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The changing business landscape of Malaysia

The newspaper these days makes for uncomfortable reading as a Malaysian. For many years now we have taken our freedom and liberties for granted and above all our right to lead a peaceful existence domestically and even regionally has come under threat. Domestically, the occurrences of violent crimes have become more than just random events. Citizens and foreigners who ply their trade and business in Malaysia are also flaunting the laws as if it is acceptable here but not in some other more developed countries. The geo-political landscape of Malaysia is becoming increasingly influenced by events occurring in other parts of the world. We are now easily influenced by things we don’t understand and take our frustrations in the streets as the recent “GST rally” suggests where most of those who attended don’t even know what GST was all about. Does this mean as a society we have lost our ability to think rationally? The lesson from everything that has happened in the country from the tragic loss of MH 370, the water crisis, the violent crimes, the “merajuk” politicians in Terengganu, the “GST rally”, the rising debt to GDP ratio and our competitiveness as a nation suggests that the people of Malaysia are feeling frustrated and depressed and no amount of positive communications will be able to impact this as long as the “key-influencers” fall outside the ambit of our control. The rapid occurrence of random events can easily be put into context in that man can only plan but God disposes and hence we must take heed from the lessons to shape a better future for our children. The rising global influence of social media has a dramatic impact to the way society thinks and how they shape their behaviour as hard as it is to accept. So how do we as business people deal with such a changing landscape? I think we need to take stock of our ambitions and begin asking ourselves whether we have the execution capabilities and the will power to change. The PM is valiant in his efforts to change the country to be more open, accepting and competitive but is the rest of the business community and politicians ready to take that plunge? I think its time for us to take stock and reflect on the hard decisions to be made. Better bite the bullet now than suffer for many years down the road. If we have to close GLCs to restructure their debts so be it, if we need to prioritise projects then we must act swiftly, if we must strengthen our internal security to cast a greater safety net for the people of Malaysia-lets all do it in a concerted fashion but please lets not politicise things that have happened because it creates greater mistrust amongst the people, the business and investment communities about our ability as Malaysians to solve problems. This is the new business landscape of Malaysia. Let’s get things done and cross items off our to-do list as a nation. It will be tough. It will be extremely testing but it will be for the greater good of our country and the next generation.

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