National news today: ‘Malaysia ahead of schedule on achieving developed status by 2020’…now this is interesting!


Just not long ago, Malaysians are all entertained by the Deputy Prime Minister’s remark on our national education system not long ago (I think last year) that it is one of the best in the region. Our education system couldn’t even be compared to others with its current standard which is considered low and thoroughly needs serious restructuring. We are obviously not good enough in this particular area and yet, he made such a silly comment based on reports out of nowhere. Now, we get to read another joke, this time from our Prime Minister himself. ‘Malaysia ahead of schedule on achieving developed nation status by 2020 which is the targeted year set decades ago’. That’s Vision 2020, or known as ‘Wawasan 2020’ in Malay, which for me is achievable but still quite far from reach.

2020

(Image source: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/–uwsoPGRTsc/USNmROb1JcI/AAAAAAAALlk/XxsJsPZcEzc/s1600/2020.jpg)

A big surprising point that caught my attention and made the day no longer Monday blues. I show that particular remark which made it to the headline at the government-controlled news channel today to my colleague and she is laughing at it too. Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak stressed on this point based on our progressive economic growth in recent years. Oh, dear… Do you know that economic growth is not enough to judge whether a country could be a developed nation or not. There are still various other criteria taken into account; advanced technological infrastructure, efficient government, general standard of living from health, employment rate, education level, etc.

Yes, I couldn’t agree more that our country is a highly industrialized country now which is a step closer to becoming a fully developed nation. However, that step is huge for us, and according to my observation, the country needs at least another ten years to achieve that goal, which then runs away from our target by year 2020 (seven years from now). And it’s almost impossible for Malaysia to become a developed country by 2020 looking at current situation as informed by our Prime Minister today. He even stated we are ahead of schedule based on only our current economic data. What a shallow mindset.

Even our economic record isn’t that very impressive either! Our country’s currency value always decline as compared to many others. How to explain that? Okay, yes…our economy and appeal to global market appears to grow just in steady rate. Many other developing countries are getting that kind of growth too. Does that means those countries (which are a lot) are also on track to become developed nations soon? That makes the status seems so easy to achieve. No. It’s hard to be a developed nation. See Japan, South Korea, United States, or even our neighbour, Singapore. A country has to be good in almost all things, including the people themselves. And our infrastructures are mostly bad. We still had many problems on poor management of rural areas particularly in East Malaysia. We are still troubled with alarming crime rate. And many more…Didn’t the government see all that and do something please?

Building MRT now, implementing several economic policies now, constructing new business or financial districts now…that all are good for a country’s future, but more are required. Human development index of our country is not performing that well which is significant on determining a country’s success. Furthermore, our country has not made any impressive reach-out image, fame or publicity, or global appeal internationally. We only depends on Petronas Twin Towers all the time or 1998 Commonwealth Games which was long long ago (something easily forgotten by now). That’s certainly not enough. I’m a little embarrassed actually, but I believe we can still achieve developed country status as soon as possible (before 2020) only if we had a wonderful economic growth, high income record, various incoming projects, strengthened by better, clean, fair, transparent, and efficient government accompanied with proper tackling of social issues like health, education, crime rate, etc for excellent quality of living for all Malaysians. And this is certainly not as easy as what our Prime Minister had voiced out today, which for me is quite a joke.

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