Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Perception of Malaysia at Forbes CEO meet
For the past few days, I have been attending the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore. Some of the region's richest and most brillant chief executive officers are here to listen and to share their views on global trends. From the fuel crisis, the weak dollar and the credit crunch, there is an exciting exchange of ideas on how to tackle these issues. If there are any politics, it's only about the American presidential election and its possible outcome. The best insight is from Steve Forbes himself, who tried to win a Republican nomination. From the Malaysian side, the delegates include YTL boss Francis Yeoh and Air Asia's Tony Fernandes. But for some of us, we have been bombarded with many embarassing questions, reflecting the perception outsiders have of Malaysia. Over tea breaks and meals, we are asked questions like - did he sodomise him, did he blow her up, why is he so racist, why is your country so unsafe - have naturally embarrassed some of us. Is this what delegates are interested only? MIDA has put up an advertisement in the latest issue of the Forbes magazine proclaiming Malaysia's attraction - political and economic stability. Let's hope the movers and shakers are buying this line. But there is a silver lining - the Forbes CEOs would be meeting in KL next year. We shouldn't waste time on the likes of small fries like Ahmad Ismail, who still think he is a somebody after the March 8 whipping in Penang. Let's get the nation on track again. Politicians must take a hard look at themselves and their flaws, don't just blame the press and others. Be real if you want to stay connect. The world is moving ahead fast.