A Stranger in His Country of Birth

By Paul Chong
A Chinese by Descent
An Australian by Consent

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Pernas Twin Towers
Pernas Twin Towers

I was born in Malaysia, a country I always refer to as the “Golden Chersonese” but have migrated to the “Lucky Country“ or “Down Under” (as it’s otherwise known). I have been away for 33 years, only returning briefly occasionally for family events.
Though I was born there, the government never consider any of us as “Bumiputra” – a term they use to distinguish people born there as “Sons/Princes of the Soil”. It’s a known fact that many of the so-called Melayu or Bumiputra are from foreign lands like India, Indonesia, Middle East & others. Discrimination & prejudices stare glaringly at your face, if you are a non-Malay. The unfairness & injustice cover every facet of your life – education, employment, opportunities & what more can I say.
A guided democracy practised without meritocracy.
Admittedly, I still have great sentiments attached to the country I left behind. My siblings & relatives are still living there. My grandparents, parents & two siblings including my parents-in-law are buried in the soil which the non-Malays cannot lay claims of ownership.
My alma mater in Taiping has an appearance alien to me. So is the premier
Anderson School in Ipoh where I taught for several years after my graduation from the University of Malaya in Pantai Valley, Kuala Lumpur.
I am grateful for the government teacher training scholarship at Kirkby, Liverpool, UK, and had served part of my five-year teaching contract in Flu Kelantan & Ipoh in Perak. Up to this point in time, most of us were happy & contented with our lives in Malaysia.

The scenario & political landscape took a drastic transformation after the May 13 Racial Riot & upheaval when the ruling UMNO lost their great majority. Tun Abdul Razak, father of the present Prime Minister Najib, ousted our beloved first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, set himself at the helm. He began to implement the New Economic Policy, switched the education medium of instruction from English to Malay, unjustifiably demanding 30% share of all businesses & enterprises for the Bumiputra “without any input of capital” . . . sheer daylight robbery…suffice for me to mention just a few. Tun Razak didn’t last long on the throne. His sudden death was quite unexpected.

Tun Razak started it all following up with Mahathir (someone who has lost his original root of descent) perpetuating the system & his supreme own brand of politics. Though much development has come about during his 22 years reign . . . much is best left unsaid. Abdullah Badawi, the Prime Minister after Mahathri, was an easy going kind of person, always caught sleeping at his job & in parliament. Najib, the five straight A’s Prime Minster, has developed “Najibism” apart from the existing Corruption & Nepotism. His slogan of 1Malaysia is appropriately replaced by such slogan as CNN (not the TV channel) but Corruption, Nepotism & Najibism.(Refer to my article on Najib: Straight A’s Malaysian Prime Minister (Thurs. 27 Nov. 2914).

The political landscape, economic management & the lack of meritocracy, law & order, media control all draw criticism from foreign press & commentators.

By & large the Chinese population which has dwindled to mere over 20% are complacent & unconcerned politically. As it is the Chinese are moist assiduous in their economic pursuit & are not likely to starve or be deprived of their business acumen, innovativeness & creativity in running businesses & enterprises.

As such, it was pointed out by past Deputy Prime Minister Musa Hitam who once said that the Chinese were themselves to be blamed for the present state of political situation. Needless to say, the less competitive Malays were kind of forced to be politically inclined & with political power, all other policies fall into their grip.

On the surface, everything seems quite normal. The Chinese work hard at their businesses, but only a sprinkle of them are ever found in government employment. They live well in suburbs sprouting up everywhere & having two cars in each home is quite common. But every home is gated with bars of steel for security – even though the suburb may have security in force. In some areas, even like Bungsa,
break-ins & robbery are common features that occur even in daylight. No one can really feel safe at home or in public.

Undoubtedly, Chinese feature in most economic activities, a vital link in the system from small eating stalls to corporate establishments. Not to be handicapped in other areas of human endeavour, they circumvent the system which closes all doors of opportunities available. Domestically, the best schools & tertiary education institutions are all reserved for the Malays. Nevertheless, the deprived non-Malays work hard to send their off-springs abroad & has often happened, after graduation, all these brainy graduates stay back to work & live in foreign lands. This brain drain is very evident. As Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore would say that the Malaysian government would sacrifice such losses in order to hang on to their political power.

There is a Malay saying: “Gaya mahu, lain lain tak apa” (meaning pride matters, others do not count). What a brilliant mentality.

The highways within the metropolitan Kuala Lumpur & the North-South link are both impressive. The alignment of the super highways, quite often choked with traffic jams especially during holidays & festive seasons, avoid passing through scenes of kampongs with their stilt attap & timber homes. Road houses & rest places are also impressive with businesses dominated & reserved for the Malays. But I have a lingering thought how much benefits really penetrated to the average folks living in rural areas. The political UMNO cows are well fed & enriched is a known fact.

The ruling UMNO-Baru knows how to keep the peasant Malays happy by building mosques everywhere. Religion is such a useful political tool. Votes are easily bought with monetary bribes, constitutional change of voting boundaries, importing undesirable immigrants so long they are Muslims or vow allegiance to the UMNO Party by voting to keep them in power. Politics is such a dirty game!

Malaysia with its wealth of resources such as gas & oil, should have stayed ahead in economic terms of its Asian neighbours. Instead it is lagging behind its immediate neighbour Singapore, only a City State without any natural resources. Malaysia pales in significance when compared to the Indonesians.

What is going to happen when the oil & gas run out? The greatness of a nation cannot rely just on its natural resources – more tangibly & important is the human resources. Therein lies the wealth of the nation.

The concept of “easy comes easy goes” will soon spells disasters. When the going is rough & tough, the tough get going, but for the weak & life-time of takers they will sink beneath the economic quagmire. After all survival is always for the fittest.

th

Malaysia Boleh

Gaya sampai poket kosong!

A “Tribute” to Dr M & Tributes to Lee Kuan Yew

 

Lee-Kuan-Yew-book-singapore-060813_360_524_100

 dr_m

A “Tribute” to Dr M

By Andrew Cheng 

A Doctor In The House wry and sly,

The Malay Dilemma you feign to cry, 

Soon after the tragedy in May 69,

Rising from the ashes you became mighty and high, 

A good 22 years you reign in style,

Shedding crocodile tears when time to say good bye. 

A crooked man with a crooked mind,

Wanted a crooked bridge, the rational hard to find, 

Billions vanished without any trace or sign,

Plundering the country is never a crime, 

Corruption, cronyism and racialism, all are fine,

Leaving this beloved Bolehland way far behind. 

Ketuanan Melayu, Hidup Melayu is your battle cry,

You scream all these to cover your deception and lie(s), 

Many saw these but pretend to be blind,

Mercy upon those who do not toe your line, 

Know not why you lose your memory when in a bind,

Another intelligent devil like you we hope not to find. 

What a lovely poem befitting to Mahathir. The last sentence says it all.

In contrast : 

Tributes To A Great Leader – Lee Kuan Yew 

When Lee Kuan Yew speaks, who listens? Presidents, prime ministers, chief executives, and all who care about global strategy. Below are quotes about Lee Kuan Yew as told by some of the world’s most notable leaders.’ 

Barack Obama, president of the United States. “Lee is one of the legendary figures of Asia in the 20th and 21st centuries. He is somebody who helped to trigger the Asian economic miracle.” (October 29, 2009) 

Bill Clinton, 42nd president of the United States. “MM Lee’s life of public service is both unique and remarkable… His work as prime minister and now as minister mentor has helped literally millions of people in Singapore and all across Southeast Asia to live better, more prosperous lives. I hope the leaders of ASEAN [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] will continue to build upon Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s outstanding legacy… I thank you [the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council] for honoring a man I admire so very much.” (October 27, 2009) 

George H.W. Bush, 41st president of the United States “In my long life in public service, I have encountered many bright, able people. None is more impressive than Lee Kuan Yew.” (endorsement of Lee’s My Lifelong Challenge: Singapore’s Bilingual Journey, 2011) 

Jacques Chirac, president of France (1995–2007) “Lee Kuan Yew has gathered around himself the most brilliant minds, transforming the most exacting standards into a system of government. Under his leadership, the primacy of the general interest, the cult of education, work and saving, the capacity to foresee the needs of the city have enabled Singapore to take what I call ‘shortcuts to progress.’ (endorsement of Lee’s From Third World to First: The Singapore Story: 1965–2000, 2000)

F.W. De Klerk, president of South Africa (1989–94) “The leader who, perhaps, impressed me most was Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore… He was an individual who changed the course of xiv Lee Kuan Yew history… Lee Kuan Yew took the right decisions for his country; he chose the right values and the right economic policies to ensure the development of a successful society. In this, he was an artist painting on the largest canvas that society can provide. He was also a very astute judge of the world and provided a very canny and realistic assessment of our situation in South Africa when I met him during the early nineties.” (March 30, 2012) 

Xi Jinping, vice president of China Lee is “our senior who has our respect”: “To this day, you are still working tirelessly to advance our bilateral relationship, and you have my full admiration. We will never forget the important contribution you have made to our bilateral relationship.” (May 23, 2011) 

Tony Blair, prime minister of the United Kingdom (1997–2007) Lee is “the smartest leader I think I ever met.” (Blair, A Journey: My Political Life, 2010) 

John Major, prime minister of the United Kingdom (1990–97) “Lee Kuan Yew can justifiably be called the father of modern Singapore. He has steered through policies that have been copied across Asia, and have greatly lifted the proªLe and representation of Singapore. It is a legacy that will endure.” (comment in Tom Plate’s Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew: Citizen Singapore: How to Build a Nation, 2010) 

Margaret Thatcher, prime minister of the United Kingdom (1979–90) “In office, I read and analyzed every speech of Lee’s. He had a way of penetrating the fog of propaganda and expressing with unique clarity the issues of our times and the way to tackle them. He was never wrong.” (endorsement of Lee’s From Third World to First:The Singapore Story: 1965–2000, 2000) 

Helmut Schmidt, chancellor of Germany (1974–82) “Ever since I met my friend Lee Kuan Yew, I was highly impressed by his brilliant intellect and his straight overview. His lifetime achievements as a political leader and statesman are outstanding. The economic and social advancement of modern Singapore is deeply rooted in his capability to establish an adequate political framework for Singapore’s ethnical heterogeneity. This book is yet another proof of his perspicacity and competence.” (endorsement of Lee’s My Lifelong Challenge: Singapore’s Bilingual Journey, 2011) 

Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive officer of News Corporation “More than 40 years ago, Lee Kuan Yew transformed what was a poor, decrepit colony into a shining, rich, and modern metropolis—all the time surrounded by hostile powers. With his brilliant, incisive intellect, he is one of the world’s most outspoken and respected statesmen. This book is a ‘must read’ for any student of modern Asia.” (endorsement of Lee’s From Third World to First: The Singapore Story: 1965–2000, 2000) 

John Chambers, chairman and chief executive officer of Cisco Systems “There are two equalizers in life: the Internet and education. Lee Kuan Yew is a world leader who understands this and is using the power of the Internet to position Singapore for survival and success in the Internet economy.” (endorsement of Lee’s From Third World to First: The Singapore Story: 1965–2000, 2000) 

Sam Palmisano, chairman of IBM “It is terrifc to be at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. It is especially special for me because a gentleman I admire so much, and have learned so much from, is Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. He has given me lots of tutelage on Asia and China and India, and has tremendous insights.” (February 1, 2011) 

Rex Tillerson, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil “For so many years, you have been a willing mentor to leaders of government, business, and for me personally. The Ford’s Theatre Lincoln Medal is given to individuals who … exemplify the lasting legacy and mettle of character embodied by President Abraham Lincoln. Few leaders in modern history meet this criteria more than tonight’s honoree… Abraham Lincoln once said … ‘towering genius disdains a beaten path.’ For the people of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew was such a towering leader who held a bold vision for his nation. He did not lead them down the beaten path of narrow-minded protectionism, but down the broad avenues of global engagement and economic competitiveness.” (October 18, 2011) 

Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank (2007–12) “As soon as I learned a number of years ago about the Lee Kuan Yew School, I wanted to figure out some way to at least come by. I cannot think of a better testament for a leader who has made a huge mark in the world.” (December 18, 2008) 

James Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank (1995–2005) “I used to be the advisor to the Minister Mentor. It was a very hard job, because I traveled to Singapore, and every time I was just about to tell something to Mr. Minister Mentor, he would stop me and tell me the thing I was to tell him. Then I would return to the United States and sell his advice. Thank you very much, Mr. Minister Mentor, for all the things you have taught me. I tried giving you my advice. But, in fact, it was you who taught me.” (July 10, 2007)

Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer of Coca-Cola “History will record few leaders who have accomplished so much for their country and for Southeast Asia as His Excellency Lee Kuan Yew. As a driving force behind the growth and evolution of ASEAN, Mr. Lee also helped millions of people across Southeast Asia to live in an environment of peace and economic growth.” (October 27, 2009) 

David Rothkopf, president and chief executive officer of Garten Rothkopf “Like many other visitors, you wonder whether this tiny island [Singapore] that did not even exist as a truly independent nation until 1965 is perhaps the best-run city in the world, whether maybe the ancient Greeks and Singapore’s founder, Lee Kuan Yew, were on to something when they settled on the idea of city-states… During the course of the half century in which he has led Singapore, he has emerged as one of the world’s most effective if sometimes controversial leaders.” (Rothkopf, Power, Inc., 2012) 

Hillary Clinton, U.S. secretary of state “I am delighted to welcome the Minister Mentor here [to the White House] today… Singapore is a long and valued partner on so many important issues. And I think it is fair to say, sir [addressing Lee], that you have a great many admirers. You are here to accept an important award [the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award] that is given for lifetime achievement, and I join in the many Americans who thank you for your service.” (October 26, 2009) 

George Shultz, U.S. secretary of state (1982–89) “You have taught all of us a tremendous amount by what you have done, what you have said, [and] the way you mean it when you say something, and I thank you.” (October 27, 2009) 

Madeleine Albright, U.S. secretary of state (1997–2001) “He has the most modern and most strategic view of anyone I have met for a long time.” (July 30, 1997) 

Zbigniew Brzezinski, U.S. national security adviser (1977–81) “He is among the most intellectually alert of the world’s leaders… He is capable of expatiating at length and with perception on virtually any international problem; he is a most astute observer of the Asian scene; and he is candid in passing along to us Asian perceptions of our changing role in that part of the world.” (September 16, 1977) 

Larry Summers, director of the U.S. National Economic Council (2009–10) and U.S. secretary of the Treasury (1999–2001) “It is more than a little bit daunting to be talking about the subject of governance just before Lee Kuan Yew speaks.” (September 15, 2006) 

Robert Rubin, U.S. secretary of the Treasury (1995–99) “Lee is deeply knowledgeable about geopolitical and cultural matters… I had gotten to know the Senior Minister somewhat during the Asian financial crisis, when he had demonstrated the enormous depth of his geopolitical understanding and grasp of regional issues.” (Rubin, In an Uncertain World: Tough Choices from Wall Street to Washington, with Jacob Weisberg, 2003) 

Joseph Nye, chairman of the U.S. National Intelligence Council (1993–94) “Today, it [Singapore] is a rich and prosperous country. If the rest of the world could accomplish what Singapore has accomplished, the world would be a better and more prosperous place… He is a man who never stops thinking, never stops looking ahead with larger visions. His views are sought by respected senior statesmen on all continents.” (October 17, 2000) 

Nicholas Kristof, opinion columnist for the New York Times “Other leaders have reshaped nations—Kemal Ataturk in Turkey, Lenin in Russia, Deng Xiaoping in China—but no one left a deeper imprint on his people than Lee… One can disagree with him, but intolerance and authoritarianism have never had so articulate or stimulating a spokesman. These [From Third World to First] are rich memoirs, the legacy of an extraordinary man, and in many ways, this book is like Lee himself: smart, thoughtful, blunt, and provocative.” (November 5, 2000)

David Ignatius, opinion columnist for the Washington Post “He is probably the smartest politician I have interviewed in more than 25 years as a journalist.” (September 28, 2002) 

Fareed Zakaria, editor-at-large of Time Magazine “Lee Kuan Yew took a small spit of land in Southeast Asia, which became independent in 1965 after great struggle and anguish, with no resources and a polyglot population of Chinese, Malaysian, and Indian workers, and turned it into one of the economic centers of the world. To do this, Lee had to have smart economic policies, but also a shrewd foreign policy… He is still indisputably the father of Singapore. I was struck by the depth of his understanding of the world—China, Russia, and the United States—all at age 85.” (September 21, 2008)

 

Zoher Abdoolcarim, Time Magazine, Asia Edition “Over the years Lee has been called many things — unflattering as well as admiring. But perhaps the single most fitting description is: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow.” (February 4, 2013)

– Quoted from the book, Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World. It is part of the Belfer Center Studies in International Security, a book series edited at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and published by the MIT Press. 

http://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/please-pray-for-mr-lee-kuan-yew/

I like to add this:

When Dr M sings . . . he stinks

When he speaks . . . everybody squeaks!

Lee Kuan Yew commands

With everybody saluting in advance!

Singapore – Its Success & Greatness

 

Singapore's Skyline
Singapore‘s Skyline

 

Like human kind, some cities are “born” great,

others achieve greatness and still others have greatness thrust upon them.

Whichever way you look at Singapore, when ousted by Malaysia in 1965 from being one of its Malaysian federated states, it was deemed to fail & fade further backwaters way because of its total lack of natural resources.

 Screen shot 2013-09-03 at 12.44.47 PM

Singapore, under the capable leadership of Lee Kuan Yew & his team of able & dedicated politicians, proved to be otherwise. Its real strength, apart from a totally uncorrupted team of politicians, lies also in the calibre of its largely Chinese population . . . the greatest “natural” human resource second to none.

Today, Singapore’s skyline soars with all the trappings of an international metropolis, ultra-modern integrated casino resorts, high per capita income, modern housing & accommodation for every citizen, world class universities, the list goes on & on.Today, it is attracting high calibre personnel as the place to work & live.

Where is Malaysia today with its oil & all other natural resources such as rubber, oil palm & its once great tin industry (killed & buried by Mahathir)?

Instead of being drained dry by its former British colonial master, its incorrigible UMNOputra team of politicians has been draining its coffer clean & enriching themselves thereof

Singapore, the City State, today enjoys a giant status of economic strength & power. It’s a far cry from its backwaters day, when it served as a drainage port to the British Colonial master.

Lee-Kuan-Yew-book-singapore-060813_360_524_100  This is a tribute no less owing to Lee Kuan Yew, the economic architect, statesman of world renowned, and one who can stand in front of the Cambridge student audience & audaciously said: “I have a Double First from Cambridge, your Prime Minister McMillan don’t.”

Lee Hsien Loong Lee Hsien Loong

Good leadership breeds good followers. Today, LKY’s son, Lee Hsien Loong is equally brilliant & qualitatively backed by his first-class team of politicians. With this excellent team at the helm, Singapore will no doubt continue to grow & see greater days ahead.

Having said & done, let’s have a look at Singapore’s past some fifty years ago.

This video clip should prove very interesting.

Paul Chong

A Chinese by Descent   An Australian by Consent

 

Be Creative & Innovative to be Productive

English: Roadside billboard of Deng Xiaoping i...
English: Roadside billboard of Deng Xiaoping in Lijiang (Yunnan) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Winston Churchill in Downing Street giving his...

People are generally negative & restrictive

They fall into the “existence trap”

Existing with the world flashing by

Without as though a worry & care.

Dead as a door nail

Rotting away with the gale

The weather & wind perform their parts

Till time sets all apart!

Without initiative & drive, the world will drift you by. You’ve got to be alert to catch up with the time which is fast speeding by. Miss the train you’ll be in pain . . . finding yourself lagging behind. The proverbial truth that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step bears out clearly to you. So take the initiative & move on.

Besides changes are refreshing. It’s exhilarating & exciting. When you live your life out with emotion, excitement & enthusiasm, you’d find life worth the living . . . under any circumstances. This is YOU ruling the circumstances rather than the reverse . . . you’ve got to put yourself in the driver’s seat. Chart the course & navigate the way.

If you aim high & miss the sky, at least you’re landing midway high! It’s obvious that you’ve got to do something to achieve something, doing nothing means getting nothing at all.

In the old days, people were more “sedentary”, staying put in one place. Unlike the present era, people are constantly on the move. They are internationally mobile with their first class credentials & academic qualifications, seeking jobs & opportunities globally. Salesmen too are not confined to restrictive territories & boundaries. They are flying here & there & everywhere! Life as a whole is different.

When you’re old & retired, life takes on a different plane of excitement. Who says retirement is for the rest of your natural life? If you stayed retired & do nothing, you’re gonna meet St Perter in the Pearly Gate sooner than expected.

Creativeness & innovativeness do not stop chronologically. Your brain cells must be nourished & kept afresh all the time. Stimulation keeps you young mentally. Sir Winston Churchill & Deng Xiaoping were both old but not feeble . . . achieving greatness only in the later years of their lives. A living testimony is in the person of Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore or Prof. Wang Gangwu (privileged to have him as my former university lecturer) in the academic field.

Change should not be for the sake of change. Change must always be for the better. Often it involves some calculated risks. But remember nothing venture nothing gain.

Change needs to come from “within” not from “without”. Politicians always promise heaven & earth which they are never able to fulfil. President Obama is typically the best example.

Be not afraid of changes. Take them in their strides. Be courageous even when angels fear to tread. Take the calculated risks . . . to dream & build, to conceive & believe, to strike & to be bold, to stand tall & be counted . . . and in the end to stand proudly & declare unto the world saying: “THIS I HAVE DONE”!

PM meets Lee Kuan Yew
PM meets Lee Kuan Yew (Photo credit: Downing Street)

 

China’s Leaping Achievements

History of China

By Paul Chong                                                                              Sunday, 29 November 2009  A Chinese By Descent, An Australian By Consent

President Hu Expounds China’s Views On Development

China can boast of its silk and tea culture long before any other country in the world. Even the technological plough was first discovered in China. By and large, all discoveries were directed towards peaceful use and the enrichment of life and culture, as with the gun powder. Now the world is witnessing an unprecedented quantum growth in China – all within one generation!

China Foreign Reserve    World No. 1

China Oil Consumption    World No. 2

China Trade Value              World No. 3

China Economic Output    World No. 4

Latest: China is the richest nation in the world.

‘Xiang Qian Zou’ – The Road To Riches

The Road To Riches – A Nation of Bicycles To Motor Vehicles

Of the nations in the world today, China stands out progressively tall and strong. It is as though a sleeping dragon is finally awakened. This appears to be the fear of the West. Though an economically strong China is good commercially for all the trading nations in the West, politically China poses a great threat. It is feared that “once China stands up, it won’t topple or be toppled.” That was why precisely Napoleon in his wisdom decided to let China be and not to rouse her.

In retrospect, China is undoubtedly the world’s greatest civilised nation over a continuous period of thousands of years – a civilisation undiminished and unbroken, unlike past civilisations like Egypt, Greece, or the Romans. By any reckoning, China should have by now be far more superior than the rest of the world. Why not?

Map of the “Middle Kingdom”

Of the many reasons why China did not progress beyond its initial lead in technology and discovery, the main cause of which can largely be attributed to its inward looking policy . . . viewing all territories outside the Great Wall of China and its boundaries as barbaric in nature. This nationalistic pride and closed door policy led to its seclusion, totally depriving itself from the inter-change of ideas and exposure to new scientific developments and industrial growth. While China lavished in its culture, philosophy and essentially non-materialistic form of development, it began to lag behind the West in terms of economic industrial growth. In preserving its civilisation from being tainted by corruption, disruption and deterioration, it never knew new growth, development and discoveries elsewhere in the whole wide world. The “Middle Kingdom” realised too late the encroachment of other nations upon its shores and territories. Countries like Britain, Portugal, Japan were making inroads into China through modern superior arms of war instead of its age-old “kung-fu”.

Zhejiang – Economic Zone

To grow, to progress is to change. Sentiment must give way to progress. There is no room for inhibition to changes. Change needs to take place before growth and progress can be attained. It’s attitude more than aptitude that scales the altitude. Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the great former prime minister of Singapore, is credited for the great strides achieved by the City State. His visionary ideas have no room for inhibition or sentiment to change or any hindrance.

Now, what a change has come about as a result of Deng Xiao Ping’s visionary concept of “Xiang Qian Zou”. In Mandarin, it means “Forward Move”, but by replacing the middle word with the similar pronunciation, it becomes “Moving Forward With Money”. This started a great frenzy for the Chinese striving for monetary progress in all spheres of work and life. China has made a quantum leap – a country virtually with no phone to the modern technology of mobile phones! But capitalistic way of life does have its price. A single generation can witness the most remarkable change & progress. Transformation just sweeps aside all inhibition, resistance and sentiment.

Greed always breed a profound loss of goodness in mankind. Simple honesty, truth, kindness and compassion are lost in the process. The dollar sign is etched prominently on the foreheads of goal-getters. It is evident to an outside observer that the whole civilisation is transformed overnight. China, in its forward economic stride, has done away with its traditional large families, and its door is wide open to the corrupt western way of life. There is a price to be paid, for consequential results cannot be avoided.

Like most economies in the world, the road to riches often affect those who are involved, largely the urban folks, leaving behind a vast majority of the rural peasants. Even then great disparity may result among the urbanites. Encouraged by the concept of “Xiang Qian Zou” and ‘you’ve got to be in it to benefit it’, waves and tides of migrating movement are emptying the youth from the rural and pastoral areas. China is vast country where hundreds of millions of the peasant still labour and toil and are poor by comparison with the urban rich. No doubt, this is creating a set of social chaos unknown before.

Hong Kong, for instance, is a magnetic attraction for mainland Chinese. Tens of thousands cross the border which still has the immigration formality with number restrictions. In 2002 this number has been lifted and the hours of opening has even extended to 12 mid-night. This is largely due to the fact that the constant stream of exchange of people movement just keep on going growing bigger and bigger. The benefits work both ways. The affluent mainland Chinese pour money into Hong Kong, and the Hongkees likewise do the same in respect of investing in cheaper and more attractive housing in Mainland China.

On the more positive & human well being aspects, China has done itself proud by alleviating poverty for the great mass of the population. Consider this report by World Bank: “China has maintained a high growth rate for more than 30 years since the beginning of economic reform in 1978 and this growth has generated a huge increase in average living standards.

China’s sustained growth fueled historically unprecedented poverty reduction.  Based on household surveys by the World Bank, the poverty rate in China in 1981 was 63% of the population.  This rate declined to 10% in 2004, indicating that about 500 million people have climbed out of poverty during this period.’

Update & in a lighter vein:

China, now second largest economy in the world, has 19% of the world’s population, but consumes

. . . 53% of the world’s cement

. . . 48% of the world’s iron ore

. . . 47% of the world’s coal

. . . and the majority of just about every major commodity.

In 2010, China produced 11 times more steel than the United States.

New World Record: China made and sold 18 million vehicles in 2010.

China currently has the world’s fastest train and the world’s largest high-speed rail network.

China is currently the number one producer in the world of wind and solar power.

China currently controls more than 90% of the total global supply of rare earth elements.

In the past 15 years, China has moved from 14th place to 2nd place in the world in published scientific research articles.

China now possesses the fastest supercomputer on the entire globe.

 As at the end of March 2011, China has accumulated US$3.04 trillion in foreign currency reserves- the largest stockpile on the entire globe.

 Chinese consume 50,000 cigarettes every second …Not an enviable record though …

And here is the secret to the Chinese miracle: There are more pigs in China than in the next 43 pork producing nations combined.

So it is PORK that is driving China !! ENJOY YOUR PORK !

Now . . . you know why we eat “bak kut the” to be one in spirit with our China cousins.

Comments

Your comments are invited.

What problems do you envisage for China in this economic crisis?

How would the rest of the world, particularly US, react or act towards China?

What role do you think that China is likely to play on the world stage?

Do you think that China would follow the path of US & change its basic peaceful co-existence policy?

Any others?