9 comments on “The right to be different

  1. Hmmmmmmm…very blunt question, but all the more better for it. 🙂
    1. I believe Steve Job’s success is not limited only to America; stories like his are possible because the circumstances were right in every possible manner. Of course, it might be a lot less likely to occur here in Malaysia, what with our economic inferiority to the US, etc. Still, a Steve Jobs can exist anywhere, even in the midst of the Amazon jungle – have you guys ever heard of the African farmer who did not finish school and only knew about farming in his 30+ years of life, but became one of the best surgeons merely through observation? So he didn’t create a multimillion franchise, but it proves that a Gates, Jobs or Fernandes can exist anywhere – the odds are just different according to the environment.

    2. As for David…erm…well, we know that if he’s pushed far enough, he’ll rebel against those antagonise him. But at the end of the day, he’s not the one to rise and go against social norms – he’s too nice, too humble to ever rear his head and make those radical decisions, so often required to achieve success on par with Jobs/Gates. Besides, those personalities are pretty much very resourceful individuals; they make as much use of every opportunity they come across. Now, I’m not saying David isn’t resourceful; he’s far from it, but I honestly don’t believe he has the natural ability to make use of every opportunity to the extent that Gates et al. can. He’s also used to being shepherded by others around him (I sorta know how that feels) – Jeff is used to making decisions for David, and Jive has also been calling the shots for David all this while (and we all know what happened), so I think he still needs some exposure before he is able to grab hold of his own reins and steer himself properly.

    3. Aaaannd…Malaysia can achieve great things, but only if we put aside prejudice and start thinking for others too, and not only for ourselves. At present…I doubt we can progress very far.

  2. I agree in most parts with Zach but I don’t buy that story about the farmer. 🙂
    Becoming one of the best surgeons merely by observation? You could have hit my head with a cangkul! lol!

    Unfortunately, in my opinion, most Malaysian youth do not have the single-minded focus on what they do. They also lack the focus, endurance and tenacity to reach their goals.
    Take for example: we have some of the best badminton players in the world, but, with the exception of Chong Wei, when faced with the crunch, they crumble. Tony Fernandes is quite an exception. Most of our Malaysian youth take the “easy come” “easy do” attitude. I believe it has something to do with our easy Malaysian way of life – the “Malaysia Boleh” chant is only a slogan that comes in useful during cheering at sports events and the like. The confidence may come later but they will have to learn about focus, endurance and tenacity first and foremost.

    As for David, he has already, in his own small way, defied the non-believers and forged ahead to “brave the unknown” to do what he thinks is better for him, by leaving Jive amidst gasps of disbelief. He has already embraced artistic freedom and is trying to channel his creative energy towards something tantamount to his version of greatness. But whether he will be able to impact lives comparable to those great men you mentioned, remains to be seen. As Zach said, David doesn’t really have the “natural ability” to make use of every opportunity – that, I believe would be his greatest stumbling block.

  3. Theoretically a Steve Jobs can exist even on Mars in it’s raw, unpolished form. But this uncut gem needs the right atmosphere to flourish and realize it’s inner brilliance.

    America by all accounts, with it’s can-do spirit has the right ingredients to nurture such raw talents. I feel the single biggest factor America has going for it is it’s ability to adapt and change quickly and effectively. It’s society simply allows people to get on with their lives – within a framework of legal considerations of course – to create, achieve, build and dream.

    It’s a fertile land of ideas – both radical and mainstream – bouncing around all the time finding outlets that eventually creates form and systems out of those same ideas. The saying “There’s nothing you can’t achieve if you believe” certainly holds true for the US.

    In Malaysia we are constrained by religion, politics, race, culture and social norms to the nth degree. Any voice of dissent or revolutionary idea is quickly shouted down by the triple hammers of race-religion-politics. It doesn’t matter how logical or reasonable the theory sounds. It is dismissed out of hand if it goes against the grain.

  4. Well, yes; I agree with John. Governing a country like Malaysia isn’t going to be easy especially when its citizens are perpetually skeptical about their government. Most of all are youths (especially the Chinese; you have no idea how they hate the gov). Unfortunately these guys are spoilt and often naive about the whole whole governing thingy. Most probably have no idea why increasing taxes are sometimes necessary, why the gov has to reduce subsidies, etc. They only see the surface and call it a bad decision just because they end up poorer. It makes me so angry whenever I hear someone rant at the gov without knowing anything…some people are so good at complaining.

    Oh and my little farmer story is pick from Reader’s Digest. I read it so long ago; it could’ve been six years since I saw the article. Sadly, I remember almost nothing about the article except the gist of it. His name, etc. have slipped from my mind so you can’t Google him up, I’m afraid. D: But he does exist. 😉

  5. Zach,
    Looks like you and I will have a lot to debate on the pros and cons of our government :-). Suffice to say that I am one of those who have no real confidence in our present political-government structure.

    I am not expecting perfection – which govt/nation is? But ours has a lot of room for improvement.

    I do agree that subsidies have to go and sooner rather than later but our govt has this frustrating tendency to see everything as a political game. Every decision is seen as a do or die mission to ensure their political survival. They forget that their mandate is to govern and manage the nation for the good of all and not indulge in their constant political games of one-upmanship.

    This has resulted in paralysis due to the lack of guts to do the right thing no matter how unpopular the decision may be. Policies are enacted without any real forethought and usually reversed when the going gets tough or when a certain group is more vocal about their opposition to the policy. It’s a constant flip flop and it only breeds uncertainty.

    Maybe this is why young people are so cynical about everything.

  6. Yes, I quite agree that the government is rather fickle, but i just wish that my generation doesn’t forget that they grew up here. Always talking about how bad Malaysia is, yada yada.
    Then again, I’m also quite unhappy with the gov on one particular thing: the abolishing of the PPSMI program. Not only did they ignore the majority vote against it, they also chose to implement it immediately next year, ignoring the welfare of the unfortunate students who have to cope with the sudden change of language.
    Whatever it is, I’m not an expert in politics or the decisions of the government (I’d rather ignore it all, honestly) so I can’t say much about the rest. D:

  7. Zach, ask your friends to register as voters in future the moment they can (not THAT soon yet i know lol).

    i too agree,that no government is perfect but like john said,plenty (and i mean PLENTYYY) of room for improvement.

    At the end of the day, my desire is that the heart of the government will one day be about the People, not “Jaga Kain Sendiri”.

  8. I like the way you guys have been dissecting David. So interesting to read all the views and thoughts. I wish David could just let us in to what he thinks of all the concerns that had been expressed as well as those lighthearted posts that made us giggle like a crazy person!

    I was watching Life Inspired on Astro about this creative director who helps struggling designers the second chance they desperately need. One of his advised he gave to a designer was that you really have to stand out in a saturated industry otherwise you will not succeed. Now the music industry is definitely saturated. How is David going to stand out .. a male version of nicki minaj .. oh boy! As a fan, he glows in the dark, that’s how stand out he is to me:-)

    Malaysian Government .. still rather ‘immature’! but I love this country so I can only pray that it will not deteriorate at a lightning speed. Anne .. so right, we can be responsible citizens by register as voters.

  9. In my opinion, there will be no Steve Jobs in Malaysia. If there is one, he will be lured with better pay and perks by other countries who cherish talents. Our politicans are certainly not concern and look at their decision of reverting math and science back to Bahasa Malaysia. Sad. So, I’m all ready to vote for this coming election. 🙂

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