#kerajaangagal30 – How to translate Pandelela and other Malaysians’ individual talents, brain power, resources and skills also into making Malaysia a world-class great nation?

I support the idea of the national diver and gold medallist Pandelela Rina being conferred a “Datuk” title and would further suggest that she should also be honoured by the Federal government.

She has brought plaudits and fame not only to Sarawak but also to Malaysia.

For the past 50 years, Malaysia has regressed and allowed one nation after another to overtake us in various fields of human endeavour.

Fifty years ago, one Malaysian ringgit was equivalent to one Singapore dollar. Now, it is S$1 to RM3. What will it be like in 2050 or 2070?

Since 1970, the GDP of Malaysia has increased 90 times but Indonesia has increased by 117 times, Vietnam 122 times, China 163 times, Singapore 175 times and South Korea 178 times.

After the past 50 years, both Singapore and Vietnam have overtaken Malaysia in having larger GDPs.

When Muhyiddin Yassin was the Education Minister at the beginning of the last decade, he launched the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 in September 2012 for Malaysia to become a “wonder nation” and to make the quantum jump from the bottom third to top third of 2021 PISA (Programme for International Assessment) tests.

But this had been a dismal failure, for instead of leaping into the top third of the PISA tests, Malaysia’s 2018 PISA results had been worse than the 2015 PISA results in all the three subjects of maths, science and reading and we are still far from the top third among the 80 PISA participating countries.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the weaknesses of Malaysian government and governance, as eyes are focussed on the devastation to lives and communities taking place in India instead of to the success stories like countries in East Asia, ASEAN and the Pacific.


Pandelala, the 28-year-old diving champion from Sarawak; the 22-year-old Lee Zii Jia from Alor Setar who won the All-England Badminton Singles title; 35-year-old artist Red Hong Yi from Sabah, the Malaysian who shot to international fame for the memorable Time Magazine April 26 cover image, burning 50,000 match-sticks in her final design of a 2.3m x 3m world map to highlight how climate change can affect and destroy the world; the 16-year-old Emir Haady Imran Zulharnain, who became the youngest person ever to enrol at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI) in Dublin, Ireland; the 23 year-old Nurul Ezzaty Hasbullah, who was awarded the oldest international scholarship programme in the world, the Rhodes Scholarship to continue her studies at the University of Oxford - the fifth Malaysian to be awarded with the scholarship; and Scientist Prof Dr. Serena Nik-Zainal who was honoured with an award originally known as the ‘Nobel Prize for Cancer Research’ have shown that Malaysia does not lack talents, brain-power, resources and skills as to be destined to lose out to other nations?

The tricky question is how to translate these individual talents, brain-power, resources and skills into also making Malaysia a world-class great nation.

This should be food for thought for all Malaysians.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri