then the lawyers – in that order.

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