Sunday October 28, 2012
Malaysians must pull together for national development
The Star Says
THERE is nothing to be shy about Malaysia's latest ranking in the World Bank's country assessment for a business-friendly environment. This is a most welcome accolade in being nationally inclusive and non-partisan.
Malaysia climbed six notches to be 12th in a global community of 185 countries. The country has distinguished itself before in this, although not by as much as now.
However, it is all too easy to fall into a complacency trap. There will be those so busy congratulating themselves that they forget to keep up the pace or even quicken it, because this is a very competitive business in a highly competitive world.
Government officials have said the next step is to work to be within the top 10. Let that thought be replicated in effective action.
Although it is election season or very close to it, the Opposition should not demean the efforts and aspirations of our country and fellow compatriots. Let credit be given where it is due, especially when blame has also been doing the rounds.
For a country to excel in global competitiveness requires the effort of all Malaysians, whatever their politics. Any country would need to pull together as a cohesive nation to stand out in the world.
The benefits of success also accrue to all Malaysians, regardless of political affiliation. There are times when we need to keep our ideological flourishes and personal idiosyncracies in check, and this is one of them.
Even among developing countries in Asia, we need to keep striving ahead just to stay where we are. Countries that were once basket cases are also showing promise, attracting foreign investments that might once have come our way.
Time is of the essence, as this “latest” World Bank ranking itself covers the period from mid-2011 to mid-2012. The first quarter of the next year of assessment, with a new ranking to come, is already past.
It is more than a truism that collective national effort at upgrading competitiveness is a joint process. That means it requires the contribution of all, beginning with official acceptance that all need to contribute.
Formal state organs and their functionaries should welcome and encourage the sincere efforts of all Malaysians, whatever their background or orientation. Only then can national development be meaningful and sustained.