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.


Anonymous said...

Datuk, good thing for you that you only faces this type of questions when you go overseas.

As for me and a whole lot of other Malaysian like me working overseas, the type of question is deafening.

You go ahead continue working for the sitcom wannbes bosses of yours, perhaps you should travel more often and then report back what slap stick comedy the ruling politicians have become.

We do not have 4 years to change, the change is now.

Penang Kia

Anonymous said...

Questions seem to refer headlines which media continues to give credence and not what matters to the country. The media has given all those news such amount of airspace that the fault is more the giving of the space than the occurrence of the even itself. So why blame Malaysia, leaders etc.

Our media is fast losing its capability of analytical intelligent media and is moving into trashy tabloid based media.

jrajster said...

Do you know what is the root problem for this?

We have been misled by racial based parties that we trusted too much in the past. Their political ambitions have deprived Malaysians to break the invisible barriers deliberately created by BN.

It's time we unite strong breaking every single barrier that comes in the name of Malaysian and bangsa Malaysia

BareSheen said...

Dear Chun Wai,

I work in an American MNC, one of the biggest in the world. Have been in the company for a about a decade.

What's heartening is that the 3 major races are well represented in my company and often, I am pleasantly encouraged to note that the typical stereotyping of Malays being less than clever, Chinese being aggressive and Indians being crafty are blown to bits.

After a while, skin colour and race just blur and it plainly does not matter one bit, so long as you deliver and is an asset to the company.

Of late, increasingly, more and more cross borders operations and functions have been, are and will be relocated to Malaysia. These are no fly by night decisions. It indicates that Malaysia has what it takes to host world class operations. This is something to be immensely proud of.

But I do wonder sometimes whether the government is even aware of this and even if they are, whether they are throwing it all away by the rubbish that is going on in our public sectors.

The sodomy case and the ridiculous racist public discourses is an embarrasment personally to me when my foreign colleagues ask me somewhat bewildered "hey, what's this sodomy about?" or "what is all these racist talks about?"

Almost all of them have good things to say about our country but recent news leave them flummoxed.

It is sad in many ways. Spewing hate and hateful thoughts about fellow Malaysians : it is like cutting off one's nose just to spite the face.

Neandernthal attitude that should be consigned to the back waters never to see the light.

Anonymous said...

The world is watching! Argue to our own peril!

Unknown said...

Dear Wong,




Anonymous said...

Dear Datuk Wong. It is nice to hear these big ideas and big plan.
If we lack leadership, lack unity and lack direction, all these big ideas will be sitting on the shelf.

All the questions yiu have been asked can be solved if we have the leadership with the will to get the necessary things done.

Otherwise, everythings are vapourware.

Unknown said...

Good afternoon Datuk,

You are right. We should all get moving, work real smart and hard together and just let the irritating trivials past. If Malaysians will just not get distracted by these immatures, there is a bright hope that we would be doing fine in the near future. So let us be united and focus on the big picture! Every Malaysians count (regardless of race, creed or religion) when we are competing globally. Let's get moving!

amoker said...

I was in Bangkok and talking to the who's who of the Asia HR people in my company. It turns out that they are so inquisitive about our politics and they were being nice in their comments.

Yep, the country is now butt of jokes.

Anonymous said...


No more all this racist thing... we need to united... No more malay rights etc.. all equal laaa... i am malaysian too....

Anonymous said...

Dear Datuk Wong. It is the little things and little people that matters. If we cannot fix these little things, then how can we have big plans.

3 years suspension is a little too knd for the little guy. He is already talking of making this race tthing bigger. Unless he is put behind bars and never let out again. we will have no peace.

Th little person will fester and become a cancer in 3 years.

Anonymous said...

Every now and then you will have joker like Ahmad Ismail coming onto the political scene. They are
not well read and completely out of touch with the times. they still think politics is only talking about Malay rights. Most educated malay politicians have passed that. Ahmad failed to see that in the eyes of many UMNO politicans he is just another
opportunist who tried to use an issue to promote his own cause. If I were Ahmad I would be shy to walk among those Malay elites. His thoughts are just so innane and it showed in the ways he reacted to everything.


Anonymous said...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Ahmad Ismail phenomena - a 119 call for MALAYSIA

It sure is disturbing. Ahmad Ismail is a friend (rakan seperjuangan) during our younger days. We were very active in our own ways when I was in Kota Melaka and he was and still is and now no more in Bukit Bendera.

I was puzzled by his outburst and strong headedness (kepala batu) on a very sensitive issue like the Malays and the Chinese and the history of Independent Malaya. Why oh why Saudara at this time? We all have to be responsible for our actions and words. Why want to irritate the Chinese community with such remarks? Why want to ask a member of the Barisan component party to leave the pact? Why so bold and arrogant? Why so ignorant for the fact that the Penang Malays are standing on quicksand? Very very questionable? If its for your personal benefit, then good luck Saudara ku. As a friend, I do not personally think that what you have done is for the good of the Malays.

The real Malays who are Tuans of Malaysia looks after everybody and anybody including the illegal immigrants that comes from all over. That's what our forefathers had decided and agreed upon to make us worthy of rightful owners of the land.

For getting UMNO into trouble, a three year ban is a small price to pay. "Kerana mulut badan binasa". These few words are for an individual. But the damage done to UMNO is not going to be easily mended. Sad to say this, you are still my friend like my many other friends who had betrayed UMNO, but you are no longer my "rakan seperjuangan".

Anak Malaysia
from old Malaysia.

sinnersaint:saintsinner said...

Mr Chun

here's my experience with your latest post, a couple of years ago, when we were promoting a Govt Agency both locally and overseas, we ascertained fm our clients that investors wanted the crime index in Malaysia. we were shocked.

Why? The media at the time was highlighting issues pertaining snatch theft, rape, robbery, molestation etc etc on a daily basis. We were asked why were there so much of crime in Malaysia? well, we said its not as bad as the media makes it to be.

The one day, i met a Senior Editor and told him this - they way you guys are pumping up these crimes depicts Malaysians are all warlords, rapist, robbers and molesters, how do you expect FDI to flow in, his reply was, what you want us to sweep under the carpet?

He continued by saying, look man, we are in newspaper selling business not FDI generation.

Then i met Numero and shared with him, the following week or two, everything quite down ie no more rapist headlines.

I'm glad you've tasted what others perceive us and i'm certain that you would have defended our wonderful country as i have when ever i was abroad and how malufyin it was for you, when total strangers comes up to you and comments "well, you are Malaysian and tell me, is it true, that all of you are racist, living in the 18th century, and the nation is in turmoil?

well, experience is the greatest teacher, aint it SIRE! he he he


Miss Lime said...

Internationally misunderstood. That's what I'd say. But the truth is, people outside will always be piqued by the juicy bad bits of the country rather than focus on the better aspects.

-just left Star-

Anonymous said...

I hope we, the Malaysians, are not too late already to learn some valuable lessons from this political and social upheaval, as we have been lagging further and further behind in almost all aspects, vis-a-vis other neighbouring countries.

Amongst other things, what really saddened us is not the imbecilic mentality of few individuals, but the flipflop comments/decision coming from the wavering top gun of the country .....who should have nipped it in the bud at the very first instant, rather than letting it continued on till now.

jojo51 said...

Nothing newlah Chun Wai. We Malaysians always sensitive about perception of outsiders. Orang putih used to have perception that people in Malaysia live in tree tops. Like them, we also have our own negative perceptions about things happening in other countries. I am not going to lose sleep.

lanaibeach said...

The changing
It has to come

No matter what you say
The marching will be on
Enough of telling lies
For the benefit of a few

The changing
It comes to life
No matter what you say
Nothing will stop it now

The ruse in the eyes
The Land below the Wind
The Land of the Hornbill
It isn’t coming from there

The changing
Right on the mainland
This is where it would begin
The light of life

The mind of wits
The mind games playing full
Casting ruse to enslave
Yet the changing will come
For the sleeping beauty
He doesn’t know when to start
It has gone in his eyes

The changing
Right on the mainland
The history will be made
When we open our doors
A new shining light!
The people will smile

Anonymous said...


Newspapers should act as watchdog and since public pay for information, papers should not depend on government news (bernama)

Editors like you are scared to face the wrath of your political boss who is in government.

The real issue is content-if your paper report positively and not simply reporting as you see it (Editor perceptions or your boss want it to be that way)

The bottom line is what you report in your newspaper will definitely be highlighted by the foreign embassies as their news tags. So if your always gives bad, negative reporting than outsiders/foreigners perceived us to be in the negative.

Don't you agree wuth me that your position carry a lot of weight, so if you are unable to perform then please resigned.