How do we get ourselves out of the current economic quagmire?
The real issue is clear: Rights and privileges have been equated with monopolies and rent collecting - and this has led to an uncompetitive economy, exactly as propounded by the textbooks.
The change we require is simple: Reduce monopolies and distortions, and encourage multiple players in order to promote competition.
But the major counter argument is this: Why do we need a more competitive economy? With monopolies and economic distortions, we have managed to obtain for ourselves a fairly good standard of living. We are happy with things as they are and we should continue with the status quo.
The problem with this argument is that is that it is predicated on the proposition that there are some people who are willing to work very hard because they will get no government support as they are not indigenous and therefore they must fend for themselves. Thanks to their circumstance, they are forced to get out of the hole they find themselves in.
As these old slaves leave their hole, other unskilled immigrants will have to come in to take over their labours. Our economy therefore gets stuck in the agriculture that we have been fortunate to have inherited from the British colonials as a strategic position in the global economy.
The major hinderance to change in this country is the anachronistic poltical system that propagates sectarianism. There should be an overhaul of our political system. The alternative front based on justice and religion is also a tough alternative for the people to choose.
I hope that the political line could one day be drawn between the liberals and the conservatives - those that want globalisation and those that want a bit more of local control.
But no sectarianism, please. We are Malaysians!
Sometimes, I wonder whether our national problems are really a problem of the positions we take, or are they a reflection of our inability to communicate properly among ourselves, as a result of stereotyping and fear and suspicion. For everybody claims to be reasonable - which I would like to think they are and see things through their eyes.