26 April 2009

Greetings to Malaysia

A few minutes ago the special software attached to this weblog has proudly registered the 1000th individual visitor from Malaysia.

I like to take this opportunity to send special greetings to Malaysia, combined with my thanks for your continuous high interest in this humble weblog from Ireland.

Many years ago, when I was based in South East Asia, I spent quite some time in your country and learned a lot about its nature, history, people and culture.
In those days I did not notice much interest in Ireland among my Malaysian acquaintances, and of course I did not mind. One did not expect to be noticed much or seen as important when one came from Ireland. The fact that one spoke English made things easier, and there was this invisible but ever-present bond between people who had once been part of the British Empire but then fought for their freedom and independence and achieved both.

There are about 28 million people in Malaysia - seven times the population of Ireland - and after recovering from a twelve-year-long civil war (1948-1960) Malaysia became one of the original Asian 'Tiger' economies, developing fast into a modern industrial nation.
The 'Tiger' image was borrowed by the Irish some years ago and thus gave us the 'Celtic Tiger', even though - in contrast to Asia - tigers are not native to our part of the world. (Maybe this is one of the reasons why it did not work out for us...)

But Malaysia, even in these difficult economic times of global recession, is still going strong and it suffers a lot less than Ireland, because it did not make the mistakes we made. And the Malaysian people - especially the younger generation - are very open-minded and participate actively in the ongoing and increasing communication around the global village.

Right from the start of this weblog Malaysians were the fourth-largest national group of readers and visitors (after people from the USA, Ireland and the UK), and this has not changed in the 16 months Views from the Emerald Isle has been in existence.

I am delighted to have such a strong readership in South East Asia, and especially in Malaysia, and hope you will keep reading in the future and share the news and views with your families, friends and acquaintances. Feel also free to leave comments or to ask questions. My door and my inbox are open to all sensible suggestions.

The Emerald Islander

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