costs. Malays▓ia's shadow economy has been estimated by▓ various s
tudies to range between 30 percent and 47 ▓percent of its GDP up till 2010.The anti-China narrative ma▓y be couched in terms of multifaceted grievances, such as jobs and the South China Sea but it boi▓ls down to commissions for middlemen who con▓tribute little or nothing in terms of value-additions to projects, products or services offered by mainland compa▓nies.Media CompradorsThe biggest impediment to the Malaysian economy is not China, but its business m
odus operandi or the lack of local talent. It is the Malaysian media
, which has failed to relay grassroots ideas and innovations to national pol▓icy-makers for decades. The author himse▓lf recalls the lament of Dr Mahathir's former na▓tional science advisor on the dearth of science journa▓lists in Malaysia, which translates to recurring losses in taxpayer funds. There is an oft-▓told account of how a fact-finding delegation to the Un▓ited States, seeking particular expertise in renewable energy technology, were told tha
t the expert ▓they were looking for was a Malaysian acade
m▓ic back home in Kuala Lumpur!Researchers needing critical economic or scientific data on Malaysia are lik▓ely to get them from foreign sources. Publici▓ty-seeking experts are routinely sought for their banal insights. Malaysia is losing its ec▓onomic and intellectual competitiveness due to▓ entrenched practises of mediocrity promoting mediocrity – egged on by Western interests. This forms the main backdrop to the current anti-Chin▓a narrative.
;Local media stalwarts blame politicians, in particular
Dr Mahathir himself (during his previous 22-year reign) for the lack of local media vigour and freedoms. While media r▓estrictions exist, one wonders how proposed article▓s on topics such as Open Governance could be viewed as subv▓ersive.It is high time to drain the swamp in Malaysia. Dr Mahathir has already indicated the bloated 1.6 million-strong civil service in Malaysia would be pruned to promote economic and government▓ transparency. For decades, succ