I had a chat with an acquaintance Mr. R today. I casually asked him how he would feel if there was a change of government. He replied that it would be bad for business, because that would mean less projects through their connections with the government and ruling coalition. This cause a rift between us and i ended up arguing with Mr. R with the result of me being called nuts and the conversation ending abruptly.
I am angry, because although I know that building connections is a very integral part of the system here is Malaysia, my question is if you are a good and stable business with credibility why worry that a change will cause loss of business? Am I being naive in thinking that any projects given out by the government or its ruling coalition should be tendered openly and given to the best with the most reasonable price? Most businessman will support the current government because they have spent too much money, resources and networks to make connections for them to start all over again.
But I wish they would look at the bigger picture. At the world stage we are no longer a competitive country. Wasted resources, leakages and bad governance has caused us to become a country no longer desirable for foreign investment. Who cares if they can get cheap labour here? The amount of money needed to "duit kopi" approvals has cause defection to other Asian regions. I claim do not claim to be an economic expert but the amount of countries who at one point used to be far behind us, not even on the same level are surging way ahead of us.
We're being surpassed by countries such as korea, china and india who at one point were lagging far behind but we're now being practically raped in terms of attracting foreign investment. This should be a cause of concern to businessmen regardless of how much they are earning now.
I urge all business people to think, which is more important? Securing your business now at the expense of your children's future, thinking that it does not matter because you'll have a big enough business to pass on to them or ensuring they grow up in a conducive environment which will allow free competition and bring out the best in them. Competitiveness is what makes people strive harder and better themselves. Complacency will merely lead to eventual decline and rot.
It is time we move in to the idea of a tender system based on meritocracy and get the best talents lest they feel frustrate and leave to better places where they'll be appreciated.