INFO : Singapore Passing Malaysia 45 Years After Lee’s Tears

By Syed Akbar Ali

This is from today’s news.

  • Singapore’s gross domestic product fastest annual growth this year - 15 percent to about $210 billion
  • Malaysia, a country 478 times its size, will expand 7 percent to $205 billion
  • Singapore has grown 189-fold since independence in 1965. GDP per capita to $36,537 last year from $512.
  • Malaysia’s economy expanded at one- third the pace during the same period and had a GDP per capita of $6,975 in 2009, up from $335 in 1965.
  • The island ranked by the World Bank as the easiest place to do business, has world’s second-busiest container port, and highest proportion of millionaire households,
  • “Singapore ..adjusted to market demands and investors’ interests,”
  • “Malaysia was struck by the curse of resource-rich countries: It didn’t optimize its human capital.”
  • Singapore has become the world’s fourth-largest foreign-exchange center with a S$1.2 trillion ($932 billion) asset-management industry.
  • Malaysia’s growth fell to an average 4.7 percent a year in the past decade, from 7.2 percent in the 1990s, when former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad wooed overseas manufacturers, built highways and erected the world’s tallest twin towers.
  • “Development is like a marathon and all policies geared toward it must be sustainable and continuous,” said Thomas Lam, chief economist at OSK-DMG . .
  • “Malaysia runs the marathon like a 100 meter event, so you see the initial spurt but not continuous progress in the race.”
  • 386,000 Malaysians permanent residents or citizens of Singapore, includes Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. Chairman Cheong Choong Kong.
  • 350,000 to 400,000 Malaysian citizens work in Singapore, including 150,000 who commute daily
  • ‘Loss of Time’ : Winsemius, the country’s economic adviser from 1961 to 1984, said he thought the merger (with Malaysia) was a “loss of time.”
  • Singapore was kicked out of the union partly because Lee opposed Malaysia’s affirmative-action policy
  • Najib Razak has pledged to roll back key policies of ethnic favoritism . . the “social contract” that gives benefits to the Malays cannot be repealed.
  • “Singapore will overtake Malaysia because its focus is just on economic growth,” Mahathir, Malaysia’s prime minister from 1981 to 2003, said in an e-mailed response to questions. “There is no social restructuring goal such as fair distribution of wealth between races as we have in Malaysia.”
  • “Malaysia has to ask itself why its investment rates are so low,” said Vikram Nehru, World Bank regional chief economist
  • “There are questions about availability of labor, entry and exit barriers, and underlying concerns about policy executions.”

Here are my comments.

386,000 Malaysians hold PR in Singapore. 400,000 also work there. That is already 786,000 people. There are also tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of Malaysians who have become citizens of Singapore. Folks say 25% of Singapore MPs were born in Malaysia. Many of their Army, Navy and Air Force brass were also born in Malaysia. The first Singaporean to climb Mount Everest was a Malaysian who was hurriedly made a Singapore citizen. The talent that makes Singapore a success is largely Malaysian.

Ok so the Singaporeans have done many right things. They also don’t waste time like we do. Here is an example of what I mean. All these I extracted just from today’s newspapers. You will see how much time we waste in Malaysia.

1. Court allows objection in Shamala conversion case : PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has ruled that a Hindu mother, S Shamala, has no right to be heard after she breached the visitation rights given to her Muslim convert husband in the custody battle over their two sons.

2. Dad in pork issue claims he is not Muslim : PETALING JAYA: Beginda Minda, father of the 10-year-old pupil who was recently caned for bringing pork to school, has denied that he is a Muslim.

3. Temple gets temporary land for store : PUCHONG: The recent dispute involving a temple and a school, in which a man torched himself . .

4. MACC also looking into Defence Ministry's luxury purchases : PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has opened at least 15 investigation papers based on the latest Auditor-General's Report, including the Defence Ministry's RM310,000 purchases for a VVIP room.

5. Zaid may form new party : SUNGAI PETANI: Datuk Zaid Ibrahim may form a new political party if he is sacked from PKR

6. Muhyiddin: Zahid needs to explain his recent remarks

7. Bomoh's rape ploy to marry patient : A BOMOH raped his patient

As a society we waste a lot of time pursuing useless things that do not generate growth and wealth. We concern ourselves with too many petty things. Plus we don’t speak English.

In 2020 we hope to reach USD15,000 per capita income. By that time Singapore may be at USD60,000 per capita income.

I strongly believe that there is a way for us to match and even surpass Singapore by 2020. If they can do it, so can we.

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