Has Najib forgotten that Malaysia was second in Asia after Japan in prosperity and income when we achieved independence in 1957 and that we have been overtaken by Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and even South Korea which became high-income countries 20 – 28 years ago?

When the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak boasted in the Eleven Malaysia Plan that Malaysia had risen from the ranks of a low-income economy in the 1970s to a high middle-income economy with a national per capita income more than 25-fold from US$402 (1970) to US$10,796 (2014), and is well on the track to surpass the US$15,000 threshhold of a high-income economy by 2020, Malaysians are entitled to ask him whether he has forgotten that Malaysia was second in Asia after Japan in prosperity and income when we achieved Independence in 1957?

What were the reasons why other countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore which were poorer than us when we achieved Independence had not only caught up with us, but gone ahead, with Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and even South Korea becoming high-income countries some 20 – 28 years ago, a target we are seeking to achieve by the end of the 11th Malaysia Plan and Vision 2020?

In 1987, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore joined the ranks of the high-income countries, defined by the World Bank as a country with a gross national income per capita above US$12,746 in 2013. South Korea joined the list in 1995 for two years, dropped out for four years because of the Asian financial crisis and re-joined the ranks of high-income nations in 2001.

It is worth noting how these other Asian countries which were behind us economically compare with Malaysia’s 25-fold increase in national per capita income since 1970.

South Korea and Taiwan’s national per capita income would have increased at the highest rate, a stunning over eighty-fold increase, followed by Singapore and Hong Kong which registered an increase of over 50-fold and 34-fold respectively.

The increase in national per capita income for these countries would have increase manifold, even registering hundred-fold increase for South Korea, if comparison is made with the attainment of Merdeka in 1957.

Why has Malaysia failed to make full use of our excellent economic advantages and rich resource endowments, both human and natural, since Independence in 1957 and the formation of Malaysia in 1963 for the country to continue to be in the forefront in the world in economic development?

The answer to this question holds the key to the success or failure of the 11th Malaysia Plan and Vision 2020.

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  1. #1 by boh-liao on Saturday, 23 May 2015 - 4:17 pm

    Hai yah, Y always talked of d past when Malaysia was 2nd in Asia after Japan in prosperity n income when we achieved independence in 1957
    Y indeed, talking abt 2nd place?
    Talk lah n boast lah abt FIRST place NOW
    Surely M’sia is FIRST in big time corruption n outflow of $$$ in Asia (based on per capita basis), [email protected] Japan, China n Korea
    B proud of our 1st place lah

  2. #2 by waterfrontcoolie on Sunday, 24 May 2015 - 1:23 pm

    We have seen how the gift of oil has sapped the desire of all those nations who have been provided with this gift; except Norway which had stowed away all the ‘profit of this resources in her national sovereign funds. As for the rest, the politicians spend most of their time trying to use the income from oil for their personal agenda; of course including their cronies! And all those nations which had their per capital increased by so many folds are nations or economies without such natural resources! Maybe the Creator has been fair and equitable to all his creations! Easy come easy go! Is n’t our current policy based on the perception that only the children of the soil should enjoy what the Creator has endowed to them? Hence their rights to squander such resources as they like! This perception of right is being built into their thought but what happen when the black gold is gone? The outcome is pretty obvious; unable to compete. what else can be the outcome???

  3. #3 by the reds on Monday, 25 May 2015 - 2:05 pm

    Now, we need to start making progress and overtake them!

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