International -- Readers Report
Giving the Green Light to the Green Revolution (int'l edition)
It's a pity your otherwise good story "The next green revolution" (Cover Story, Apr. 12) didn't give more credit where it was due and didn't put the issues in a truly global context. The first green revolution was largely the work of crop breeders at the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
Although the World Bank is a co-sponsor and provides a chair and a secretariat, the CGIAR is not part of the World Bank. The group gets additional sponsorship from three U.N. agencies (Food & Agriculture Organization, U.N. Development Program, and U.N. Environment Program) and is financed by more than 50 countries.
The CGIAR still exists and continues its work as genomic science and intellectual property issues evolve. The developing world, which has most of the world's farmers and from which most of the planet's biodiversity springs, will surely have a say in whether private profit will triumph over public good.
The HagueReturn to top
Hats Off to India's "Faceless" Bureaucrats (int'l edition)
"An uncivil servant" (Asian Business, Apr. 5) should have mentioned civil servants such as Mr. T. Chandreshekhar and Mr. Rao, who have carried out many demolitions of controversial properties belonging to powerful individuals. The difference between the functioning of such civil servants and Mr. Arun Bhatia is that the others carry out their duties in conventional "faceless administration" protocol. This protocol is evident when one wonders how things ever get done in a country with such high illiteracy and poor infrastructure.
Instead, Mr. Bhatia hastily ordered demolitions within six days of taking charge, which is a short time to judge the merits of such cases; his actions reek of vindictive intent and arrogance. He also disobeyed his superiors, which can be disastrous. His arrogant, autocratic way and his affection for publicity seem to be the reasons for his scores of transfers, rather than his righteousness.
New BombayEditors' note: The Bombay High Court reinstated Bhatia on Apr. 13.Return to top
Malaysia's High-Tech Corridor: Two Views (int'l edition)
Malaysia's National Economic Council, in response to "Mahathir's high-tech folly" (Asian Edition Cover Story, Mar. 22), on the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) project, couched its reply in vague generalities ("Malaysia's cyber corridor boasts some successes," Readers Report, Apr. 12). Nowhere does the writer attempt to rebut or even address the specific issues and points raised in the BUSINESS WEEK report.
I would suggest that the MSC project is an example of top-down planning gone awry. Silicon Valley and similar "corridors" in the U.S. grew from the bottom up, aided in no small part by a culture of innovation and risk-taking and by the free inflow of foreign skills and talent. Sadly, none of these appear to be present in Malaysia, where the official attitude with regard to foreigners seems to be one of paranoia and "shoot the messenger."
Nedlands, Western Australia
As a strategic player in the Asia Pacific region, Ernst & Young is committed to the development of electronic commerce and technology-enabled businesses in the region and in Malaysia. As such, we fully support Malaysia's MSC initiative. Although Asia's economic crisis has affected almost everyone, including multinationals operating in the region, it has not diminished Ernst & Young's commitment to invest in our Asian business partners.
The MSC will be one of our key center locations to support our expansion of technology-enabled solution centers. As a firm whose roots date from 1909 in Malaysia, our long-term corporate presence demonstrates that we will continue to play an active role in the country.
Frank Sumner Smith III
Ernst & Young
SingaporeReturn to top