posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 07:14 AM
As I have noted previously, I really don’t have any reason to make any of this up. I was there, and I know what happened. Again, my principle
purpose in posting this account was to inquire about a notion that has vexed me for some time; could one be put in some seemingly normal situation
with collateral purposes other than the job at hand(?)
My stay in Malaysia (95-97) was a very interesting time period in their history. There were many sweeping events which took place during this time
frame. For the history buffs, 96-97 was a time when the Malay economy (and the rest of the SE Asian region) very nearly collapsed. The value of the
Ringgit (the Malaysian dollar) had been decimated. The Prime Minister, Mahathir bin Mohamad (Dr. M), very vocally blamed the events on the currency
trading markets and George Soros in particular. The economy of the region went from the highest of highs crashing to the lowest of lows almost
overnight. Equally, there was considerable unrest during this period with virtually unrestrained illegal immigration from Indonesia, Bangladesh and
other countries trying to cash in on the region’s wealth. As testament to the economic boom of the region, the Petronas Towers (then the tallest
buildings in the World) were built during this time.
Malaysia was also very interestingly positioned on the world stage at the time as well. As a former British colony, it was very westernized. From a
population demographics standpoint the makeup of the population was 50% Malay, 25% Indian and 25% Chinese. Labor was cheap. The technical language
was standardized on English by law. In fact, 60% of the World’s electronic circuitry was manufactured there at the time. China was still a decade
or more behind Malaysia in the area of electronics. Chances are good that better than 50% of the computer you are typing on right now was
manufactured in Malaysia. At the time they were an emerging 3rd world county seemingly on top of the world.
To be sure there was a lot going on, but as noted, this all came to a screeching halt in 1997. Westerners, once hero’s, became the economic enemy
virtually overnight. In Malaysia’s eyes we had gone from being part of the solution to being part of the problem. It was a strange time.
In any case, I really don’t have any reason to make any of this up as some have suggested. It was just a very strange moment during a very exciting
time in Malaysian history.