Get real to get the job done in 2015

Get real to get the job done in 2015

Already devastated by the twin aviation disasters of MH370 and MH17 in the first half of the year, we were dealt two more double whammies at the end of the year - the unprecedented floods in the East Coast and the crash of Air Asia 8501.

The floods - the worst in over 40 years saw the evacuation of over 100,000 people with many going days without food as rescue efforts were hampered by bad weather. The Air Asia crash - though a subsidiary of the parent Air Asia company born in Malaysia - cost 162 lives.

While there is no upside to these tragedies, what it has uncovered is that under duress, the fundamental values of the people who built this country - of helping each other - remains very much a part of who we are.

In times of national tragedy we see the coming together of Malaysians. What that reveals is that while some extremists revel in stoking a growing racial and religious divide - the silent majority remain steadfast in rejecting them.

While these people remain a thorn in the side of kind-hearted, peace-loving Malaysians of all faiths and races, we must remain vigilant against those who seek to divide us. The wedge they drive has socio-economic repercussions that could set back all that we have achieved socio-economically. We have been an Asian and multi-racial success story to the world for decades… so let’s not lose sight of what’s gotten us this far.

If we are to keep pace with the frantic pace of change, we must keep our eye on the ball, and run with others so that we are not left behind.

Stay focused on designing the best future

Get real to get the job done in 2015

In March of 2013, four economics researchers from the New York Federal Reserve published a report that about half of the current occupations (47%) are at risk of being obsolete within the next decade or two. Economic efficiency, they said, will be the driver adding that “the social consequence is that good-paying jobs will be increasingly scarce.”

“Only the best-educated humans will compete with machines,” said internet sociologist Howard Rheingold.

The experts also noted that education systems remain mired in an industrial era mode.

“Education systems in the US and much of the rest of the world are still sitting students in rows and columns, teaching them to keep quiet and memorise what is told them, preparing them for life in a 20th century factory.”

In Malaysia, 3.3 million new positions are expected to be added to the workforce by year 2020 and at least 46% of this placement will require training to vocational of certificate standard whereas only 22% of the new job created will require university qualification.

How do we create curriculums that are future ready when much of curriculum development is designed by those whose jobs are to follow the rules?

How do we get our children to ask questions and be creative, when they are groomed to conform in school, and penalised for being different?

How do we change education that is still largely designed for the left brained and make it more holistic and inclusive for the creative, artistic types?

How do we innovate a new kind of examination that is aligned with a collaborative - even global - workplace compared to the industrial era model still being practiced?

Are these questions even being asked by those tasked with aligning our formal education system with the needs of the future.

Show leadership through ASEAN

Get real to get the job done in 2015

This year, we officially take leadership of the Association of South-East Asian Nations. It is a dynamic part of the world, with over 600 million middle class consumers. ASEAN is also in the neighbourhood of India and China, the world’s giant economies of the near future.

As Chairman of ASEAN, we are in a perfect position to bring wealth and social justice to the people of this region. Our Malaysian story is a strong one and we must do all we can to show our nation as a stable, peaceful and modern nation so that others can emulate our success.

We are at a fork in the road socio-economically, and there is no time to waste because we simply cannot afford it. After a tough year, we need to be hopeful for the new year. Malaysia has a lot of work ahead of her to build this country so that it remains ever competitive in the region and globally.

We know where the weak points are, and it’s time to get real to get the job done. If we don’t no amount of good intentions will stop us from losing valuable time and being left behind when others are racing ahead.


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About Tan Sri Lim

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Paduka Dr Lim Kok Wing, the Founder and President of Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, does not fit into any ordinary mould that would describe most entrepreneurs.

His journey has been closely linked with the economic and social development of Malaysia.

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Malaysia has the third largest bond market in Asia ex-Japan after China and Korea, with more than RM400 billion of outstanding issuance, and is the world’s biggest Islamic bond market.

Reuters, July 2009

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