Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Malaysia's not losing its edge

I was reading Is Singapore Losing Its Edge? with great interest not only because Singapore is dear to my memory, having grown up there till military conscription age, but because the Singporeans are getting worried for no good reason. Why I said so? Because it seems to be the trend: countries in the region are losing their competitiveness. Thailand is slipping, the Philippines too and so is Indonesia. The Thais, who dropped three notches to 30th place  (Singapore declined to 4th from its podium finish last year), blame their predicament on corruption and red tape. 

But we - yes, you and I - buck the trend. The Yearbook says Malaysia jumped two places to 14th. 

And you thought we were baaad, right? 

We've got a lot going for us right now, right here in Malaysia. Over dinner with an old pal who's based in India last night, we agreed that Malaysia hasn't lost and is not about to lose its edge. Our politics aren't even half as bad as in India. During Bersih, our police were polite compared with the authorities that deal with demonstrations elsewhere, including in democratic India. "They would get the organisers of pay for the venue and for damages". Tourists are comparing Langkawi to Singapore. 

What we're losing is our sense of perspective. We imagine that perception is more real than the truth. Wake up, people!


  1. Anonymous3:34 pm

    Latuk: Malaysia's not losing its edge. It's leadership is losing the plot. Fear of being kicked out soon clearly manifests itself.


  2. Anonymous3:41 pm

    Lets wait for what Ah Pua has to say.

    Tony Pua would only be happy if Malaysia 60th ranked.

    How is he going to criticise Malaysia if Motherland Singapore admit problem with red tape and corruption?

  3. Anonymous3:46 pm

    When Rocki started to compare Malaysia with India, I think it's time to bid adieu to sensibility.

  4. Jasper Bloodstone4:49 pm


    I am curious - is there a difference between 4th place and 14th place in the IMD rankings?

    Or is it, as per your analysis, more "subjective" than "objective"?

    Anyways, I seem to recall that the Malaysian government has been dismissive of such rankings in the past, viewing them as academic exercises not cognisant of the real world; the rationale being that investors make investment decisions based on factors over and above competitiveness rankings.

    So, why make a big deal over this now, when investors view Malaysia, Singapore and the other Asean countries on their own merits?

  5. Anonymous5:37 pm

    Ssshh Rocky...jgan sebut2 Langkawi, karang bangsa pantang-tengok-melayu- senang sebuk berderu-deru ke sana beranak macam tikus di situ nanti.

  6. Anonymous5:53 pm

    Yes Singapore has its own issues, but compared to us, our issues are more primitive and basic. If we continue to compare ourselves to the lower-rung countries, how are we to progress forward?

    No, educated Malaysians have not lost their perspectives. Their perspectives have always been to emulate and compare against the better-run countries. We cannot compare ourselves to Indonesia, India, Somalia, catch the drift?

  7. Anonymous6:00 pm

    No worries and why worry about what happen to Europe with Greece and Spain. They are so far. China, not a concern and who cares if their factories output are down. Our products are lelong prices using Bangla, Nepalese and Indon. Our own people need not to work because of Ketuanan rakyat.as for and USA- we can donate and help them out by eating McDonald hamburger, KFC Spicy finger licking, drink Pespsi and Coco Cola and buy Iphone. So no worry we are doing better and we can get rid of Petronas Gas subsidies.

  8. Anonymous6:19 pm

    Itu Lah Rocky...

    Sebagai Journalista Perceptiva... You memang lebih pentingkan perception dari reality...

    You and I memang tak kan dapat wang NFC atau Scorpene Tapi Najib and Co akan Terus berusaha megguna berbillion wang ringgit untuk menanam percepsi yang sebaliknya!!!

  9. Anonymous6:34 pm

    i think you need to wake up, not the people....

  10. damansaraman7:14 pm

    VERY UNFORTUNATELY there are many of our fellow Malaysians who are ever willing to run down our beloved country.

    To these people, everything about Malaysia is wrong.

    You will never hear from these people on how they can contribute in bettering the country, ONLY NEGATIVE REMARKS about our country.


  11. msia losing its sense of perspective in the world? touche'.

  12. Anonymous8:52 pm

    To syok sendiri you compare us against India? Fail la you rocky

  13. Anonymous9:20 pm

    I'm jumping to the part about police actions India vs Malaysia. Might I be labelled sadistic if I were to recommend the Malaysian policemen carry a toe-sized 5' rattan cane and lash it out to the left and to the right, to the back and to the thigh of Malaysian own street monkeys - male or female if and when a riot rally is carried out at restricted venues. Don't blame or condemn me because I'm a citizen voter and and bona fide tax payer too!

  14. Anonymous1:04 am

    let the people decide this coming election. Terenganu will go and so would Sarawak if that greedy bastard did not rig the votes.

  15. Anonymous7:21 am

    Malaysia Boleh bro.

  16. Anonymous9:32 am

    Lets us know who set this edge ranking ? Where its source unless the white man did it!
    How to determine which country is up or down?
    Been to Thailand or Vietnam ? They seem vibrant ? Everybody happy..
    Malaysia is still falling for that white man trap and happy with such faLSE RANKINGS.

  17. Anonymous9:42 am

    Ya that's right I presume you agree that 1 billion kickback in the submarine deal is not as bad as other country. Throwing people from high floors for 2 k bribe was not bad as well!

  18. Anonymous9:44 am

    Sporean flock to JB to buy illegally..by tipping the petrol station workers, mostly bangla to pump Ron 95..then to Giant Pelangie buy cartful of subsidised items, then sped off without paying fines.
    Spore ask the maid to dangle unprotected off 15th floor to wash windows???
    They throw rambutan and durian skins in our drains
    Their Channel News Asia (Melissa Goh) spews bad stories about Malaysia day in and day out!!and Rais yatim is not aware???
    That Malay PAP Minister Masagoes..(macam Mascargoes aje) went to Kedah and Penang recently to tell the PAS people, look we have post in the cabinet too...what post??

  19. Anonymous10:33 am

    Oh dear!!
    Now lets see how the DPPs,the monsterballs, godfathers and the gannons are sharpening their knives to cut this 'spin'.
    Good luck guys.
    I'm sitting back listening to James Brown's .." I Feel Good"..(tatau nak post youtube la..)


  20. Anonymous10:44 am

    Sober up...Rocky!

  21. Anonymous11:17 am


    You said:

    "We imagine that perception is more real than the truth. Wake up, people!"

    Ahhhh but where is the Truth??

    Is the WholeTruth about NFC out yet?
    Part of the Truth had to be forced out and even then hidden from the Public by the Mainstream Media!

    Is the Truth on Scorpene and selling of State Secrets ever been told to the Public???Its Eerily Quiet on the Mainstream Media Front!!

    So because its hidden doesn't mean it doesn't exist!!

    The 2 Bonus Points Gained should be given to the Mainstream Media for Concealment and not to Malaysia!!!

    Joe Black

  22. Anonymous11:33 am

    Part 1

    Not intent pouring cold water on a fantastic achievement, but from a neutral’s perspective there are a few points worthy to consider with regard to positions and more pertinently raw scores

    2009 = 18th = 77.7
    2010 = 10th =87.23
    2011 = 16th = 84.11
    2012 = 14th = 84.20
    (raw scores being approximations).

    Obviously, the reforms to enhance competitiveness has tanked somewhat, we only gained position because others have slipped down the rankings and yet we are still behind our 2010 score and position. This implies that slew of measures Najib introduced initially in 2009 have expended their transformative effect and new initiatives are needed to kickstart another upward surge or else we will be merely treading water. The question is where?

    Education reform is one area, technology embedding offers another, and so does tax reform and economic restructuring that will push us into the high income category.

    Here are some inputs:

    a.education reform especially technical and tertiary education infrastructure, the reintroduction of PPSMI, reform of the school system into a single-school for all framework, introduction of technical, trade streams commencing from lower secondary level so we have a diversified school graduate cohorts constitution both academic and technical trained cohorts.

    b.The acceleration of the super broadband architecture so that the whole country can enjoy top –drawer speeds by at least 2016

    c.Tax reform, GST, personal, corporate, withdrawal of all subsidies including fuel except on essential food items. I have suggested this umpteen times and I need not stress this enough.

    d.Restructuring of the economy to enhance competitiveness, the embedding of a Malay SME framework, a National Automobile Policy that is pro-business, the development of new areas of growth in green and biotech, nuclear industry, rare earths, halal industries and leveraging our strengths in Islamic finance, O &G and the services sector

    e.Health reform with the introduction of National Health insurance scheme, more investment in health infrastructure and making health services accessible to all with a tiered system of charges so that the rich will cross-subsidize the poor.

    I have enumerated others in the Khairy Rafizi thread here before so I will not go into the specifics suffice to say that there is a need to review and recalibrate our approach and deepen and embed the initiatives thus far whilst widening their scope.

    Warrior 231

  23. Anonymous12:14 pm

    Part 2

    We don’t have to worry about Spore. In fact, in terms of globalization, it is behind Malaysia:

    Respondents in the survey were also asked to score their country’s attitude towards globalisation. In this regard, Singapore came in 7th, behind places such as Malaysia (4th), Hong Kong (5th) and Taiwan (6th).

    Singh said: “In terms of venturing into a more diversified group of markets, the Malaysians seem to have done much more than Singaporeans.”He noted that Malaysians have ventured to as far as Africa, while Singapore companies are “concentrated in a smaller base of countries overseas”.

    It’s decline is inevitable anyway knowing that it is a one trick pony built on money laundering, tax “asyluming” and corruption in high finance. In fact, this year will witness its demise with a looming bank meltdown. In fact, 2 of its banks have hollowed out balance sheets which the Euro crisis will reveal. Additionally, retreat by Euro investors in turn will lead to a massive outflow of capital triggering a property boom collapse, mass bankruptcies and corporate insolvencies,rising unemployment and massive losses for GiC and Temasek that will trigger a run on the SGD by late 2012 or early 2013.

    In fact, many people are already wising up to Singapore’s reality:

    And the collapse in rankings in the IMD is just one of many woes besetting this repressive racist Chingkie entity, the others include a rise in the GINI thus a widening income gap:

    “ Singapore’s Gini coefficient, an income inequality measure, rose to 0.482 in 2011 from 0.48 the year before, and has climbed from 0.444 in 2000, according to the statistics department.”

    That prompted a panicked call to increase wages for the lower income group:

    Apart from that the lack of entrepreneurial drive :

    is very critical a fact substantiated by this talent stealing initiative,:

    All these, coupled with a drop in university rankings:


    and a general malaise shrouding Singaporeans who sense the impending doom are indications of the inevitable fall from grace.

    The very fact that Spore’s rankings(4) and raw scores (94) have dropped off its No 1 and 100% score of 2010 is more than evidence enough.

    Warrior 231

  24. Anonymous1:16 pm

    ....What we're losing is our sense of perspective. We imagine that perception is more real than the truth...

    Thanks to the persistent disparagement by Anuar and his stooges. Anyway the net result is good nevertheless. Good in a sense that the rakyat (and the rest of the world) now know who and what kind a person he is.


  25. Dear remgold,

    Unfortunately, we are bro. Dalam bahasa ibunda, kita dah tak reti bersyukur ...

    Like Anon said, perhaps some of our own people would be happy if Malaysia isn't doing as well as it does. I know that some Malaysians, and not just from the Pakatan leadership, are doing well to bring the country's image down.

  26. Jasper,

    Was the Malaysian Government dismissive of such reports as the IMD's in the past? I think Malaysia pays too much attention to these rankings and ratings. During Mahathir's era, we used to take the trouble to correct every wrong perception about this country. We used to oppose the UN's freedom index because we could not accept that Israel was placed higher than ourselves in terms of human freedoms, etc, to the extent that the UN had to explain itself.

    1. Jasper Bloodstone3:11 pm

      So, Bru - did the UN explain itself?

      And what are Malaysia's and Israel's rankings for human rights?

      And, if Malaysia "pays too much attention to these rankings and ratings", then ministers should refrain from commenting on the same.

      As should bloggers, journalists, analysts and politicians!

  27. Anonymous2:09 pm



  28. Jasper Bloodstone3:34 pm

    "Berjaya Sports Toto seeks SGX listing for unit"

    As per the Singapore Business Times (www.businesstimes.com.sg), June 6, 2012, "Berjaya Sports Toto...plans to list its Sports Toto Malaysia Bhd subsidiary on the Singapore Exchange...

    "Berjaya Sports Toto will transfer Sports Toto Malaysia to a new business trust in Singapore in exchange for units in the trust and a so-called promissory note worth a combined RM6 billion (S$2.4 billion....

    "The plan would allow Sports Toto Malaysia access to a larger pool of investors in non-syariah compliant stocks, Berjaya Sports Toto said in the statement....

    "The trust may have an indicative valuation of RM5.9 billion to RM6.5 billion based on cash flow, according to the statement..."

    With Khazanah-owned Integrated Healthcare Holdings also set for a dual listing on Bursa Malaysia and SGX, it looks as though the Singapore Exchange is maintaining an "edge" over Bursa Malaysia.

  29. Anonymous4:04 pm

    Sad to know that Malaysians like to complain a lot and yet do nothing as what I've read from the bias comments here.

    Learn to appreciate what we have and learn to respect one another and help the government to achieve the country's target and vision if you want Malaysia to progress further be it economic, social ,religion,politic etc.

    Note : It is easy to complain when you dont have the responsibility to the people and country.

  30. Anonymous7:29 pm


    For every Index you use there are other Indexes that goes against what you use...

    The truth is in the eating!

    We have been fed crap by Najib the last few years that he has done the opposite of everthing he says. He has no credibility Left...

    His Akan Datangs are only for his own reelection! They will all vanish into thin air when he gets back into power!


  31. Anonymous9:29 pm

    since you are making so much fuss about truth, can you get me www 15 for free....ha ha ha !!!

  32. Anonymous11:23 pm

    aahhh Yes the case of the hare and the tortoise ...

    poor speedy harry - the look on his face when slow tortoise crossed the finish line, is a national geographic moment or was it a kodak precious memory

    bloodystone is speechless

  33. Anonymous12:26 am


    This explained why Anwar too eager to have a debate with Najib. Because Anwar do nothing good. He need publicity so bad right? What happened to Selangor which he is currently the state ecomomic advisor? Nothing good happened in Selangor except so many rumah amoi tukang urut to be offered. A failure for sure! Anwar maybe good in telling his super autas. Our PM ignoring him cause our govt do the best to improve the economy. And we succeed! Last time I gave my support to PR and I dont think that mine will go to PR in the next GE! No more Bro!


  34. Anonymous12:35 am

    Wah! How come Pakatan always telling me that our country gonna bungkus and lingkup? Yo Pakatan! How come this happened? Last time they claimed that Malaysia not competetive enuf. They say that Uganda ranked much better than us. Now, who is losing his plot?


  35. Anonymous9:48 am


    It is so obvious as a Singaporean malay that the non-malays are working overtime to bring Najib's govt.

    They do not want PAS and UMNO to unite. When they unite no amount of silly protest will shake the govt. They are underestimating Najib and thought that they are winning.

    They forget that Najib is a man of full surprises. BN will retain 2/3 majorities and I bet the malays the majority of them after seeing the Berseh video will abandon the Pakatan propaganda.

    Like it or not BN will rule and the Agong has given the signal to the malays to UNITE! and unite they will and abandon Pakatan.


  36. Anonymous10:51 am

    Dato..since they are against comparing us with India..now let us conmpare oourself with Spork...

    - freedom of speech..none..for sure kena saman...
    - rakyat kena regimented..sbb tu bila datang sini buang niat buat apa yang tak boleh buat di Spork...
    - BERSIH??? cuba lar suruh orang Spork buat mcm Bersih buat kat Malaysia..camne kena balun dgn polis spork...n d whole just keep silence...even lebih dari 4 orang pun tak boleh nak kumpul....
    - pembangkang? jangan harap..so...cuba lah usahakan juga "regime change" yang dicanang kat Malaysia ni...
    Minta kawan2 tambah lagi ya..

    1. Jasper Bloodstone5:13 pm

      Anon 10:51 AM

      Aiyoh, oso got freedom of speech in Spore, lah! Lady Gaga show oso can! Msia mana boleh?

      Spore civil servants makan suap, sure kena hantam. Like this senior civil servant being charged "with 10 counts of corruption involving sex with women IT executives seeking government contracts for their companies" (Spore Straits Times, June 7). Msian civil servants are undersexed, it seems, or scared of being caught in flagrante delicto.

      No Bersih-like agitation in Spore? Oso no need, lah, when the electoral rolls are clean and can be checked online. Simple IT applications, mah. Even the Msian EC boleh ikut - just get them to do a lawatan sambil belajar to their Spore counterparts (tapi, must travel on MAS. None of this AirAsia crap!)

      Lagi apa - "first world" vs "third world", izzit?

  37. Anonymous1:05 pm

    As salam. Congratulation! Many thanks to Dato Najib and his team. Hopefully he will bring our country to the next level. Transformasi ekonomi membuahkan hasil nampaknya. I think we should give him enough time and chance as urged by Tunku Aziz.

    Hj Umar A.R.
    Kuala Terengganu

  38. Anonymous1:09 pm

    kah kah kah
    kah kah kah
    kah kah kah

    Bro Anwar B Ibrahim suka bercakap. Tapi habuk pun tarak.

    Kah kah kah
    kah kah kah

    Time dia tak banyak cakap cuma satu je...
    Masa menyudu china doll

    kah kah kah
    kah kah kah

    syabas Najib! tak bayar banyak cakap.. tapi kerja beres... ekonomi terbukti semakin baik...
    lg pun org ekonomi mmg mcm najib. buat kerja. tak macam pak sheih sastera... asyik nak bersastera shj..

    kah kah kah

  39. Anonymous7:52 pm

    A bright future, you say ? Liow Tiong Lai getting a free number plate AFTER he (or someone) put in a bid for RM 24,200, which would include a 50 pct payment in bank draft ? So now everyone wants a free number, especially royalty. That's why we will always be a third world country. The idiot should just have paid for the number plate, but as a senior minister, Liow is simply too cheapskate to do so.

  40. bourne identity8:09 am

    Singapore a model country? ha ha ha... my advise to you Jasper....stand after the CIQ and watch Singapore cars zooming and you will see almost all breaking the speed limit as well as throwing rubbish on the roads. Singapore is a 1st world country because the law is very hard on them...dont be an opposition leader - you will be bankrupt every year!!!!
    Singapore is a very easy country-city-island state to manage because it is a very small country..so operating costs is low and as such.. they can afford to pay VERY high salaries to its people.
    No corruption in Singapore? Guess who owns the legal firm that handles every HDB sale and purchase agreement?
    At least one can apply for a gathering in Malaysia but in Singapore? Id advise you go to Singapore, alligh yourself with the opposition and make a demo in the streets....
    Lets see what happens...

    1. Jasper Bloodstone3:29 pm

      Spore cars breaking speed restrictions on Johor roads & Msian expressways? Where are the Malaysian traffic cops, eh? Too busy doing something else?

      Good try, lah - but find something else to yank our chain, ok?

      Spore may be a small citystate, and easy to administer with it, but let's not forget how they were chucked out of Msia with the Umno ultras betting that the PAP govt would come crawling back, eating humble pie. Boy, were those ultras proved wrong or what?

      Fast fwd to 2011 and there's Khazanah working together with Temasek, KTM land in Spore gone bye-bye and MNC regional Hqs in Spore deciding on investments in Msia.

      Truly the stuff of Umno ultras' wet dreams!

  41. Anonymous11:03 am

    All these buggers writing and condeming the country i want to see that they fly the jalur gemilang, properly and rightly jangan main terbalikkkan..this coming Merdeka ..on their cars, Merc, BMW's Audi Jag and so on..and at home too.
    Whatever i say mant, look at the Americans when it comes to the Star and Stripes..in July..we dont see such patriotism here..esp from the successful Malaysian across the political divide

  42. Anonymous11:12 pm

    we are ever expanding, all of it......:)

  43. Anonymous11:52 pm

    bloodystone, those caught in the sexual tryst are scholars red dot brand

    hahahaha so much for screening thru a world class education system

    end result = flawed leaders (includes a pricipal, police officers, top gut at SCDF and CNB etc etc)

  44. Anonymous11:57 pm

    aiyoyo bloodystone how can you compare 5 million citizens with 29 million huh?

    anyway, last I heard, the kopi tiam spread rumours like "your vote is not secret, PAP knows - that's why they redraw the constituency boundaries ALL the time", "if you don't vote PAP you cant get a job", "if you dont put up a flag at your hdb flat they will fine you $500 sing dollar." etc etc

    even the blind seem to know the position of the pap candidate - amazing

  45. Anonymous1:43 am

    bloodystone, aren't you the ignoramus, chiam see tong had been trying to convince pap that the long term viability for red dot is to "crawl" back to Malaysia

    guess there are a lot of things you know NOT, heh heh

    and of course, the typical arrogance of pap just brush this wise man away

    so today pap can only garner 60% votes and Hougang is the way forward

    1. Jasper Bloodstone1:56 pm

      Pity, then, that Singapore outscores Malaysia in any competitiveness ranking that you care to name.

      Goodness, have they all got it wrong?

      Seems to me that the PAP is reinventing itself and that Singaporeans have pretty much given up on Chiam See Tong and his policies.

      Has he floated his "back to Malaysia" views recently? Has anyone from his party?

      Have you analysed the Workers' Party and their political philosophy, seeing as how they are the Opposition in Singapore? I don't think that re-uniting with Malaysia ranks high on their list of priorities.

      Back to topic - exactly what metrics are you using to say that Malaysia has the edge over Singapore?

      Even the Brumeister didn't make that claim explicitly, though he kinda skirted around the edges a bit.

  46. Anonymous12:23 am

    Finally I see "progress" when Malaysia Boleh started to compare with Singapore. This is a good start. Everyone has its ugly side.
    Why not you start comparing the very basic thing such as:
    a) Education system
    b) Health Care
    c) Public Transport