Socio-Economic, Cultural and Political Audit- Mystery of Malaysian Flight and Afterwards
Malaysia has the largest operational stock of industrial robots in the Islamic world
Malaysia has the largest operational stock of industrial robots in the Muslim world . As was widely expected, the current account deficit did narrow steadily, year to year, from 9% to 5% of GDP. In 2013, Malaysia ranks 12th in the world for ease of doing business. Malaysia is an important trading partner for the United States. Malaysia was the United States' 10th-largest trading partner and its 12th-largest export market. During the first half of 2000, U.S. exports totaled U.S.$5 billion, while U.S. imports from Malaysia reached U.S.$11.6 billion. The cumulative value of U.S. private investment in Malaysia exceeded $10 billion, 60% of which is in the oil and gas and petrochemical sectors with the rest in manufacturing, especially semiconductors and other electronic products.
Mystery of Malaysian Flight and Afterwards
History and Culture
The Malaysian flight MH370 bound to Beijing vanished from the sky with no trace. It compels to think where 200Tons machine and 239 passengers onboard disappeared in thin air. The power of (information) technology yet to be experienced when we come across such mysterious cases in the universe. This mystery raises so many questions such as it is a purely sudden crash of the plane where pilot did not get a chance to send distress message of the message was sent however it wasn't received. This is high-jack of the plane to an unknown place, failure of major system beyond recovery, intentional act to disable the signals, insurgency within the country resulting in terrorists act, diplomatic relations with neighbouring countries and above all security issue that is paramount after 9/11 incidence. This is the time for Malaysia to review its political system, internal and external policies and its impact now and in future. Read Malaysian Prime minsters message
Malaysia is a multi- cultural country. Malaysia had an interesting past and being a part of the international spice route many hundreds of years ago, Malaysia has turned into a mosaic of cultures. Everything from its people to its architecture reflect a colourful heritage and an amalgamated culture. To understand Malaysian culture, we must first get to know its people.
Malaysia - a bubbling, bustling melting-pot of races and religions where Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups live together in peace and harmony. The multiculturalism has made Malaysia a gastronomical paradise and home to hundreds of colourful Malays comprise 57% of the population, while the Chinese, Indian and Bumiputeras and other races make up the rest of the country's population. Malays, Chinese, Indians and many other ethnic groups have lived together in Malaysia for generations. All these cultures have influenced each other creating truly Malaysian culture.
In Sabah and Sarawak, there are a myriad of indigenous ethnic groups with their own unique culture and heritage. While Malay is the national language the many ethnic groups also converse in their various languages and dialects, but English is also widely spoken. Islam is the official religion of the country, but other religions such as Buddhism and Christianity are widely and freely practised. It's no wonder that Malaysians love celebrating and socialising. As a people, Malaysians are very relaxed, warm and friendly.
One of Malaysia's key attractions is its extreme contrasts which further add to this theme of ‘diversity’. Towering skyscrapers look down upon wooden houses built on stilts while five-star hotels sit just metres away from ancient reefs. Rugged mountains reach dramatically for the sky while their rainforest-clad slopes sweep down to floodplains teeming with forest life. Cool highland hideaways roll down to warm, sandy beaches and rich, humid mangroves. For the perfect holiday full of surprises, the time is now, the place is Malaysia.
The law of Malaysia is mainly based on the common law legal system. This was a direct result of the colonization of Malaya, Sarawak, and North Borneo by Britain between the early 19th century to 1960s. The supreme law of the land—the Constitution of Malaysia—sets out the legal framework and rights of Malaysian citizens.
The Government of Malaysia comprises the federal, state and local government.
Malaysia has a multi-party system since the first direct election of the Federal Legislative Council of Malaya in 1955 on a first-past-the-post basis. The ruling party since then has always been the Alliance Party (Malay: Parti Perikatan) coalition and subsequently from 1973 onwards, its successor the Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition. The Barisan Nasional coalition currently consists of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) and 11 other political parties.
Although Malaysian politics has been relatively stable. The media's coverage is very well involved in country's politics and has noticeably increased. The national media are largely controlled by the government and by political parties in the Barisan Nasional/National Front ruling coalition and the opposition has little access to the media.
The official state ideology is the Rukunegara, which has been described as encouraging "respect for a pluralistic, multi-religious and multicultural society".
Internal Policy of Malaysia
Race plays a large role in Malaysian politics, and many Malaysian political parties are ethnically based. The Government's New Economic Policy (NEP) and the National Development Policy (NDP) which superseded it, were implemented to advance the standing of Bumiputera Malaysians.
The origin of race based politics can be traced back to independence of Malaysia from United Kingdom, who wanted all citizens of Malaysia to be equal upon independence, instead of dominance by Malays.
The policies provide preferential treatment to Malays over non-Malays in employment, education, scholarships, business, and access to cheaper housing and assisted savings. While improving in the economic position of Malays, it is a source of resentment amongst non-Malays. Prime Minister Dato Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak has claimed to attempt to close racial divides through the Malaysia initiative.
Students are not allowed to be involved in politics, due to the University and University College Act.
The NEP was hailed in some quarters as having reduced the socioeconomic disparity between the Chinese and Malay majorities, while others accused it of having reduced the status of non-Malays to second-class citizens by cementing ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy). The NEP is often invoked as part of the Malay Agenda, which is in turn part of the Malaysian social contract granting Malays special rights in return for citizenship for non-Malays. This is the reason of resentment for the rest of races.
The goal of "eventually eradicat[ing] poverty...irrespective of race" through a rapidly expanding economy, which would reduce the non-Malay share of the economy in relative terms, while increasing it in absolute terms. The net "losses" of the non-Malays would go to the Malays, who held just 1.5% of the economy. The NEP had stated goal of poverty eradication and economic restructuring so as to eliminate the identification of ethnicity with economic function.
Alongside this redistribution of wealth was the goal of increased economic growth. This economic growth would allow the non-Bumiputra share of the economy to decrease, while permitting the growth of non-Bumiputra business interests in absolute terms. In some quarters, this was referred to as "expanding pie theory": the Bumiputra share of the pie would increase, without reducing the size of the non-Bumiputra slices of the pie.
The Chinese community in Malaysia accepted the NEP as a necessary evil to avoid Indonesian-style aggression. Furthermore, the Chinese community generally moved away from the public sector and set up businesses in the private sector, where the impact of the NEP was less pronounced.
In recent years, the NEP has come under attack as being an inefficient system that promotes a laid-back attitude among the Bumiputras; it is racial-based and not deprivation based. Several policies of the NEP which give economic advantage to the rich Bumiputras, such as Bumiputra quotas in ownership of public company stock, and housing being sold exclusively to Bumiputras, are viewed as discriminatory.
Many of the NEP policies strive for equality of results rather than equality of opportunity, with NEP proponents justifying the concentration on results rather than opportunity as by pointing out that measuring equality of opportunity is difficult or impossible. When the NEP was implemented, for example, it was announced that one of its goals was to have 30% of all equity in Bumiputra hands.
The NEP is also criticised for not dealing directly with issues of wealth distribution and economic inequality; that it no longer helps the poor but is instead an institutionalized system of handouts for the largest ethnic community in Malaysia as the NEP does not discriminate based on economic class. Criticisms also arose from the fact that there was no planned assistance for Malaysian Chinese and Indian communities to achieve their 40% goal during the actual implementation of the NEP. Ignoring the other races is not healthy for the economy and integrity of the country.
Malaysia's foreign policy
Malaysia participates in international politics and engages in formal relationships with international bodies as well as with foreign states adopting various policies. Malaysia's participation in international politics also affects domestic politics for example the Israel–Malaysia relations.
The Foreign policy is basically an extension of Malaysia’s domestic policy. It is designed to defend and promote the country's national, political, security, economic and other vital interests. It is geared towards promoting a peaceful regional and international environment, which would give Malaysia space to achieve all its national objectives without disruption from external threats.
No foreign policy can be formulated in a vacuum. It must serve to function in a dynamic environment. Malaysia's foreign policy is no exception. Various geographical, historical, social and political determinants contributed to shaping the nature of Malaysia's foreign policy and the conduct of the country's international relations.
The foreign policy seeks to promote mutual tolerance and cooperation amongst all countries that make up the fabric of international community. To this, Malaysia pursues an independent, principled and pragmatic foreign policy which rests on the values of peace, humanity, justice, and equality.
Malaysia’s foreign policy is also premised on the principles of respect for the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in the affairs of other nations, peaceful settlement of disputes, peaceful co-existence and mutual benefit in relations.
Due to globalisation and the rise of powerful non-state actors, such as Multinational Corporations (MNCs), non-governmental organisations, and a variety of transnational groups, it is imperative for small nation states to cooperate even more closely. To this, Malaysia maintains friendly diplomatic, and trade relations with many countries throughout the world.
As a trading nation, Malaysia advocates a multilateral rule-based global trading system which would promote and safeguard the interests of all countries, whether developed or developing, in a fair and equitable manner. In this respect, Malaysia has long advocated the economic principle of "prosper-thy-neighbour" and not “beggar-thy-neighbour". We believe that the global economic infrastructure should be that “prosperity will beget prosperity.”
The Era of Open and Industrialized Malaysian Economy
Malaysia has a newly industrialisedmarket economy, which is relatively open and state-oriented. The state plays a significant, but declining role in guiding economic activity through macroeconomic plans. In 2012, the economy of Malaysia was the third largest economy in South East Asia behind more populous Indonesia and Thailand and 29th largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity with gross domestic product stands at US$492.4 billion and per capita US$16,922.
Since it became independent in 1957, Malaysia's economic performance has been one of Asia's best. Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by an average of 6.5% per year from 1957 to 2005. Performance peaked in the early 1980s through the mid-1990s, as the economy experienced sustained rapid growth averaging almost 8% annually.
As one of three countries that control the Strait of Malacca, international trade plays a large role in its economy. At one time, it was the largest producer of tin, rubber and palm oil in the world. Manufacturing has a large influence in the country's economy. Malaysia is the world's largest Islamic banking and financial centre.
High levels of foreign and domestic private investment played a significant role as the economy diversified and modernized. Once heavily dependent on primary products such as rubber and tin.
Malaysia today is a middle-income country with a multi-sector economy based on services and manufacturing. Malaysia is one of the world's largest exporters of semiconductor components and devices, electrical goods, solar panels, and information and communication technology (ICT) products.
Malaysia's capital market crossed the RM2 trillion threshold for the first time at the end of 2010. Due to rapid economic expansion and strong regulatory oversight that underpinned investor confidence in the Malaysian capital market.
Rapid growth was achieved partly through privatisation of inefficient state owned enterprises, thus subjecting them to commercial pressures and forcing them to better utilise their resources. The mega projects were initiated during this time such as Khazanah Nasional alienated shares in DRB Hicom to Mega Consolidated.
Malaysia has the largest operational stock of industrial robots in the Muslim world . As was widely expected, the current account deficit did narrow steadily, year to year, from 9% to 5% of GDP. In 2013, Malaysia ranks 12th in the world for ease of doing business.
Malaysia is an important trading partner for the United States. Malaysia was the United States' 10th-largest trading partner and its 12th-largest export market. During the first half of 2000, U.S. exports totaled U.S.$5 billion, while U.S. imports from Malaysia reached U.S.$11.6 billion.
The Malaysian Government encourages Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Principal U.S. investment approved by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) was concentrated in the chemicals, electronics, and electrical sectors.
The cumulative value of U.S. private investment in Malaysia exceeded $10 billion, 60% of which is in the oil and gas and petrochemical sectors with the rest in manufacturing, especially semiconductors and other electronic products.[citation.ne]
Free Trade Efforts
Malaysia is a member of the ASEAN Free Trade Area which was established in 1992 to promote trade among ASEAN members. ASEAN itself is increasingly playing a large role in free trade negotiation on behalf of its members.
The Malaysian Government is negotiating free trade deals with Australia, Chile and India. Malaysia is seeking membership into the Trans Pacific Partnership, a regional trade pact between the United States and countries in the Pacific Rim. As of October 2010, TPP members has agreed to allow Malaysia to join as a full negotiation member of the group.
Malaysia signed a Japan-Malaysia Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan on 13 December 2005. This leads to a Free trade agreement which was in effect from 13 July 2006 and expected to be fully realized in 2016. The agreement itself is an extension of an FTA between ASEAN and Japan, which is called Asean-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
Malaysia and New Zealand signed a bilateral Free Trade Agreement. New Zealand will cut tariffs on 99.5 percent of goods sent to Malaysia beginning 2010. This agreement itself is an extension of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.
Foreign Direct Investment-Malaysia received RM46.1 billion foreign direct investment (FDI), which was all time high, for the whole of 2008. On the other hand, FDI in other Asean countries has grown rapidly. Malaysia was very much ahead of Vietnam on attracting FDI.
According to A.T Kearney, a global management consulting firm, Malaysia ranked as 9th country in FDI Confidence Index in 2012. The index assesses the impact of political, economic and regulatory changes on the FDI intentions and preferences of the leaders of top companies around the world.
Oil and gas industry
Malaysia has a vibrant oil and gas industry. The national oil company, Petronas, provides about 40% of the federal budget in taxes, dividends and royalties. The oil company ranked 121 in Fortune Global 500 list of companies in 2007. It also ranked 18 in the industry of the same list. The company has risen up to the rank by being 95th in 2008 in terms of revenue and 8th most profitable company in the world and the most profitable in Asia.
Petronas is also the custodian of oil and gas reserves for Malaysia. Hence, all oil and gas activities are regulated by Petronas. Malaysia encourages foreign oil company participation through production sharing contracts, in which significant amount of oil will be given away to the foreign oil company until it reaches a production milestone. Currently, many major oil companies such as ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Nippon Oil, and Murphy Oil are involved in such contracts. As a result, 40% of oil fields in Malaysia are developed.
In an effort to diversify the economy and make Malaysia’s economy less dependent on exported goods, the government has pushed to increase tourism in Malaysia. As a result tourism has become Malaysia’s third largest source of income from foreign exchange.
The majority of Malaysia's tourists come from its bordering country, Singapore. In 1999, Malaysia launched a worldwide marketing campaign called “Malaysia, Truly Asia” which was largely successful in bringing in over 7.4 million tourists. In recent years tourism has been threatened by the negative effects of the growing industrial economy, with large amounts of air and water pollution along with deforestation affecting tourism.
Science and technology
Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, the first Malaysian in space. Science Policy in Malaysia is regulated by the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Environment. Training in scientific areas was promoted during the 1970s and 1980s. From 1987-1997 research and development used 0.24% of GNP, and in 1998 high-tech exports made up 54% of Malaysia's manufactured exports.
The country is one of the world's largest exporters of semiconductor devices, electrical goods, and information and communication technology products.
In an effort to create a self-reliant defensive ability and support national development Malaysia privatised some of its military facilities in the 1970s. This has created a defence industry, which in 1999 was brought under the Malaysia Defence Industry Council. The government continues to try to promote this sector and its competitiveness, actively marketing the defence industry. The Malaysian Armed Forces relies heavily on local military technology and high-tech weapons systems designed and manufactured by foreign countries.
The Heavy Industries Corporation of Malaysia (HICOM), for example, was formed in order to assist in the manufacture of pig-iron, aluminium die casting, pulp and paper, steel, cement, motorcycle and heavy engineering. At the same time, export incentives were initiated. Knowledge-based services are expanding in Malaysia. Malaysia is being promoted as a destination for Medical tourism, regionally and internationally.
In order to strengthen the country and its economy, it is important to consensus among the various groups, reaces and nationalities. Malaysia is multi-cultural country. It is therefor important that everyone has equal opportunity and availability of sources to be productive and part of the main stream. The opportunity to create strong enough opposition for the healthy and balanced government. Giving the opposition parties the chance to air their views on the air and use media to reach the people to discuss the issues.
Competition is healthy way to prosperity and strong establishment.
It is important to have leveling of the political field where all the races get the representation. Also to gradually eliminate the practice of racial preferential treatment in education, jobs, businesses and housing etc given to a particular race. There has to support and help create opportunities for those who have been socially and economically deprived. This will remove the barriers and bring the races together without the grudge and complaints and this will lead to economic prosperity and peace in society.
The National Economic Policy is to reduce the tension among the various races and developing better understanding for the purpose of economic growth. The NEP must deal with issue of issues of wealth distribution and economic inequality; it should help the poor instead of an institutionalized system of handouts for the largest ethnic community. There should be planned assistance for Malaysian Chinese and Indian communities to achieve their 40% goal during the actual implementation of the NEP.
Business Environment-According to World Bank, Malaysia ranks 18th in Ease of doing business. Malaysia's strengths in the rank includes getting credit (rank 1st), protecting investors (ranked 4th) and doing trade across borders (ranked 29th). There is still challenges and opportunities to remove the impediments and improve rating by involving in efficient process and improved system for attracting foreign investment.
The impediment can be removed in the areas. As weaknesses include dealing with construction permits (ranked 113th). The study ranks 183 countries in all aspect of doing business. In the investor protection category of the survey, Malaysia had scored a perfect 10 for the extent of disclosure, nine for director liability and seven for shareholder suits. Malaysia is behind Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand in investor protection category of the survey.
The government is moving towards a more business friendly environment by setting up a special task force to facilitate business called PEMUDAH, which means "simplifier" in Malay. The task force must dedicate to accomplish the desired results and a culture of simplification to facilitate businesses.
Easing restrictions and requirement to hire expatriates, shorten time to do land transfers and increasing the limit of sugar storage (a controlled item in Malaysia) for companies. The symbol of improvement and stability.
However, the efforts of PEMUDAH is beginning to show fruits as their ranking improved to number 20 in 2009, with marked improvement in four areas: getting credit; dealing with construction permits; paying taxes; and enforcing contracts. Continue with these reforms is for better service and its consistency.
The technology is key to success in the modern era. Malaysia has to attract more foreign investment and industrialized the nation for more jobs opportunities. More Research and Development can be carried out to be competitive in the global market. There is no doubt Malaysia has the largest operational stock of robots. But in view of the size of economy and opportunities, investment is required in information technology and involvement of global IT companies to develop robust system with in manufacturing high tech and heavy industrial products. This is going to help address security issues and plug the gaps in security resulting in safe and secured environment for the global companies to invest and work.
The investment IT companies and collaboration with IT international players will enable them to handle natural resources more efficiently and enhance performance in the industry as whole. High tech will also help to cope with pollution issue. The safe and healthy environment is now everyone's responsibility.
At this time, there is no clue to missing flight MH370. The lesson. we all receive lesson from unresolved tragedy. The world can stand firmly with Malaysia to face such challenges and defeat the evil forces. It possible with cooperation and will promote the right policies for peaceful world.
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