Think about comparative and competitive advantage. There will always be roles for each country, no matter how uncompetitive we are in any particular areas. But of course if we want to think we can compete in brain-intensive areas like space exploration of state-of-the-art ICT industry, then we kidding ourselves and setting ourselves for a nasty fall. Why not R&D in palm oil and rubber?
Through the various threads here, one hear of all the ills this country is suffering from – poor educational standards, brain drain, bad government policies, discrimination, etc, etc, ad nauseum. The root cause – NEP, NDP, NVP or its various guises and permutation – NEPotism.
Now we have a saviour. This so called barbarian at the gate may just turn out to be our saviour. What we have not been able to achieve in the last 50 years of cow-peh-cow-buing might just be achieved when the signed FTA forces Malaysia to abandon its discriminatory and protectionist policies. For example, no longer will the politicos be able to award multi-billion ringgit contracts to their cronies without open tenders. No longer can they blatantly say "only this or that race need apply". No longer can they imposed punitive taxes on foreign cars just so that Proton can survive.
It is this fear of competition that has lead TDM to speak out against FTAs. In the name of losing sovereignty, in the name of losing control over domestic policies. Translated, it means, the power that be will not be able to do as they please, no longer able to commit day-light robberies, no longer able to do things my way or no way.
So, are we still scared of the barbarians? I say, we welcome the barbarians. Actually, I am beginning to question who the real barbarians are.
It is sad. It may take outsiders to make this is better place for ALL its citizens."