Posted by: incywincy | June 20, 2007

Why This Country “Cannot Make It”

Disclaimer: The country mentioned below is completely fictional. Any resemblance to any other country is completely unintentional.

The author (myself) is imagining herself to be a citizen of this country, and therefore she thinks she has the right to criticize it.


Enough of that. Now let me now present to you why my country can never attain the status of a developed country (at least, not in the next 7 generations):

Why This Country “Cannot Make It” Reason #1:

Crime rate is high, and nothing can be done about it.

Because our policemen are fat, inept, and stupid. Too fat to go after criminals, too inept to carry out investigations, and too stupid to think of how they can actually contribute to the country instead of just drawing a nice fat salary and comfortably sitting in front of their desks.

You hear of rape cases, robberies, murders. It’s not just crimes in our country – it is a way of life. Citizens (or at least, us Chinese, who are not bestowed with the titles of “sons of the earth”) live in constant fear. I know, because each morning, as I leave for school before sunrise, we fear that robbers may be outside waiting for us with knives and parangs. Yet, after complaints and protests (last week, 2000 Chinese citizens in our state gathered before the police chief’s office to demand better security), nothing is done, and I know nothing will be done.

Please note that I am not saying, though, that you can be walking down the road in bright day light in the town area, and be robbed, as many of our friends from our neighbouring country think. I’m talking about robberies at dark places, where there is no heavy human traffic. And please, have the sense not to wear flashy jewellery or carry LV and Prada bags around. Do not also talk in a loud voice, bragging about your wealth or your last holiday at Bora Bora or the Bahamas. If you do, and you get robbed, I’ll say “You were asking for it”.

Anyway. Who are these desperate criminals, you ask?

  1. The uneducated who cannot fend for themselves and therefore have to turn to crime as a means of survival.Why are they uneducated? Because in our country, the education system is lousy, because the ministry does not keep (and cannot) tabs on whether kids go to school or not, and because there is no real effort to try to make the next generation better.
  2. The illegal immigrants from other neighbouring countries. I don’t know about other entry points, but if you are a criminal and you want to hide, you may enter through the “Number 2 Bridge”. I think that’s how Richard Yong escaped from the his government. Because our immigration officers are just sitting there, buta gaji again!

Countless times I have crossed the immigration, without scanning my passport, because:

  • there are no immigration officers around
  • their system is down so they just wave us past
  • the officers are too busy chatting so they just take a glance at our passports and ask us to go

Oh, if you want to smuggle things into the country, you can go through the “Number 2 Bridge” or also the “Number 1 Bridge” too, because there are either no custom officers around, or they are sitting in their chairs, taking a nap.

Well, if crime rate was the only problem, I could possibly still live with it.

Why This Country “Cannot Make It” Reason #2:

The transport system is koyak beyond koyak (hopeless).

The buses don’t run on a regular schedule – it depends on the drivers:

  • Did they report for work today? If not, it’s okay, cut down the number of buses running this route.
  • Have they had their meals? If not, it’s okay, passengers can wait for them while they sit at the interchange coffeeshops, having their breakfasts or what not (this happened countless times with one of the bus services in our country, causing me to be late for school or work).
  • Did they buy their snacks for brunch later? If not, it’s okay, they can stop the bus at the roadside stalls and buy some, while the bus full of passengers look on during peak hours.
  • Did they have their afternoon nap already? If not, it’s okay, passengers can sit in the bus or at the interchange, waiting for them to catch forty winks.

The buses also run by whichever route that the drivers feel like going. Take for example an experience my Mom and I had with the one of the bus services.

From Terminal A, this is the correct route: Terminal A, District B, District C, District D, District E, Terminal B. But that day, the driver felt like it, so he went this way: Terminal A, District D, District C, District B, Terminal A – and he cut out all the rest.

Let’s talk about the taxis – they charge however much they feel like charging, do not go by the meter (if you even dare to suggest it, you’d be looking for trouble). The conditions of the taxis are also horrendous: cramped, stained cushions, with the interior smelling of cigarette smoke because the drivers smoked in the taxi.

Our roads have potholes too, that can remain unrepaired for weeks. I’ve heard jokes from people that driving in this country, you need to look out for 5 things:

  • potholes
  • humps at the strangest places
  • jay-walking pedestrians
  • motorcycles that may fly into your lane any time
  • robbers (apparently there’s a syndicate who do this: they use their cars to bump into yours, and when you get off the car to check the damage, they rob you, and if you’re female and pretty enough, they may rape you too)

Why This Country “Cannot Make It” Reason #3:

Rubbish, rubbish and more rubbish – here, there, everywhere!

Look at our surroundings. Litter everywhere.

People drive along the highway, and throw any rubbish they have out of their windows – plastic bottles, plastic bags, tissue paper, leftover food, bags of puke, baby diapers. You name it, it’s probably been chucked out before.

People walk around on the roads, and just drop their rubbish as they walk.

The town council’s rubbish clearance department also comes once in 3 or 4 days sometimes (depending on their moods), until our rubbish have maggots crawling out of the plastic bags.

Residents throw rubbish anywhere they like, on the roads outside their house (the logic is: if it is not in my house compound, it’s not my problem). I’ve seen people dumping unwanted furniture at back alleys or even at parks!

And now, they are going to impose a heavier tax of some sort, on households that dispose of amounts of rubbish that is greater than their ‘quota’.

They think that this will help to control disposal of waste. But they obviously don’t understand the residents’ mentality:

More rubbish = More tax? Okay, I’ll throw my rubbish in front of my neighbours house tonight when they are asleep. Okay, I’ll throw it in the back alley. Okay, I’ll drive to the park and throw it there. As long it’s not at my rubbish chute, it’s not mine!

Excellent way to increase hygiene and cleanliness, indeed. As if our country is not dirty enough already.

Have you seen our public toilets? Even those where we have to pay a fee are far from clean, far from dry, and have no toilet paper. So what are you collecting money for? Those that do not require you to pay any fee for using it, are probably much worse. Which leads me to the desperate act of holding my urine in until I get home.

Why This Country “Cannot Make It” Reason #4:
We see everything also want to copy.

The governments in Britain and Singapore talk about reducing the number of national exams that students have to take before they reach the university level, and our Ministry of Education also wants to follow suit.

Hello, people’s education systems are advanced, yours is not! You cannot even provide good basic education to your people, and you want to emulate other people’s education system? You cannot even keep tabs of whether school-age kids are registered in schools or not, and you want to further cut down testing? Please go and reflect.

Most of our high school graduates are so inept – they finish high school or college, and they cannot string a proper sentence in English. They have no confidence in themselves. Maybe I am overgeneralizing but the majority of students I meet here seriously lack confidence. Those who are outstanding are given Scholarships by the government of our neighbouring country, and Permanent Citizenship very soon – afterwhich they become citizens of that neighbouring country.

So there is very little real talent left in this country!

Why This Country “Cannot Make It” Reason #5:

The government gives out loans, scholarships and grants, and people can choose not to pay back.

My estimate is that 99 percent of government scholars probably do not return to the country to serve their bonds. Ditto for those who go overseas on study grants or loans.

If you are fortunate to be one of the “sons of the earth”, you can also get entrepreneurial loans and you don’t have to pay it back. You can register for a small business to sell Ramly Burgers, and 1 month later, close shop, saying that there is not enough business to cover your operational costs. It’s okay. Our leaders cannot track you down to get you to pay back. It’s true.

You know what irks me most? Scholarships are being given out to people who can actually afford studying overseas. My sister has a classmate who went to Scotland to study Medicine, on a government Scholarship, and her parents are doctors themselves. And she is not intending to return to this country to serve her bond (why would she want to do that? Our hospitals are terrible and the working conditions for doctors are bad. Besides, there are no law enforces to track her or her family down anyway) and she will be staying in Scotland to work, or going to work in Australia, where her parents have bought a house for her.

These are commonly heard stories.

If these ‘debts’ are collected, I’ll bet the country’s budget deficit will improve dramatically.

Why This Country “Cannot Make It” Reason #6:

Corruption is rampant, and prosecution of offenders is non-existent.

I don’t think I need to explain any further for this point.

Why This Country “Cannot Make It” Reason #7:

Only “sons of the earth” are real citizens. All the rest of us are second class citizens.

Privileges are aplenty if you have bin or binti in your name. You can get loans more easily, you can apply to buy houses at discounted rates, you get higher interest on your savings in the banks, you can get into most sought after courses in the local universities, even if your grades are mediocre. Basically you can get away with anything.

The rest of us have to wait in line for our turn for leftovers, and get treated like dirt.

Why This Country “Cannot Make It” Reason #8:

We say one thing and do another thing.

We spend millions promoting Tourism in Year 2007, assuring tourists that they can get immediate visas at the various entry points to the country.

So not true.

Most of the immigration officers have never even heard of such a thing happening, when it was widely discussed and publicized in the national papers. That is just one example.

If I were to go on about the unkept promises our ministers have made to us, this would go on forever.


Two words: Koyak lah!


  1. You need to send this article to the local paper of your country. A very well written one.

  2. Sounds like the place I’m leaving soon…

  3. the country is failing because of such citizens like u

  4. ha dap…VERY well written…

  5. Very well-thought out and well-written!

  6. yeah i thinnk so too. very well written!

  7. Good stuff!
    I don’t mean to bring up race, but I think there’s a strong correlation with a certain ethnic group and the way they’ve been brought up over the past few hundred years. While it might have worked in the past, they need to change to adapt to the needs of today instead of always defending their rights that they so ‘rightfully have’ simply because their forefathers were born there.

    …but then again, i’m one of those who live on the other side of the Number 2 Bridge…

  8. *claps*.. this is entry is really damn GOOD..

  9. hey gal… i live across the straits from you… i must agree with you on most count… i am saying this because my mum’s family is from your country… so i am concern of your country too… if you do well enough in your exams… please apply to study in my country… that’s what my mum did… and she never went back… in fact many of my friends who are from your country… never went back after they studied here… at least my country is nearer to yours… you can always go back to visit your family and friends

  10. I can’t agree more on the police part. I guess in your country, the line between police and thief is real thin… too thin…

  11. Ah, the usual gripes. don’t we all already know that? i don’t know about you, but i’ve numbed myself to such things. it’s the nation’s identity if you will. it makes us, us.

    i have accepted it, and in many ways i am still very proud to be a citizen here. and why are there still so many capable ‘second class citizens’ still sticking around? because there is still money to be made in this country.

    all i can say is – leave if you don’t like it 🙂 ain’t no one forcing you to be here.

    i would love to see a piece written about the other side of the bridge, where a puppeteer rules an entire island of pupeteers.

    and oh…

    1. policemen don’t draw fat salaries. just fat bribes.

    2. taxis use meter in the Klang Valley. only cabbies in certain states don’t practice this lah.

  12. OMG gosu post.. any prizes for guessing the country?

  13. ditto. well written. you are really good at writing.

    i wanna add something. people don’t queue for the toilet! i can stand there waiting the whole day long cos people keep cutting in front of me.

  14. I can’t deny but totally agree with all the reasons stated above! This entry is DAMN GREAT!

  15. this is hilarious, i had a whale of a time reading it. and yes, perhaps you should make an entry on singapore too. hahaha.

  16. ai ya.. yr side koyak, my side is puppets.. lets move to..mmm..antartica! penguins are hot stuffs lately. hehe..

  17. a refreshing post from u 🙂

    Massive corruption at every level is the most vicious stumbling block towards development. It breeds almost all other vices. As in reason #1, it has become a way of life.

  18. […] Loyal Customers Finally I’ve found one redeeming factor about my country (after slamming everything else about it). And it’s no other […]

  19. […] Why This Country Cannot Make It Part II This is an extension to my previous post about “Why this country cannot make it”. […]

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