Skip to content

Malaysia 101: Addressing Stubborn Stone Age Mentality

Stone Age Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn

(Carlos Ghosn – would you say NO to him? just because he is not a  bumiputra? Image source: http://businessweek.com)

I wonder why we have to keep going back to the Stone Age.

From theStar:-

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has defended the appointment of a non-bumiputra as the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) acting general manager, saying that she is a senior officer who has served for 33 years.

Meanwhile, the Selangor Malays Residents Action Body held a small demonstration outside the state secretariat building here to protest against the appointment.

The group, led by its chairman Kamaruddin Raja Ab Wahid, said the move infringed Malay rights and insulted the Sultans.

When did picking the best to do a job means infringing Malay rights and insulting the Sultans?

Stupidity has its limits. Kamaruddin, do you care to answer this?

GLCs are formed using public funds and as such, getting only the best to helm the GLCs is the right thing to do. If we keep harping on getting someone to helm the GLCs sorely based on the colour of the skin, it is only cost us dearly in the long run.

For these people who see no further than the skin colour, perhaps they should take a long hard look at Carlos Ghosn who helms both Renault of France and Nissan of Japan.

Carlos Ghosn is a Lebanese but was entrusted to handle one of the leading Japanese motoring corporations. What do you think would happen if Carlos Ghosn volunteered himself to helm Proton or any of the GLCs?

Would we welcome him with open arms, knowing very well that he is one of the best CEOs out there (oh by the way, he was voted Man of the Year 2003 by Fortune) and the GLC would be one of the top players in the global market in the shortest time (translate that as better return to the shareholders – the public)?

Or, some people in the name of bangsa (race) will start protesting the appointment and insist only bumiputra can helm the GLC, knowing very well that there are better people out there? The Japanese did not insist on a Japanese to helm Nissan but rather opted to agree for Carlos Ghosn to handle the top management of Nissan (mind you that before Carlos Ghosn, Nissan only had Japanese CEOs since 1933 and by the millennium was in deep financial trouble).

If Kamaruddin and his race supremacy bigots had been protesting the appointment because there are more experienced and well-managed people than Low Siew Moi, I would have joined in the protest. Anything better is worth fighting for.

But the thing is Kamaruddin and his race supremacy bigots protested because Low Siew Moi is a non-bumiputra and nothing more, nothing less than that. That argument hardly holds water (the same thing happened when MAS was looking for a new CEO).

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s argument to appoint Low Siew Moi makes business sense – she is one of the most experienced people around, she knows the ins & outs of the GLC and it is only temporary (she is due for retirement anyway). If racial bigots like Kamaruddin cannot see the light of this, then I suggest that he and others holding the same “mission” keep their heads way below the ground and stay there till globalisation whacks them hard on the face.

This is why probably there is a lukewarm response from the non-bumiputras when vacancies are available in the public sector. Yet, Government officials are still in a state of denial.

Only in Malaysia where being the best means nothing unless you are of a certain colour of skin and culture.  Looks like the Stone Age is here to stay in Malaysia for a very long time.

Read Also

Raja Petra’s Article 153 and the “Social Contract”

Haris’ Letter to the Selangor State Exco Members

No tags for this post.

1 thought on “Malaysia 101: Addressing Stubborn Stone Age Mentality”

Please Leave Your Thoughts on the Post