It does not matter that the shuttle seemed to land beyond the baseline on video replays as Datuk Lee Chong Wei won the All-England Championship. Two Lotus racing cars successfully finished their maiden F1 race and were ranked 15th and 17th. It does not matter either as we have already expected it earlier.

Based on his own hard work, Lee has won 12 Super Series championships. By spending a lot of money, the Malaysian Lotus F1 racing team hopes to make a beautiful dream that can polish the country’s name. But it is just a dream after all.

Before the race started, Lotus team principal Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes joked: “The Malaysian team can win as we have bomoh. We will put on rain tyres and ask our bomoh to call for rain.” Unfortunately, it was a sunny Sunday in Bahrain.

It is still encouraging as the Lotus cars were able to finish the race. They were doing better than some experienced teams, including the British Virgin F1 team which was unable to finish the race.

However, as there were falling two or three laps behind, people would naturally focus only on Felipe Massa, Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton. Who would care about the Malaysian team? It was worthless to spend money on it.

How much money do we have to spend on the Malaysian F1 team? An accurate figure has not been stated. It is reported that RM308 million is estimated to be spent in the first racing season. And RM15 million is needed annually to train local F1 drivers. According to former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, it is worth it as it will be much more expensive to buy the exposure through TV commercials.

There are many ways to promote Malaysia.

You will need only US$20 million to advertise on an NBA jersey. And you need only £250,000 to £2 million to sponsor a Premier League jersey for the middle-rung or lower teams. Games played by Manchester United and Arsenal attract one billion viewers worldwide but F1 races attract only 600 million viewers. Which is cheaper and cost-effective? The answer is obvious enough.

It is not only the question of money, but the government does not even know the strength of the country. It has been carried away by the slogan of “Malaysia Boleh”. From national cars to heavy industry, sending people to the space and forming the F1 racing team, they are trying to have a meteoric rise.

Toyota is a good lesson. It joined F1 eight years ago and it participated in 139 races. However, it gained pole position only three times and podium finishes 13 times. It withdrew because of poor results and losses. F1 did not bring Toyota great honour but its negligence in management has caused quality problems. As a result, Toyota has to recall eight millions of cars.

The current strengths of Malaysia are not in technology. Instead, we are still in the infancy stage of technology. We should first lay a solid foundation and enhance education standards before we can pursue high technology. Buying technology or honour with money cannot prove that “Malaysia Boleh”.

It is very sad to see the Malaysian F1 team making a fool of itself in the race but it is so enjoyable to see Lee landing the All England crown. How far the difference is! —