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New national consensus: Malaysian diaspora worldwide should participate

Media statement by MP for Iskandar Puteri, Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah on 23 December 2020:

Malaysian diaspora worldwide should participate in drawing up the new national consensus to make  Malaysia a world-class great nation – highlight factors why Malaysians abroad realise the ambitions they can’t achieve at home


Columnist Mariam Mokhtar  recently wrote an article entitled: Malaysians abroad realise their ambitions they can’t achieve at home.

She wrote:

“Last week, many articles were published about Malaysians abroad who excelled in their particular fields. Penang teenager Celine Chung wanted to play football and is now training with the U-17 Bayern Munich women’s team. Alor Star’s Jocelyn Yow has become the youngest mayor of a small town in California, and 60-year-old Sam Lim, formerly of Muar, has won an award as the best policeman of the year in Western Australia.

“The nationalist cybertroopers were out in full force. One said, ‘Good riddance. Hope more pendatangs leave.’

“Perhaps these nationalists need a lesson in what makes many ‘pendatangs’ more successful than some Malays.

“Success for these ‘pendatang’ came from their personal drive, ambition, tenacity, hard-work, commitment, discipline and dedication to duty.

“Many non-Malays are sidelined and overlooked in Malaysia, despite their patriotism.”

A FMT article screenshot on K. Gurunathan’s success abroad.

There were many other examples of Malaysians who made a success abroad which they could not do at home, like Penang-born K. Gurunathan, former Rocket editor, who was re-elected mayor of Kapiti Coast in New Zealand

The Malaysian diaspora worldwide should participate in drawing up the new national consensus to make Malaysia a world-class great nation by  highlighting the factors why Malaysians abroad realise the ambitions they can’t achieve at home.

As Mariam said, the 14th General Election gave many Malaysians in the diaspora hope, but 22 months later, they have reconsidered their decision to return.

Undoubtedly, the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is one of the factors for this change of mind of the Malaysian diaspora – not just the Sheraton Move, but what he stands for.


Is he a Prime Minister for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion and region or is he still “Malay first, Malaysian second”?


Muhyiddin said at the virtual World Chinese Economic Summit on Monday that the government will continue to cultivate an ecosystem that enables businesses to thrive and make Malaysia an attractive investment destination.

Malaysia, however, is trailing behind many countries in various fields of human achievement, including conditions which determine the attractiveness of Malaysia as a country of investment.

In the second monthly Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking released on Monday, Malaysia trailed behind:

  • Taiwan (ranked No. 2)
  • Singapore (No. 5)
  • Japan (No.7)
  • South Korea (No. 8)
  • China (No. 9)
  • Vietnam (No.12)
  • Hong Kong (No. 13)
  • Thailand (No. 14)

Malaysia is ranked No. 22, only better than Indonesia (No. 32) and the Philippines (No. 35).

The Covid Resilience Ranking is a snapshot of how the coronavirus pandemic is playing out in 53 major economies right now. By grading their vaccine orders, it also provides a window into how these economies’ fortunes may shift in the future.

Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking on 21 December 2020

It’s not a final verdict, nor could it ever be with imperfections in virus data and the fast pace of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, which has seen subsequent waves confound places that handled things well the first time around. Circumstance and pure luck also play a role, but are hard to quantify.

However, there are views that Malaysia is less attractive as a country of investment than even Indonesia because like Singapore and Vietnam, Indonesia is politically stable, resourceful, the government is pro-business and they offer economic incentives for businesses.


Is Malaysia losing out to these countries in creating a workforce with technology know-how, political maturity and stability, racial harmony, the rule of law, control of corruption and government effectiveness?


I support the call by a former top civil servant that the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, should retract what he said recently about reining in secularism and liberal trends in Malaysia before the damage to our image as an attractive investment centre is too serious to repair.


Malaysia’s political leaders and ministers in the Perikatan Nasional government should understand that they cannot talk about promoting foreign investments and high-tech companies to locate in Malaysia and in the same breath, frighten locals and foreigners by declaring to stamp out secularism and liberals in the country. 


In the light of the worldwide adoption of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), investors will stay away  from Malaysia if they regard our tough stance on secularism and liberalism as being non-compliant with the SDG goals. 

Lim Kit Siang,
MP for Iskandar Puteri.

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