Malaysia – A Failed Nation?

This article was written by an UNKNOWN writer and was posted at MalaysiaToday on 11 October 2008 here.  It is very insightful and an eye opener to us Malaysians looking towards 2020 to being a developed nation.  We can’t divorce the politics from the economics of the country as they are so intertwined.  Politics dictate economic policies in Malaysia and so far, we have not been duly impressed with them.  Malaysians anticipate much more from our elected leaders to do the right and best thing for the country.  We keep being hopeful!  But is that all we can do?

Here is the reproduction of that article with some reformatting.  We may not agree with everything written but we can’t ignore the facts either.   Enjoy!

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Malaysia 2020?

Those who started work around 1973, a 1.3 Litre Japanese car was RM7,000.

Today the equivalent, let’s say, is RM60,000 … 8.5 times or 850%

In 1973 a double storey house was about RM 45,000 … or less.

Today it is about RM300,000 … 6.6 times or 660%.

In 1973 an Engineer’s pay was RM1,000.

Today it is about RM2,000+/- … 2 times or 200%.

From 1973 to 2008 … 35 years … what is the Trend?

Bearish !!!!

In a stock market when the trend is bearish, what do we do? …


When a country’s trend is bearish what do we do?  This Bearish trend is more difficult to turn around as compared to the stock market.

I have used these 3 items – House, Car & Salary – as a measurement of the country’s performance for the past 35 years ….

There is a book I saw in MPH bookshop entitled: Malaysia : The Failed Nation.  Some of you may be interested to read up.  I agreed with the writer.

This morning I was having Coffee at McDonald’s (now the coffee … 100% Arabica beans … is quite good @ RM2.90 … free refill!!).  I asked how much per hour their pay was?

RM3.00! x 8 hours = RM24 per day … x 25 days = RM600 per month.

My daughter worked part-time during her University days … she worked at Gloria Jeans Coffee
… the pay Australian $14.00 (@ 3.15 = RM44 per hour … x 8 = RM352 per day!!! x 25 days = RM8800.

13.3 times more!!! ….

Prices of houses in Perth is about the same in KL.

Prices of cars are about 23% cheaper … in Perth (Australia).

I think more and more people are becoming aware of this Bearish trend.

Developed country by 2020? … means High income country.

Let’s look at some as of year 2005 (Financial Times).

  • USA GNP per capita US$35,400
  • UK GNP per capita US$25,510
  • Australia GNP per capita US$19,530
  • Singapore GNP per capita US$20,690

These are developed countries by income measurement

Malaysia’s GNP per capita US$3,540.

Year 2020 … developed country?

Really … a sad story.

Worrying Trends, isn’t it??

Ringgit is sliding further and further under BN.

Recently, I interviewed some fresh graduates applying for jobs with my engineering company. I accepted two applicants on a starting salary of RM1600. It struck me as odd that 15 years ago, I myself started work as a fresh graduate engineer for the same pay.

Indeed, if you compare the salaries of graduates now and 15 or even 20 years ago, you’ll find little difference but that their purchasing power is vastly different. It’s the same story when you compare salaries of shop assistants, office staff, factory workers and others.

To compound the effect of inflation, the ringgit has depreciated greatly against all major currencies. The real income of most Malaysians has moved backwards.

This is why many Malaysians suffer under the petrol hike. The root of the problem is that our real incomes have shrunk in the face of inflation and depreciated currency.. Malaysians have not been spoiled by subsidy but are unable to move out of the time lock of stagnated
and depreciated incomes.

If you compare the per capita incomes of Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, they are a few multiples of ours although at independence all these countries were the on the same economic level as Malaysia .

What has gone wrong? We were the rising star of East Asia, a country rich in natural resources with the most promising potential.

The reason is massive corruption, plundering of resources, wastage of funds for huge non-economic projects, anti-public interest deals with politically-linked companies and passing of the buck to the man in the street.

Four decades of NEP where education, economic and employment policies are defined by race ensured that meritocracy took a back seat.

Our university standard has declined and the today best and brightest of our youth emigrate to escape the racial inequality only to contribute to the economies of foreign lands.

The reputation of our judiciary which was held in high esteem worldwide has sunk so low that foreign investors now insist on arbitration in Singapore in case of any dispute.

We also have a slew of oppressive laws such as the ISA, OSA, Uuca and PPPA which stifle free speech and are designed to keep the ruling parties in power.

We have become less attractive to foreign investors and now lag behind our neighbours in Asean for foreign direct investment. Even some corporations who have established themselves here are moving out.

All the economic and social malaise cannot help but affect the value of our currency. The strength of a country’s currency is after all, a reflection of its fundamentals.

Furthermore, Bank Negara has a policy of weak ringgit to help exporters, never mind the burden on the common folk. The government is pro-corporation, not pro-rakyat.

While the poor and middle-class are squeezed, an elite group gets breathtakingly rich. We have the distinction of having the worse income disparity in Asean. A re-distribution of wealth is under way from the poor and middle-class to a select group of politically-connected elite.

The end result of this re-distribution will be a small group of super-rich while the majority are pushed into poverty and the middle-class shrinks. This is what happens when the rich gets richer and the poor get poorer.

There is much that is wrong with Malaysia. The responsibility for pulling the country backwards can be laid squarely at the door of the ruling regime. It is BN’s mis-governance, racial politics and culture of patronage which has seen the country regress economically and

We seem to be sliding down a slippery slope, further down with each passing year of BN’s rule. Another five years of BN rule and we’ll be at Indonesia ‘s standard under Suharto.  Another 10 years and we’ll be touching the African standard.  What a way to greet 2020.

Is there any hope for Malaysia?

Faced with the reality that BN will never change, many Malaysians desperate for change turn their lonely eyes to Anwar Ibrahim.

Pakatan Raykat has promised to treat all races fairly, to plug wastage, fight corruption, reform the judiciary and make Malaysia more competitive.

But some have questioned whether we can trust Anwar and his loose coalition of disparate parties.

The question is not whether we can trust Anwar and Pakatan Rakyat but whether we can afford not to.

Can we afford another ten years of BN’s misrule?

Unknown Author

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3 Comments to “Malaysia – A Failed Nation?”

  1. This is chrystal clear….. I rate it ‘A+’

    I conclude the nations hundreds of billions wealth gone with the wind, in the pocket of the dead who swallow the monies not to multiply the monies but discharge it as a shit, severe financial management failure and the allowed robbers interception into nations wealth management….

  2. I’d rate it as well below crystal clear, and the statistics seem somewhat dodgy although I don’t have the time or inclination to pick them apart in detail. The nominal price increase in the price of a Japanese car is for example a quite irrelevant figure, and when you look at PPP adjusted GDP rather than GNP, the picture isn’t quite as bad as what this anonymous author displays.

    Still – the reasoning isn’t all that bad. Strip away the second rate economics and it’s still food for thought…

  3. Well..too bad..this country will rot soon…i dun wanna give a damn for this country anymore..

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