I’ve been reading a couple of things that made me think (as you know, is an activity I seldom indulge myself in) for two consecutive days. The first was yesterday.
“Bangsa Malaysia means we do not evaluate someone by his skin colour, race or religion,” Najib said when closing the Johor Umno Convention at Persada Johor here yesterday.
“It does not question the special rights of the Malays, our quota or anything of that sort.”

That’s not the end of it.

“But if we can focus on the concept of Bangsa Malaysia being a state of mind, then we can avoid polemics.
“If we try to define it, this could raise more questions and hot up the debate. If we were to amend the Constitution, the country would be in disorder.”

Uhm… we don’t want specifics in case people would ponder deeply into the status quo?
Did I take it out of context? Read it yourself.
And today it was this:
WHY do some consumers buy pirated copies of Microsoft products?
It is not because they cannot afford genuine software but because they do not think it is worth paying for, said Raveesh Gupta, business group leader of the information worker division at Microsoft Malaysia.

It is not worth paying for because it is too expensive, and there are cheaper alternatives. The fact that it is too expensive *is* a freaking reason. In fact, this will tie in to something I will talk about soon, a lot of things in Malaysia is automatically more expensive because our exchange rate is so weak. There are plenty of incentives for companies and the government to keep it that way, but as a citizen we’re really getting the short end of the stick. Yes, we are getting benefits from the profits the government is making with the exchange rates at it’s current level. But in the long run, the quality of our everyday lives are affected, and that flows back into the economy too.
So yes, the fact that someone in the States can pay USD$289 for Microsoft Office 2003 Pro Edition, while the Malaysian counterpart (who earns the same level of pay, but in RM) pays RM1070 for the same damn thing, does influence the tipping scales a just a wee little bit.
The sooner these companies that target consumers here recognize this pricing disparity the better (I said recognize, not realize, there is a difference).
Microsoft is not the only one guilty of this of course, and I recognize Microsoft’s initiatives in bringing in Malaysia-only versions of Windows in an effort to keep the price down, but really:
1. Who’d really use this, potentially difficult to support edition of the software
2. For those of us who use the ‘normal’ version, it’s still pretty damn high.