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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Meritocracy should be the order of the day

THE viewpoint “Brand Malaysia reeling from a thousand cuts,” (The Star, 4 Feb) poses many pertinent points to be addressed by the Government.

Malaysia’s success since independence has been due to, among other things, its ability to project itself as a nation which subscribes to parliamentary democracy, stable leadership with a smooth transition of power and, save for isolated incidents, racial and religious tolerance.

In fact, developing countries see us as a model to emulate in terms of political stability and successful economic development.

Even in the region, we used to stand out among our peers.

Many incidents over the years have dented our credibility and image.

Whipping up racial and religious sentiments, racial polarisation, scandals, corruption and our decline over the years in our rankings by Transparency International have been some of the factors that have discredited our nation.

Compounded by the fact that 300,000 people from the middle and upper class have migrated or ventured abroad, is indeed a very disturbing trend,

I know of many parents who have advised their children to stay abroad after graduating, rather than returning home.

If Malaysia is to become a high income country, we need the best and the brightest to contribute to realise this vision.

The New Economic Model which will be launched in the first quarter of this year will be based on innovation, creativity and high sources of growth.

We therefore cannot afford to be a country contented with mediocrity, but one which nurtures talent and rewards the best and the brightest.

Only meritocracy should be the order of the day.

Immediate and urgent steps need to be taken to address the shortcomings in our country and restore the morale of the people.

The writer’s comment that “brand Malaysia is in trouble”, is to me alarming, especially now since it’s an optionless game for us when competing in a globalised world.

It is time for all Malaysians to heed the Prime Minister’s call to do something extraordinary. Malaysia has faced numerous challenges in the past and has surmounted them.

We have to do it for the sake of posterity.

JAMES GONZALES,

Kuala Lumpur.

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