Categorised | Found in Malaysia

Patrick Teoh: A still-unfulfilled Merdeka wish

(All pics below courtesy of Patrick Teoh)

WHEN Malaysians hear the name Patrick Teoh, it’s a voice, and not a face, that springs to mind. Teoh had no inkling when he landed his first radio job at Redifussion 45 years ago that he would go on to become one of Malaysia’s most recognisable voices.

“People do say sometimes, ‘Patrick, your voice is still the same as I remember. I used to tune in to you and you kept me company when I was staying up late mugging for exams’,” Teoh tells The Nut Graph. “Those times are nice, being part of someone’s life when they were growing up, it’s the best part of the job.”

Other than his many years in radio broadcasting in Redifussion and Radio 4, Teoh worked as a part-time newscaster for TV3 when it first started broadcasting the news. Teoh also appeared alongside Chow Yuen-Fatt and Jodie Foster in Anna and the King in 1999, acting as a judge. He is now a full-time actor and a member of the Instant Café Theatre Company.

Teoh also writes on his blog Niamah!!!, where he comments, sometimes caustically, on the Malaysian political scene and public affairs in general. Teoh calls his blog an “outlet” and his small contribution in trying to combat Malaysian apathy.

The Nut Graph interviewed Teoh in Petaling Jaya on 27 July 2010.

TNG: Where were you born and where did you grow up?

Teoh at age four

Teoh at age four

Teoh: I was born in 1947 in Ipoh. I grew up in Ipoh. I attended St Michael’s Institution from Standard One until I finished with the School Leaving Certificate. At that time, you had to take an entrance exam to do the Higher School Certificate or A-Levels. I failed the entrance exam, that’s why I didn’t go to Form Six. So there went my mother’s dreams of her son going to university.

School was not so exciting for me. Due to my physical disability, I was not involved in sports or games. I did stuff like being president of the photographic society, debating, because that’s the one thing I could do, and elocution contests.

What are your strongest memories of the place where you grew up?

When I was growing up, we felt proud of our surroundings and country. I remember I used to swell with pride when we read geography books and they said Malaysia is the world’s biggest producer of tin or Malaysia has the best road system in Southeast Asia. Ipoh, then, had the reputation of being the cleanest town in Malaysia.

I remember seeing these road-sweepers with brooms fashioned out of bamboo. The broom would consist of two sticks of bamboo, slightly curved, with the leaves still intact and about 10 to 12 feet long. The sweepers would come twice a day to clean the streets.

I also remember that Ipoh was famous for the Chinese herbal tea stalls.

(Listen to Teoh describe the Chinese herbal tea stalls)

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Can you trace your ancestry? How did your grandparents come to Malaya?

My paternal grandparents I did not know very well. My paternal grandfather died when I was five. He worked for the colonial government as a chief clerk in a government department. My paternal grandmother was from China. She was one of those traditional ladies who always wore black, put her hair in a bun, and had bound feet and blue shoes. My father was born here.

My maternal grandparents were both from China. My mother was born [there]. She came over to Malaya when she was 14 years old.

My maternal grandfather died before I was born. My maternal grandmother lived until she was almost 100 years old. My best memories of her would be a humongous birthday party every year during her birthday. Our family had close to 200 people, grandchildren included, who’d come back from all parts of the country to celebrate in this huge mansion they had. They were very wealthy – they owned rubber estates and were involved in tin mining.

My father and mother were both Eng Choon Hokkien.

Are there any stories you hold on to from your family?

Teoh's mother

Teoh's mother

My mother told me about her life when she was a little girl in China. Back in those days, the family hierarchy system was very strict. At any meal, none of the daughters were allowed to eat at the first sitting. That was reserved for the mother, father and male offspring. Whatever they left behind became the girls’ meals. They were also not given rice, but gruel. Or they would be given leftover rice from the previous meal, added with hot water, for bulk.

It’s not that they were treated badly by their parents, they weren’t, but that was the way it was. Of course, going to school was reserved for males. They were not allowed to go out or go to school. All my mother’s sisters were not educated, including her, except for her youngest sister, who was born here.

Are there any aspects of your identity that you struggle with as a Malaysian?

I didn’t use to have any struggles at all being a Malaysian. But nowadays, I ask myself, what does being a Malaysian actually mean? I never had that problem before.

Until 15 or 16 years ago, I was a staunch supporter of the New Economic Policy (NEP) and the Barisan Nasional government. I had no problems with bumiputera status. I thought, simplistically and naively, I suppose, that being a citizen of a country with rich and poor, those richer have a duty towards those poorer. The NEP as a concept was very noble. It was supposed to lift people up to an average level.

But about 15 years ago or so, my feelings changed. Like many other Malaysians, I begin to see so much abuse. The NEP is not doing what I feel it should do; it’s not benefiting anyone that it should. We’re still the same as we were. And there’s this growing sense that I’m being asked to contribute more and get less.

Sure, we’re called pendatang, [by] clowns [who] say this. But after a while, you begin to feel that maybe it’s not just the clowns who are saying this, maybe it’s the government of the day who is also beginning to feel that way. Maybe it’s the government that actually wants people to believe that.

Describe the kind of Malaysia you’d like for yourself and for future generations.

We’re not that difficult a country to handle if only the politicians would stop politicising everything. We are blessed [with] so many resources, we should have built paradise on earth by now. Why is it that we are still the way we are? There is still abject poverty, there’s a wide gap between the middle class and the poor growing every day. We have an education system that does not work, and a public transport system that’s a joke. Why?

Teoh (far left) with his family

Teoh (left) with his family

We have everything to make everybody have a very comfortable life. We only have 28 million people. For years and years, we’ve had Petronas making billions, pumping oil like crazy, where’s that money gone to? Without being an economist, you would know that with the money Malaysia generates from its resources – palm oil, petroleum, tin – we are more than capable of building a wonderful country where everybody can partake of the fruits of the resources. So, it must be the management of the country that’s at fault, not the people.

We need to go back to the basics. [Take the film-making industry.] Like in so many other things, Malaysia was the leading film-making country in Southeast Asia not so many years ago, [surpassing Thailand and Singapore]. We were exporting our people to the Middle East, Hong Kong, Taiwan. Now, less than 20 years later, Thailand has a booming movie industry which is becoming recognised globally. Singapore is also the same. Where is Malaysia?

The Thai and Singaporean governments recognised the film-making industry’s role in bringing in foreign investment and technology transfer to the local industry. They actively backed the film industry in Thailand and Singapore. In Malaysia, the government talked about it and never did anything about it.

What is your Merdeka wish this year?

My Merdeka wish is one that I’ve made for more than 20 years, and which still hasn’t come true. That we will be one bangsa Malaysia, instead of always having to be defined as Chinese, Indian, Malay, lain-lain, Muslim, non-Muslim. 

The book Found in Malaysia, featuring 50 of our best interviews plus four previously unpublished ones with Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir and Ramli Ibrahim, is now available at all good bookstores for RM45.

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45 Responses to “Patrick Teoh: A still-unfulfilled Merdeka wish”

  1. Professor Rey says:

    Words of wisdom, Mr T. And unforgettable pictures!

  2. Andrew I says:

    From this interview, I can see the good in this person:

    We have everything to make everybody have a very comfortable life. We only have 28 million people. For years and years, we’ve had Petronas making billions, pumping oil like crazy, where’s that money gone to? Without being an economist, you would know that with the money Malaysia generates from its resources – palm oil, petroleum, tin – we are more than capable of building a wonderful country where everybody can partake of the fruits of the resources…

    Well, you took the words right out of my mouth, you son of a gun, Patrick. :-)

  3. m.k. says:

    Patrick, you said it for all of us! Hope those goons who are running the country will read this. Best wishes..

  4. Ellese A says:

    I find his argument shallow and lacking in depth. His worldview seems skewered, biased and partisan. Thus he tends to generalise and lack substance.

    Let me illustrate:

    He complains that we are facing a widening of income gap between rich, middle class and poor. This is a fallacy or at worse a blatant lie. I think Wong Chin Huat tried to spin this before but fell flat on his face. The Gini coefficient numbers do not support this. To the contrary it would show that since introduction of NEP the income disparity has improved.( please see his previous article on this in Nut Graph). In fact if you look at income household statistics, in 1990 more than 40% earned less than RM1000 but now bottom 40% earned less than RM2500. In 1990 only 1.7% earned more than RM5000 but now 20% earned more than RM5000. (You can easily verify this by search). So where does Patrick get his basis?

    He also complained that we did not manage our economy well. Not sure where he got his figures but the GDP and GNP numbers have shown very respectable numbers compare with any country in the world. In fact if you compare with nature-rich nations we have done very respectably. (Compare Indonesia, south American countries, central Asia and middle east). In fact one can easily argue that because of our good management of the economy we have improved leaps and bounds. (See also ’97 crisis). So Patrick’s statement is just too vague and general.

    Then he argued we should go back to basics. What does this mean? More market driven economy? Or more state regulated economy? More welfare economy? Go back to agriculture? Or what? Then how does film making business relates to going back to basics? What’s basic here?

    But why I find Patrick disturbing is his profound penchant for vulgarities and profanities. Go to his blog. This we must condemn or at least distance ourselves from. You may want to argue it’s his right of freedom to speak as such but even in the west profanities are frown upon as a public value. We should not condone such value and behaviour.

    • Pendatang says:

      Looks like the pot’s calling the kettle black.

      GDP and GNP numbers mean nothing. Any Geography or Economics student would tell you that. It is merely how much the country, as a whole, has. Why not look at income per capita? Or the PPP (purchasing power parity)? Sure, our GDP and GNP has gone up, and our income disparity might have improved. However, how much can we spend it on?

      Please do not ask Patrick Teoh to illustrate the whole point when you can’t do it yourself: Do consider that statistics are just numbers. It shows the difference in extremes of the income in general. Has it ever occurred to you that the policy is being abused by certain members of a certain political party that we all know? Do also take note that household items (and everything else, in fact) have been more and more expensive, yet our income remains quite stagnant.

      I urge you to stop throwing numbers around. Statistics are meant to give an illustration and SUPPORT your argument. It’s not supposed to be an argument by itself.

      And finally, for the love of God, it’s the internet. If you don’t like the guy, then don’t read it. Nobody’s forcing you to look through his blog. Stop being such a moral nazi.

    • Kels says:

      Ms Ellese A. ,

      Actually I find your antithesis quite hard to swallow. To quote from you,

      “In fact if you look at income household statistics, in 1990 more than 40% earned less than RM1000 but now bottom 40% earned less than RM2500. In 1990 only 1.7% earned more than RM5000 but now 20% earned more than RM5000. (You can easily verify this by search). So where does Patrick get his basis?”

      Yes, in numbers it looks like there has been some improvement throughout the years, but you FORGET that our money is still shrinking, so to speak, and standard of living here has increased. Have you thought about that? You can hardly buy anything with RM0.20, which could’ve bought a very good meal back then.

      “He also complained that we did not manage our economy well. Not sure where he got his figures but the GDP and GNP numbers have shown very respectable numbers compare with any country in the world. In fact if you compare with nature-rich nations we have done very respectably.”

      When I first read this, I was quite speechless. You seem to have a thing for figures and numbers but you don’t seem to open your mind to anything else. The GDP and GNP numbers might look good, but look at where we stand. Are we anywhere near Singapore? Don’t forget Singapore started with NOTHING, no natural resources, just ports, and look where they stand now. They are a DEVELOPED country one of the core countries in the world. With all our riches, we are still a DEVELOPING country. I have had situations where friends from over the seas ask me where I come from and when I answer, “Malaysia”, they gave me a blank stare. I then had to elaborate further, “The country above Singapore.” A country’s name that they had no problem recognizing. So tell me, honestly, do you still think our economy is well managed? Tell me what you see, not what the numbers tell you.

      Personally, I think what he means by ‘going back to the basics’ is…we need to start over. We need government [leaders] who love the country more than [themselves], less corruption, less nepotism, less cronyism. I use the word ‘less’ because I am being realistic, an ideal country would have no corruption, no nepotism, no cronyism and everyone hired by the government is based solely on their merits, but as we all know, no one can reach perfection.

      I think, you need to think outside the box. Don’t take everything you read literally… it makes your views very rigid and to some point, doesn’t make a lot of sense. No offense.

      • Redzuan says:

        RM0.20 can buy a good meal in 1990. What planet was that? I wasn’t on earth then. I couldn’t get teh ‘o’ for 20 sen back then.

        Carry on the good work, Patrick.

        • Kels says:

          Sorry =) I meant the early years*.

          I wasn’t born yet in 1990 anyway.

          Cheers

        • NurL says:

          RM0.20 might not buy you a good meal in 1990, but I can tell you that a chicken chop rice in 1993 only cost RM1.20 in Ipoh town. It’s our favourite after school-before tuition class lunch.

        • Izuar says:

          I remember back in the 1980s I went to school with only 50 sen and enjoyed a good meal during recess – nasi lemak or mee hoon for 20 sen, drinks for 10 sen, air tebu for 10 sen on the way home, and then I’d save the remaining 10 sen. 50 sen was a lot! But today, 50 sen is just enough for warm water at a restaurant. Sheesh!

    • KL says:

      Hi Ellese A,

      No offense but Im seriously wondering if d value of RM1000 back in 1990 stil has d same value now. Can we still buy chicken rice with less than RM1 like back in the 1990s now? Truth is, surviving in KL is almost a mission impossible with even RM3000 these days .. What more for those who earn less than RM2500 a month …

      And secondly … Why do we love to compare ourselves to those countries like Indonesia, South America, etc ? Why not compare ourselves to Singapore or Australia? Back in those days RM 1 = 1 Singapore dollar. What about now? How about other resource-rich countries like Sweden n Denmark? Why don’t we compare Malaysia to them as well? Denmark once a heavily relied on agriculture. Look where are they now.

      I’m not trying to take sides but the truth is this is the reality. Malaysia seriously needs to buck up before the likes of Indonesia will one day surpass us …

    • Andrew says:

      You forgot about inflation and rising cost of living. Your arguments don’t exactly add depth in any way too.

      How about going back to the basics of a corruption-free government?

      Dude, are actually a Malaysian living in Malaysia? I’m beginning to suspect your world view consist of the piece of rock that you live under.

      And whatever he does at his blog is his business lah. What’s it got to do with this interview? [...]

    • ericleeh says:

      Not meaning to be rude but I too found your argument to be lacking in depth too. If you wanna compare our household income, would you kindly compare the price of food and goods back in 1990 and now? Despite prices of everything increasing dramatically, the rise in household income cannot keep up that much to it. Can you define specifically what is rich, middle class or poor? Having a monthly income of RM2000 in 1990 and RM2000 in 2010 is two totally different matters. Don’t you agree?

      When Patrick Teoh talked about going back to basic, I don’t think you get it. He DID meat for it to be general and not in any specific field. He uses the film-making industry as only AN EXAMPLE. What I sense in you is that you do not see his point on why he’s pointing out film-making industry probably because you thought it is unimportant? Do you even know the influence of film industry to the world? Do you know the importance of it in influencing one’s economy? It can boost foreign investment and also the tourism industry which can definitely help our nation’s economy a lot which our government seems to have neglected. What makes you think so many people want to invest in Hollywood movies? If you said that we shouldn’t compare with them, then why shouldn’t we compare with them? If we are afraid to compare, it means we lack of confidence and guts to work for success.

      When you say to compare with countries that are rich in natural resources, has our country done better than them? About 20 years ago, we said that out country is better than Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, China. Now, we don’t even dare to compare ourselves to them anymore. Even Indonesia is growing steadily. Middle east countries? They might have petroleum, natural gases etc. But they don’t have any agriculture resources or timber like we have here. Our country has more types of natural resources here but yet our status remain as a “developing country” rather than a “developed country”? Why are we lacking behind countries that do not have as much natural resources? Our country too is considered small compared to Japan, China and America?

      May be you are slightly biased as well? When you said to distance from vulgarities and profanities in expressing our speech, but why not confront and question about it? Rather than being anonymous in expressing, why not show yourself?

    • koala says:

      Hello friend,

      Numbers count for nothing la.

      Just look around you, look at our political atmosphere, look at the condition of our society. If you think things are fine, look harder a bit.

  5. Andrew I says:

    La di da.

    The pros and cons of using profanities and sporting a colourful hairstyle.

    Anyone?

    • Kong Kek Kuat says:

      @ Andrew I

      La di di.

      Might I add… the pros and cons of education — you can train a horse to be a donkey (dumbing down), but you can´t train a donkey to be a horse.

      (Please note that my comment is based on this webpage up to the 1st Sep, 2010.)

      • Andrew I says:

        Yes, Kek Kuat, one can easily become shorter by just squatting down.

        Which reminds me of an old tale I read about Winston Churchill. Now, old Winston was known to be fond of his drink and during one dinner party, he had a few too many. One woman went up to him and said, ” Sir, you are drunk.”

        To which our Aryan killer replied: “And you, Madam, are ugly. But, tomorrow morning, I shall be sober.”

  6. Andrew I says:

    @ Ellese A

    Without being a pathologist, I can confirm that I haven’t seen Patrick sport a colourful hairstyle.

    What’s your take, if and when he does?

  7. E. Sell says:

    Thanks for making me LOL, Ellese A.! [...]

    If one was earning RM1000 in 1990, one would be included in the bottom 40%, now if one’s earnings drop to RM500, one would also be included in the less than RM2500 category, right? What great statistical analysis! LOL!
    Although, in 1990, RM2.50 = USD1.00, now RM3.50 = USD1.00, so certainly we are all wealthier(?) Hmmm? And do those numbers also account for inflation? Oh, well, you tried!

    “….GDP and GNP numbers have shown very respectable numbers compare with any country in the world.” And what are those numbers? Talk about Patrick being “too vague and general”!

    [...]

  8. Robert Lam says:

    Well said, Patrick.

    I would agree that with good management , the vast natural resources like petroleum, palm oil, rubber and tin the economy should have grown by leaps and bounds but did not. Just look at Singapore with none of the above but their currency is stronger than ours ( almost 2.3 times )

    Unless we are blind, the leakages in the system is unbelievable. Look at PKFZ ( up to 12 billion ringgit ); Forex losses ( more than 12 billion ringgit ) ; foraging in the tin stabilisation market using Maminco ( tens of billion ringgit ) ; Matrade building delayed and cost over-run ; Shah Alam hospital construction delay and cost over-run ; Kuching Prison construction delay and cost over run; MBF, Bank Bumiputra, Bank Rakyat’s fraud and scandal.

    Thousands more instances beyond the scope of this comment can be itemised but due to space constraints I would not do it here.

  9. sinsear says:

    >Ellese A

    - In 1990 a packet of noodles from the hawker stall costs RM2.

    - He didn’t ‘argue’ going back to basics.

    - Aren’t you being vague when saying his blog is profane? What is profane about it?

  10. BNatang says:

    1957 – Malaysia merdeka (got petroleum, palm oil, tin, rubber…)
    1965 – Singapura merdeka (quite a barren land)

    2010 – RM2.45/SGD1.00

    Umno sucks!!!

  11. Sinbad says:

    Ellese A: [...] You have proved my theory that we are where we are because of thousands like you who continue to blithely shore up misrule and mismanagement.

    There is very little hope for the few who hope for real national transformation so that Malaysia may, at the very least, be on par with Singapore. I know that among civil servants, such a statement is heresy if not bordering on treason. But considering how far back we have fallen from what was once part of us, you must agree that it is a natural aspiration. So let’s not fool around with some superficial knowledge of statistics. Let’s strive to be as successful as Singapore in all that it has achieved.

  12. mahmood says:

    Ellese A,

    Jawab la si Cina kat atas. Saya pun ingin tahu. Duit gaji aku tiap-tiap tahun tak tentu naik tapi kadar inflasi tu tentu guaranti naik di negara kita. Depa ingat budak-budak Melayu yang demo kat Bersih tu mengamok tak tentu pasal ke? Naik je harga minyak, naik hampir semua benda. Si mamak kata roti canai dia kena juga naik sebab tepung naik. Tepung naik sebab pengangkutan naik. Yang tak naik tu gaji orang kecil macam aku je. Kalau dulu berlauk, kini berkuah je.

    Aku tak pandai macam kau boleh baca statistik. Aku kekadang masih merana sebab tak cukup duit untuk menyara kehidupan di Kuala Lumpur.

    Ellese A, jawab la…jangan tak jawab.

  13. Ellese A says:

    Dear all,

    Thank you for giving me a good laugh too.

    To argue that GDP numbers don’t reflect the increasing wealth of everybody I can only laugh. Of course it will. Thus you see in 70s our GDP per capita is USD3000 and now USD14,000. That’s why it’s in line with the stats I gave of increasing wealth of households income. It’s already a fact. If you can give different data go ahead but you can’t. There has been increase in wealth during BN’s reign. It’s already a fact. To deny this is untruthful and deceitful.

    On the argument that our currency was stronger previously, it’s immaterial. The GDP per capita is already based in USD and there’s a marked increase in wealth generated by the BN government. In any event even if you look at PPP per capita figures it’s still around USD14000. So by any measurement there’s increase in wealth. So where did Patrick get his facts from? Or was he bias and partisan?

    On inflation, our numbers are low simply because it’s subsidized. But if you look at purchasing power parity we have still improved. Whatever it is you can’t deny improvement in standard and quality of life during BN reign. On a personal level for example we previously could afford one or two cars but now many have more than 2. Why deny this? Unless you’re biased. Unless you’re partisan.

    On comparing with other countries of course you look at overall. Why Singapore only? Thus if you look at our competitiveness ranking it’s still at a respectable top ten in the world. We are also respectable according to Newsweek. Of course we can be better but to be blind as Patrick is in denying all this success and improvement is wrong.

    You must look at overall figures and surroundings. Of course there are deficiencies and room for improvement but to say we are wholly mismanaged is untruthful. You can’t deny BN actually raised our standard of living markedly.

    Finally for you calling me not to argue on stats, you must be joking. We can’t be arguing [based] on perceptions which are subjective. If you disagree provide lah, contrary data and figures. What a childlike argument.

    • zozo says:

      “To argue that GDP numbers don’t reflect the increasing wealth of everybody I can only laugh. Of course it will. Thus you see in 70s our GDP per capita is USD3000 and now USD14,000. That’s why it’s in line with the stats I gave of increasing wealth of households income. It’s already a fact. If you can give different data go ahead but you can’t. There has been increase in wealth during BN’s reign. It’s already a fact. To deny this is untruthful and deceitful.”

      If wealth wasn’t increased in line with inflation we would be, for the sake of this thread, f***ed. However, from a macroeconomic level, we should look at the efficiency at which resources are allocated in the nation. When we should have achieved more GDP/capita, perhaps that of Singapore’s, we have only achieved a fraction of this due to incapable management (no prizes who naming which party). Seems like you are contented with less than spectacular achievements that our nation have achieved so far. Very much in line with the attitude of our leaders.

      “On the argument that our currency was stronger previously, it’s immaterial. The GDP per capita is already based in USD and there’s a marked increase in wealth generated by the BN government. In any event even if you look at PPP per capita figures it’s still around USD14000. So by any measurement there’s increase in wealth. So where did Patrick get his facts from? Or was he bias and partisan?”

      Currency has everything to do with affordability which in turn has everything to do with PPP. Again, can I emphasize that there’s an increase in wealth. Even Uganda has an increase in wealth over a x-year horizon. But are we contented with the increase? Are we contented with the growth? I am not. I want to compare us against the best of the nations out there because I have that burning ambition to be the best, and this once applies to my once-beloved nation. However, seems like you are happy under your little coconut shell.

      “On inflation, our numbers are low simply because it’s subsidized. But if you look at purchasing power parity we have still improved. Whatever it is you can’t deny improvement in standard and quality of life during BN reign. On a personal level for example we previously could afford one or two cars but now many have more than 2. Why deny this? Unless you’re biased. Unless you’re partisan.”

      We have to benchmark on how well we progressed against other nations, particularly the ones which have almost similar starting grounds at us. We totally got beat. If you’d like to compare Malaysia against the likes of Middle East and South America just to make you feel a tinge of superiority so be it. Myself, along with other driven fellow citizens would like to compare against the best of the best. You can stick to your comfort zone or you can change your mindset and join the boat.

      “On comparing with other countries of course you look at overall. Why Singapore only? Thus if you look at our competitiveness ranking it’s still at a respectable top ten in the world. We are also respectable according to Newsweek. Of course we can be better but to be blind as Patrick is in denying all this success and improvement is wrong.”

      I don’t think you should skew your argument this way and bash someone just because he offers his thoughts on something that can be improved on. Patrick has never denied there were successes and improvements vs. decades ago. My sentiment is that Patrick is disappointed with the way the ruling government has handled the country (as there are plenty of room of improvements if we look down, up, left and right).

      “You must look at overall figures and surroundings. Of course there are deficiencies and room for improvement but to say we are wholly mismanaged is untruthful. You can’t deny BN actually raised our standard of living markedly.”

      Again you are using words to suit your arguments “WHOLLY MISMANAGED” was never once mentioned or insinuated. In fact, on a personal level, I think it’s 99% mismanaged. So technically it still isn’t WHOLLY MISMANAGED.

      “Finally for you calling me not to argue on stats, you must be joking. We can’t be arguing [based] on perceptions which are subjective. If you disagree provide lah, contrary data and figures. What a childlike argument.”

      You are beginning to sound like the MACC’s chief prosecutor whereby he has a script ready and does not listen to any arguments or comments. The commentators in this blog mentioned that you should rely on statistics to support your argument, not use statistics as a focal point of an argument. Can you see the difference?

      The majority of us Internet-savvy Malaysians are intelligent enough not to be brainwashed by propaganda published by government owned media. And therefore, to suggest that “we are arguing based on perceptions which are subjective” shows immaturity on your part.

      To sumarise, I share Patrick’s sentiments, and I don’t discount the fact that we have prospered over the years. But we could have had more (eg, bridging the income gap, have better infrastructure, education etc).

    • Andrew I says:

      Statistics are showing that the mainstream media is experiencing a drop in circulation.

      Judging by the quality and quantity of your postings and that you find issue with most of the views expressed here, perhaps you should consider posting there, since you insist that all of what you say is fact-based.

      Maybe then we might be able to witness an increase in circulation figures which can only be described as leaps and bounds…lah.

  14. Ellese A says:

    On profanities, after I gave my comments above, he posted it on his blog, linked this site and wrote “let’s see whose going to get f…cked.”

    Very immature and puerile mindset this Patrick Teoh has apart from being vulgar.

  15. Ellese A says:

    Just a correction. Patrick’s actual wording which has the same effect is: ” No prize for guessing who is about to get [f...]!”

  16. Sakari says:

    It’s not whether we can buy a meal now with 20 sen or not (which I don’t think we can, haha… roti krim already 60 sen compared to when I was a child, 30 sen can buy snacks to fill my tummy!)… but the issue here is how much we can survive on our meager earnings. I don’t want to repeatedly compare our country to others, but I thought the government always said “Pandang ke Timur” so why are we not looking at Singapore, our closest neighbor?

    Don’t talk about transport and amenities, let’s talk about the basic human need – FOOD. If I earn RM2000 and my Singaporean counterpart earns SGD2000, who is at the short end of the stick when it comes to paying for our meals? I pay RM3.50 for a bowl of noodles and RM 1.80 for iced milo, while my Singaporean counterpart pays SGD2.50 and SGD1.20 for the same thing. This is the coffeeshop I’m talking about. Don’t get me started on meals in so-called air conditioned shopping mall food courts! :(

    I don’t know GDP from ABC but I know it costs even more to survive in this country compared to our nearest Asian neighbor.

    Happy Merdekaraya everyone.

  17. NurL says:

    I only have one question, how come I have to pay RM40k for my Kelisa but my friend in Thailand only pays RM29k??? BN is good? How?

  18. Adnan says:

    Who is this [...] Ellese? He is saying a lot BUT a lot of nothing…[...]. His comment that every household owns more than 2 cars, now….you like stats… can you tell me how many of those cars are actually paid off or OWNED? Living on borrowed finances isn’t a higher standard of living.

    I live in Australia and the last 5 years I have had enjoyed going back to Malaysia for holiday my A$$$$ got me more ringgit than ever, much more than 5 years ago. [...]

  19. TKW says:

    Ellese A,

    Despite all the postings trying to enlighten you on the current scenario, you’re still living in denial. Thus, I can only draw the following conclusions:

    1)Your maths and statistics sucks. [...]
    2)Your logic [...]
    3)Your attitude [...]
    [...]

    The above conclusions are not true ‘if and only if’ you were born just yesterday. If that’s really the case….. I’ll offer my apology.

    You flamed Patrick with all sorts of screwed logic and expect people to be decent to you? What kind of expectation is that? Don’t even bother to quote me in your reply. [...]

    Everyone else,
    Selamat Hari Raya. Enjoy your holidays.

  20. pywong says:

    Ellese’s figures “in 70s our GDP per capita is USD3000 and now USD14,000.” are wrong! A more realistic figure is USD 1200 and USD 7000. Using paper currency as a measure of income is like taking measurements with a rubber ruler.

    Try gold.

    In 1970, an amah earned 0.476 oz/gold a month. Today, a professional graduate earns 0.425 oz/gold a month. Where is the improvement in standard?

    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=426691991723&oid=120002214717368

  21. born2reign says:

    In 1993, fresh graduates earn RM1200 per month, ie 2.0 oz gold.
    in 2010, fresh graduates earn RM2000 p/m, ie 0.46 oz gold (Wealth reduced by 434%).

    In 1993, a 22×75 terrace house in PJ is about RM150k.
    In 2010. the 22×75 same house in PJ is about RM500k or more (Goods costs increased by 333%).

    Let’s add toll charges, increased parking and petrol costs, childcare, medical bills, insurance, car loans (coz public transport gets you nowhere), water and electricity charges increase due to monopoly, security costs due to high crime rate, etc etc etc

    Bumiputera orang asli who are non-Muslims are hard core poor, because BN only build houses for orang asli who convert to Islam otherwise no brick houses or amenities… while Khir Toyo [...] enjoys bumiputera status and a RM23 mil house [...].

    Compared to 50 years ago, the top 3 killers were malaria, smallpox & some other virus/bacteria but today they are heart attack, then stroke and road accidents. We spend our youth chasing money and then in the golden years spend the money to chase after health (or our parents’). Today we are consuming too much hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, melamine, synthetic vitamins and minerals, trans-fat…even the chicken and vege that we buy with inflated prices are not NATURAL anymore.

    Today:
    ~ we eat chemicals to survive,
    ~ are told by BN that Malays hate other races and other races better be very very afraid of emotional Malays who hate pendatangs,
    ~ [...]
    ~ hence Malays are not entirely Muslims by birth
    ~ 1Malaysia is just 1Najib, judging by all the Najib billboards around town
    ~ we cannot eat alongside Malays because they are too sensitive to our non-halal cursed food.
    ~ [...]
    ~ non-Malay Malaysians born in this country and who fought for this country are not patriotic and not grateful
    ~ Malays with low grades are given scholarships, but non-Malays have limited quota
    ~ Malays and non-Malays still believe that our Ringgit is backed by gold (ROFL)
    ~ Government wants to implement GST but still has not abolished APs??!!! Why do Umnpo-puteras still need APs to survive, their rice bows are getting smaller too?

  22. Teh says:

    Hi,

    I’m no economist.

    By looking at Income per capita ranking http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DATASTATISTICS/Resources/GNIPC.pdf , I’m afraid to say that I’m not proud of the ranking. Of course certain quarters will compare us with other countries like Fiji or Pakistan.

    But we have to be realistic, how many of us actually have income per capita of USD15,000. My wild guess is more than 60% are below USD15K. The statistic shows on average.

    • farha says:

      After reading your comment, I went on an exercise of converting my per annum ringgit income into USD. :P Not a pretty figure!

  23. Rosalyn says:

    Replying to TKW

    “Ellese A,

    Despite all the postings trying to enlighten you on the current scenario, you’re still living in denial. Thus, I can only draw the following conclusions:

    1)Your maths and statistics sucks. [...]
    2)Your logic [...]
    3)Your attitude [...]
    [...]”

    May I add also…
    4) Honestly, how much are you being paid? =)

    Yes, Ellese A, you are being very logical by arguing based on statistics and numbers and figures. No doubt about that.

    But what I suggest you do is to really come down to earth. Set your foot on the ground, and not just hover above it.

    Journalist are always told to “go down to the waters and swim with the people” in order to write about a flood than to just write it by looking out from a hotel window.

    Just take a good look around you. And look hard. Then you’ll understand what everybody means.

  24. Rosalyn says:

    And using profanities is a personal choice. You are nobody to judge.

  25. Kaza says:

    Ellese A,

    “But why I find Patrick disturbing is his profound penchant for vulgarities and profanities. Go to his blog. This we must condemn or at least distance ourselves from. You may want to argue it’s his right of freedom to speak as such but even in the west profanities are frown upon as a public value. We should not condone such value and behaviour”

    As you’ve mentioned above, we should distant ourselves from PT’s blog which is full of vlugarities & prefanities, it makes me wonder as to why are you still reading his blog & hence the next comment below :

    “On profanities, after I gave my comments above, he posted it on his blog, linked this site and wrote ‘let’s see whose going to get f…cked.’ Very immature and puerile mindset this Patrick Teoh has apart from being vulgar.”

    Erm… who’s being immature here?

  26. fika N. says:

    Salam,

    I believe most Malaysian citizens feel exactly the same way. The question is, when will we achieve this? We as lay[persons] and ordinary citizens can instill and distribute love among fellow Malaysians.

  27. Izuar says:

    Ellese A

    Statistics and evidence that you include in your argument is EXCELLENT for essay writing in public examination. It does not really impress people who are living in reality, struggling to make the ends meet and shaking their heads when the prices of goods keep on rising. Your data – just keep it in your exercise books.

  28. miky says:

    Malaysia will become like Argentina or the Philippines soon. Many of the rich, including rich Malay [Malaysians], are moving their assets out of the country, leaving the poor people behind plus the cheap foreign labourers. Later we [are likely to turn into] a [third-world] country rather than a developing one. More and more property will left empty, because people are so poor that we are unable to rent or sell. We will see the drop of property prices across the whole country, as people are cashing out to migrate overseas.

    We will not meet our 2020 target [...] by then, all Malay and non-Malay [Malaysians] will suffer. We know who is causing this issue, but [perhaps] it is too late to stop it [as we would] need at least 20 to 30 years to fix it. My advice is to move out ASAP!


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