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Rich Malaysia, Poor Malaysians: Essays on Energy, Economy and Education

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Malaysia is blessed with abundant natural resources, petroleum being the most precious. With income per capita of about US$9,970 and Petronas continuously providing an onerously generous 40 per cent to government revenues, Malaysia has all the essential ingredients to flourish. It remains a mystery as to why and how this small country of 30 million people managed to shockin Malaysia is blessed with abundant natural resources, petroleum being the most precious. With income per capita of about US$9,970 and Petronas continuously providing an onerously generous 40 per cent to government revenues, Malaysia has all the essential ingredients to flourish. It remains a mystery as to why and how this small country of 30 million people managed to shockingly assume the unsolicited title of the region’s most unequal nation. Have we the common people, appreciated how much wealth Malaysia has? Do we have a clear picture as to how such wealth was spent? In these essays, the author attempts to uncover how our oil and gas resources were developed and whether they have been exploited for or, rather, at the expense of the general public. The oil royalty dynamics are also explained step-by-step to provide a context to the on-going saga. How does the exploitation of this fast-depleting resource play a pivotal role in the multiple socio-economic realities we face, ranging from household debt to income inequality, stagnant wages and poor educational standards in international rankings? Is our national education a failure? Should we teach Philosophy in universities? What are the myths of the rich and poor? How can education alleviate the poor? Encounter failures inherent in the education system and discover the spirit of education volunteerism as possible ways out. This forms the raison d’etre for Teach for The Needs (TFTN) – to promote education equality among underprivileged children. Such a riposte to the current malaise in education begs the question, is school a betrayal to education itself? Is the time ripe to replace our current national philosophy of education with love and free education? The author’s search for enlightening answers to some of these hard pressing questions gave birth to this book where a mixture of ideas, ideals and critical proposals coalesce into one. Deliberations in this book are hardly the author’s alone – it is humbly shared in the hopes that they can be expounded further through the public domain. To that end – requiro! Categories: Criticism, Economics, Education, Energy, Essays, Malaysia, Oil and Gas, Pedagogy, Philosophy, Policy, Political and Social Views, Politics, Public Policy, Trade, Volunteerism


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Malaysia is blessed with abundant natural resources, petroleum being the most precious. With income per capita of about US$9,970 and Petronas continuously providing an onerously generous 40 per cent to government revenues, Malaysia has all the essential ingredients to flourish. It remains a mystery as to why and how this small country of 30 million people managed to shockin Malaysia is blessed with abundant natural resources, petroleum being the most precious. With income per capita of about US$9,970 and Petronas continuously providing an onerously generous 40 per cent to government revenues, Malaysia has all the essential ingredients to flourish. It remains a mystery as to why and how this small country of 30 million people managed to shockingly assume the unsolicited title of the region’s most unequal nation. Have we the common people, appreciated how much wealth Malaysia has? Do we have a clear picture as to how such wealth was spent? In these essays, the author attempts to uncover how our oil and gas resources were developed and whether they have been exploited for or, rather, at the expense of the general public. The oil royalty dynamics are also explained step-by-step to provide a context to the on-going saga. How does the exploitation of this fast-depleting resource play a pivotal role in the multiple socio-economic realities we face, ranging from household debt to income inequality, stagnant wages and poor educational standards in international rankings? Is our national education a failure? Should we teach Philosophy in universities? What are the myths of the rich and poor? How can education alleviate the poor? Encounter failures inherent in the education system and discover the spirit of education volunteerism as possible ways out. This forms the raison d’etre for Teach for The Needs (TFTN) – to promote education equality among underprivileged children. Such a riposte to the current malaise in education begs the question, is school a betrayal to education itself? Is the time ripe to replace our current national philosophy of education with love and free education? The author’s search for enlightening answers to some of these hard pressing questions gave birth to this book where a mixture of ideas, ideals and critical proposals coalesce into one. Deliberations in this book are hardly the author’s alone – it is humbly shared in the hopes that they can be expounded further through the public domain. To that end – requiro! Categories: Criticism, Economics, Education, Energy, Essays, Malaysia, Oil and Gas, Pedagogy, Philosophy, Policy, Political and Social Views, Politics, Public Policy, Trade, Volunteerism

30 review for Rich Malaysia, Poor Malaysians: Essays on Energy, Economy and Education

  1. 5 out of 5

    Muhamad Syahmi

    interesting discussion for those who wants to change Malaysia for the better. I wish there is also some in depth critique on the opposition manifestos and policy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Faiz Azizan

    The first two chapters were pretty good (about the Oil and Gas industry as well as the socio-economic status in Malaysia). Since the author is someone who had had a lot of experiences in O&G industry for a decade already, he explained about how the money generated from PETRONAS is used since its establishment and how it can be improved to bring PETRONAS forward. This was definitely a good chapter. The socioeconomic part was tied up really well with the first chapter along with his deep research. The first two chapters were pretty good (about the Oil and Gas industry as well as the socio-economic status in Malaysia). Since the author is someone who had had a lot of experiences in O&G industry for a decade already, he explained about how the money generated from PETRONAS is used since its establishment and how it can be improved to bring PETRONAS forward. This was definitely a good chapter. The socioeconomic part was tied up really well with the first chapter along with his deep research. However, at the next two chapters, education and volunteerism, they felt sp repetitive. For every subchapters of the respective chapters, it seems that the same figures and same ideas were used. I get that he is passionate about Education &and Volunteerism through his involvement in Teaching For The Needs (TFTN) but for them to be the two longest chapters of the book, it kinda brought down the whole book. That being said, the book could've been shorter (After all, it's just a compilation of essays) with filtering what are the important stuffs and also focusing on the coherence and fluidity from one chapter to another.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sherryl

    Another book published by Gerakbudaya with sub-par editing. I almost quit reading while I was still in the Foreword (which would have brought the total number of books I have ever intentionally stopped reading to two). "who breathe life into me", "So stuck he did, in the local trenches, or rather offshore hardship", "Some have accused him, as well as us, as cherry-picking", "He has tread, not so gingerly", "they can't read, nor write", and the one that makes me cringe the most "I continue to exp Another book published by Gerakbudaya with sub-par editing. I almost quit reading while I was still in the Foreword (which would have brought the total number of books I have ever intentionally stopped reading to two). "who breathe life into me", "So stuck he did, in the local trenches, or rather offshore hardship", "Some have accused him, as well as us, as cherry-picking", "He has tread, not so gingerly", "they can't read, nor write", and the one that makes me cringe the most "I continue to explore, dangerously, I hope". All that, and more, within the first 25 pages. My brain was screaming in pain and threatening to permanently shut itself down just to get away from what my eyes were force-feeding it. Fortunately, the torture ended once I got through the Forewords and started on the book itself. I was also highly distracted by overuse (and incorrect use) of "First World" and "Third World". I can forgive someone who uses the term "Third World" in place of "developing" a couple of times. They probably do not use the term enough to have ever wondered what it means. But the author uses those terms so regularly. It really irked me that he never once stopped and wondered "hey, does that term mean what I think it means? Perhaps I should look it up before I publish it for an audience of millions and billions to read." Ok. Now that I've vented that, I can get on with the positives. I found his writings on petroleum and socio-economics to be incredibly informative. I do feel that I have a better understanding these topics. As a Sarawakian, I knew that Sarawak was one of the poorest regions of Malaysia and that our royalty was 5%, but I had no idea how much more the federal government was earning in addition to their chunk of royalties as well. His articles on Malaysia's current socio-economic status and the potential effect from the TPPA was definitely an interesting read. It is a good primer for anyone looking for a crash course on those topics. His section on Education, I felt, was adequate. It was OK, but not great. His section on Volunteerism was kind of annoying. I felt that this whole section was just a plug for his Teach For The Needs organization.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Maryam Khalid

    I salute the authors efforts in disclosing the O&G status in Malaysia for laymen to understand. Furthermore, his policy recommendations especially with regards to education need to be nationalised and used by the policy makers today. In my opinion, the author is the person that knows what he talks about and even walks the talk. He had served in O&G industry for quite some time and he is heavily involved with volunteerism in educating the needy through his foundation called TFTN (Teach for the Ne I salute the authors efforts in disclosing the O&G status in Malaysia for laymen to understand. Furthermore, his policy recommendations especially with regards to education need to be nationalised and used by the policy makers today. In my opinion, the author is the person that knows what he talks about and even walks the talk. He had served in O&G industry for quite some time and he is heavily involved with volunteerism in educating the needy through his foundation called TFTN (Teach for the Needs). The only problem that I have with the essays was only on the referencing part. Since the subjects put forward by the author dealt with a lot of numbers and statistics in backing up the author's argument, I think most readers would appreciate, if the author/editor had put in more time in including those referencing. That would certainly make the essays to be the top notch piece in revealing the definite economic, socio-politics and education problems that Malaysia is going through. Nevertheless, this book is a good read and an eye opener for those out there who wants to know the real problem that Malaysia and Malaysians are facing. The Malay version 'Malaysia Kaya, Rakyat Miskin' should be on everyone's to read list if you find reading the English jargon difficult to understand.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Fera Aisyah M Khalil

    Would definitely recommend it! skeptical with the economic figures at first but did some fact check and find the data reliable. A book filled with constructive criticism and excellent ideas on ways to improve the appalling state of the nation.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hadi Muss

    It's a fresh read about my own beloved country I'd ever read this year (2019). I struggled holding my eyes from falling asleep part 2 but part 3 and 4 (Education and Volunteerism) intrest me the most. Overall it's a good, informational book. Just a little thought; I wonder the author's point of view of now after our nation latest election which PH won and the progressed after it. It's a fresh read about my own beloved country I'd ever read this year (2019). I struggled holding my eyes from falling asleep part 2 but part 3 and 4 (Education and Volunteerism) intrest me the most. Overall it's a good, informational book. Just a little thought; I wonder the author's point of view of now after our nation latest election which PH won and the progressed after it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Izhaq Sam

    It is very well detailed writing about Malaysia economically and demographically. I as a Malaysian myself feel very well connected to other fellow Malaysians of different races while reading this book. Hopefully, we all can learn something new in order to make a better future for us and our children.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Abdul Syakur

    Good read for every malaysian who wants to know more about their own country. Unfortunately I read it after the change of goverment though the book was written before it. If you have or want to read this, you also need to check out on book written by Muhammad Khalid “Colour of Inequality”.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mark Jue

    The author has a broad knowledge about what is happening in Malaysia. Yes it is true, we are learning/studying to achieve certain benchmark set by our beloved government. How to utilise it, so that it will remain at our fingertips? 😅

  10. 4 out of 5

    Prashanth

    A decent bedside reading book, this is a book consisting of a compilation of essays. It does an okay job of creating some awareness of socioeconomic issues (such as TPPA, education etc) but lacks the depth in some areas.

  11. 5 out of 5

    izzat

    He didn't only talk about what are the problems, but provide some suggestion as well. He didn't only talk about what are the problems, but provide some suggestion as well.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Muhammad

    Unexpectedly good. Simple but valid.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mineko

    excited

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mohamad Firdaus

  15. 4 out of 5

    Muhd Baderi

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ali Hasan

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nur Shahbinar Ahmad Radzi

  18. 5 out of 5

    Helmi Beddu

  19. 4 out of 5

    Theroadlesstraveled

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mnoor

  21. 4 out of 5

    아나 미라

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elyna Khalid

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nasih Saifullah

  24. 4 out of 5

    Afif Azzeri

  25. 4 out of 5

    Wan Faizuddin

  26. 4 out of 5

    A traveller through pages | Firas

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hasanah

  28. 5 out of 5

    Aida Yusoff

  29. 5 out of 5

    Omnia

  30. 4 out of 5

    Adib Che Jafri

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