|Total Number of Years been Colonized||459|
Vision 2020 and Colonization of the Minds
He laid out nine (9) challenges, but here I just wanna discuss four (4) of those challenges only, namely:-
- Create a psychologically liberated, secure and developed Malaysian society with faith and confidence in itself, justifiably proud of what it is, of what it has accomplished, robust enough to face all manner of adversity.
- Establish a scientific and progressive society, a society that is innovative and forward-looking one that is not only the consumer of technology, but also a contributor to the scientific and technological civilisation of the future.
- Establish a united Malaysian nation with a sense of common and shared destiny
- Establish a mature, liberal and tolerant society in which Malaysians of all colours and creeds are free to practise and profess their customs, cultures and religious beliefs, and yet feel that they feel that they belong to one nation.
The keywords here are "confidence in itself" and "justifiably proud of what it is". I totally agree with this. In order to achieve certain destination, one must have full confidence in driving or be part of it...perhaps my philosophy speaks by itself.
Do a quick survey on whether anyone in Malaysia believe we can and will be next super power...I bet we will get more excuses of why it is still far fetch than positively believe coming up with plans to achieve it. Among the excuses I got:-
(i) We are too small to be super power - my take: the Dutch which today has less than 20 million population, the Portuguese which is slightly more than 10 million population were not that big either 300-400 years ago.
(ii) The westerners are just too advanced to catch up - my take: read our history again. About 1000 years ago, the westerners were in the dark ages. Most of them can't even read, barbaric like the Vikings and generally didn't even take daily bath. It was close to impossible and unimaginable for the western world to catch up the super modern and technologically advanced people of Andalusia during the era of Caliph of Cordoba.The Andalusia then was the centre of knowledge, science and arts. People came from around the world to Andalusia to learn algebra, astronomy, economics, medical, science and arts, which predominantly originated from islamic scholars then such as, Al-Khawarizmi, Ibnu Sina, Ibnu Khaldun etc.....
Establish a Scientific and Progressive Society
The objective is to make Malaysia the contributor of science and technology rather than consumer of technology through promotion of innovation.
The Malaysian Government has done a lot to promote the growth of technology and promote innovation. It came out with national initiatives and at same time make available grants and fundings to facilitate the growth. Just to name a few:-
- Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC)
- Digital Malaysia
- Bioeconomy Initiative Malaysia (BIM)
- National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (NSTIP)
- Technology Acquisition ( upto RM2 million)
- Commercialization of R&D Fund - CRDF (upto RM4 million)
- Techno Fund (upto RM3 mill)
- Inno Fund ( upto RM500k)
- Cradle CIP- (upto RM500k)
Apart from government funded initiatives, there were and are also a lot of privately funded initiatives by local entrepreneurs who were unable to get funding/grant or merely unaware of funds available.
Question is, how many of these, perhaps thousands of initiatives have been successfully commercialized hence contribute to the innovation of technology?? How many local heros have we produced since then??
A simple test perhaps can be done by merely asking any Ministry's Secretary General, CEO's of top Government Link Companies/Corporations ( GLC ) such as Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Petronas, Tenaga Nasional, Permodalan Nasional Berhad, Tabung Haji, Malaysia Airlines etc. to name 5 local technology products they use in their organization....OK...perhaps ask 2 local technology products instead. If they can't still do that, perhaps ask if they even know any 5 that even exists instead...
Do the same to top Government officers and CEOs of GLCs in the United States, Japan, Korea, Taiwan or perhaps even our neighboring country Singapore...You'll be surprise with the answers. Believe me, this is not guessing job..
What about government or privately funded multi billion mega projects or concessions undertook by private, public sectors or GLCs such as the MRT by Mass Rapid Transit Sdn. Bhd., Bestari.net by YTL, KLIA2 by Malaysia Airports etc? How much local innovative contents or products and services have been used in those development?
I do find some of these amazing for example, Bestari.net uses FROGTRADE as its platform, where YTL bought more than 57% shareholding in this United Kingdom based company for more than RM30 mill. A company that could only sell to 600 schools in its own country in UK and here we bought them for more than RM30 mill and implement it in 10,000 schools in Malaysia?? What about Malaysia owned locally developed learning platform that comes with content such as Cikgu2u.com which has been struggling and manage to pilot more than 100 schools in Malaysia through own initiatives? What about the multi million ringgit MIMOS Interactive Learning and Management??
The above are just tip of the iceberg. The damage of mismatch of aspiration against action is much bigger than this. I personally know many local entrepreneurs who were once so passionate with Malaysia's Vision of becoming technology provider through innovation but they end up became traders of foreign technology themselves.
I believe our NATIONAL PROCUREMENT POLICY need to be seriously reviewed to eliminate the gap of mismatch of aspiration and action. There are already such policy in place, so I was told, on a "best effort basis"....whatever that means.
The government do realize this issue (I believe so), thus in the recent draft National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (NSTIP), this issue was raised though no clear affirmative action has been introduced as yet.
As for the private parties, it is true that the government can't force them but the government could entice them by giving incentives for having Malaysia's local innovations in their procurement activities.
I realize it is not easy to get ourselves out of this Imperialism Hangover. But we have to be bold, willing to make and allow mistakes and learn. We cannot continue to hold this old saying, "IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT"
Wow!!! Seems I got a bit carried away this time writing this blog. Two more challenges of Vision 2020 have yet to be discussed. I tell what....I'll stop here for now but promise to touch those challenges in my upcoming blog titled "1Malaysia, What it Really Needs - My Thoughts". Check out my On The Way.