Archive for December 28th, 2011

Barisan National’s early elections plan in disarray

by Dr Lim Teck Ghee
27 December 2011


During the last few months, Prime Minister Najib Razak has been pulling out one pre-election carrot after another from his inexhaustible supply of goodies aimed at persuading the electorate to vote BN’s way in the coming general election (GE).

These range from indefinite postponement of the long delayed goods and services tax to financial grants and other handouts to Chinese, Tamil and Islamic religious schools as well as politically strategic groups including Felda settlers, Indian small entrepreneurs, low income communities, and imams and Kafa (religious) teachers.

Najib’s backroom boys must have been supremely confident that this mass saturation of money and handouts – so effective in past elections – would pave the way for a resounding victory as they plotted the timing of the next GE. Read the rest of this entry »


Encouraging Entrepreneurialism

by Bakri Musa

Chapter 11: Embracing Free Enterpriseby
Encouraging Entrepreneurialism

A decade ago there was not much interest in teaching entrepreneurialism at business schools as the perceived wisdom was that it could not be taught. Today it is a hot elective for young MBAs. Many top line business schools trumpet their entrepreneurial studies program. It is not accidental that most graduates of American universities aspire to work for the private sector or start their own businesses. Their models are their professors starting new ventures or becoming consultants to industry. In my graduating class, only a few considered a job with the government. The vast majority opted for starting their own medical practices. In contrast, in Malaysia most graduates, especially Malays, look to the government for employment.

The culture and the social environment can do much to foster entrepreneurialism, especially the attitude towards failure and risk taking, as well as the reward system.

The stance towards failure is particularly instructive. As Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems observes, if you do not have failures, you do not have winners. And if you do not have winners, you do not have a market economy. Part of what makes America great is that there is little stigma attached to failures. The recent crash may have dampened but did not destroy the Silicon Valley spirit. Granted, million-dollar homes were not selling fast and there were fewer sleek Porches on the streets of Palo Alto, but the area is still bustling with entrepreneurial activities.

For Malays, the trauma of failure is a double burden. In addition to the deep personal disappointment, they would now be portrayed as yet another example of the inadequacies of their race. This is a major psychological load. Unfortunately the government and specifically Malay leaders, by continually harping and criticizing on the failures of Malays, only aggravates the problem. Read the rest of this entry »