Some readers of my blog – usually those who for some reason or other disagree with my article or who may have a chip on their shoulder – ask the question as to why I write so frequently. They pose this question mainly because I am an exception among successful Malaysians who generally prefer to keep quiet or appear dumb unless their interests appear to be directly affected when they will then speak out.
Here is my honest and frank explanation as to why I write so often. The motivating factors are as follows:
1. The Ego Factor
The term “ego” comes from Freudian psychology. Although it is important to avoid being completely egoistic, at the same time we must realise that the ego is also absolutely necessary for healthy psychological functioning. This is because ego is the part of the mind that organises the parts of our self into an integrated whole which interacts with the external world. According to the experts in psychology, ego is necessary for reality testing, judgment, sense of reality of the world and of the self, regulation and control of drives, affects and impulses, object relations, and many more aspects of our thinking processes.
Everyone needs to have an ego but one that is not too strong or self-centred. I must confess that I am egoistic in the sense that I want to be noticed and enjoy the limelight of seeing my name in print. That part of me may be criticized by others as being greedy for fame. I suppose they may be right. But these critics who write in should also realise that they themselves are equally guilty of being egoistic for wanting to see their comments on my writing in print. The important difference between these critics and me is that while they do not dare to put their names down besides what they write, I do so openly.
2. Desire to Share my Knowledge and Experience
I am 83 years old and, in my varied career, have accumulated much unique knowledge and experience which I want to share with readers especially of the younger generation. This is particularly the case since I retired from active work in 1983. All my present wealth is from share investment. I have tried many different strategies of beating the market and am now confident that the best method is to make sure the company can make more profit this year than last year and that its projected P/E ratio should not be more than 10. I call this my golden rule in share selection.
3. An Active Mind Prolongs the Life
Many studies have shown that those who exercise their body and brain have longer life spans. In some ways I can be considered to be lucky to be writing still. This is because I have a hereditary blood disease called hypercholesterolemia. As a result of this disease I had heart bypass surgery in 1983. My cardiologist told me that most people who have hypercholesterolemia cannot live more than 20 years after their heart bypass surgery. I have lived well beyond this threshold partly because of my active mind. It is a fact that writing today is a lot easier because of the computer. All that is needed is a mind that is going strong. And I shall write so long as there is breath in me.
4. Writing as Political Engagement
I write also because I am passionate about being engaged politically. Besides political commentaries, I have also during the election period gone on the talk circuit to help the opposition bring about change in the country. I feel that my writing and speeches have helped the cause of freedom and justice. But it is not just empty talk as I have openly – unlike donors to the Prime Minister’s infamous personal bank account – donated large sums of money to help the opposition throw out the corrupt BN government.
5. Sharing my Political Vision
Besides writing about share investment, I also like to share my vision of development for the country. I have written a book with the title, Malaysia: Road Map for Achieving Vision 2020, which was published about 6 years ago and in which Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah wrote the foreword.
6. Writing and Sharing Brings Me Happiness
Many friends are also aware that besides writing to make me happy, I also like to help poor people. As I come from a poor family, I know the needs of poor people especially poor students. I believe helping poor students to complete their tertiary education is the most effective way. I realise that I am not immortal. I am aware that I can die anytime due to my hereditary blood disease and my age. As I cannot take my money along when I die, I have decided to spend it wisely. I have written in my will that all my remaining assets will be for doing charity. In the meantime I try to live happily every day and this explains why I write!
Koon Yew Yin