China formula for transformation to a world economic power — Can Malaysia emulate?

by Dr. Chen Man Hin

In 1977 when China launched the four modernisations in industry, agriculture, science and technology and military defence by Deng Xiao Peng, China’s GDP (gross domestic product) was only US$253 per person.

In 2006 the GDP per person had risen to about US$2000.

China is now a world economic giant in fourth position after USA, Japan and Germany.

In 2004, the gross domestic product of China was estimated to be US$2 trillion as compared to US$12.5 trillion for USA.

In 2006, its foreign currency reserves was US$1 trillion, most of which are in US bonds. If this was withdrawn, it would trigger a world economic chaos.

World economists predict that China would overtake the USA as the world’s largest economy in 2035 to become the world economic superpower.


I last visited China some 20 years ago, and I can say the transformation of the country, towns and people is truly remarkable. Xi’an was a city of low rise buildings, but now its skyline is dotted with skyscrapers, and its roads replaced with multi-lane highways.Tthe newer parts of the city are tree-lined and planned like the cities of France with broad boulevards.

The city is divided into districts, each specialized such as university district, IT district, cultural district, industrial district, residential and ‘no night’ commercial district.

Information was gathered from businessmen, government officials and the man- in-the-street. The general opinion was that the tranformation was due to:

1. Former leader Deng Xiao Peng’s four modernisations which broke away from the old communist ways and changed to liberal policies.

2. Where before the country followed a command economy which caused stagnation and poverty, it now has embraced a ‘socialist market economy’ where business and other economic activities are allowed full liberalisation without unnecessary regulations and restrictions .

3. A leadership dedicated to the cause of progress and development to uplift living standards and who are scrupulously honest, disciplined and of absolute integrity.

4. A people, who supported the leadership and are very patriotic, very proud of their history and very disciplined and who are energetic and innovative. Their energy and dynamism have to be seen to be believed. They work as if their very lives depend on it.

These are the main factors which have propelled China to be an economic giant and the potential to be the world superpower.

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should study and adopt the China formula for progress and development in Malaysia;

  1. #1 by sabah tun on Friday, 17 August 2007 - 2:48 pm

    China even executed the top health official recently because of certain issues…If that standard is to be applied here Badawi and Najib would have been executed long ago…

  2. #2 by dawsheng on Friday, 17 August 2007 - 2:51 pm

    The Malay have emulated the ugly side of Chinese Malaysians. That’s all and that’s enough.

  3. #3 by sotong on Friday, 17 August 2007 - 3:07 pm

    With 30,000 millions full time soldiers and 300,000 millions in reserve, come WW3 China will be the only Superpower!

  4. #4 by grace on Friday, 17 August 2007 - 3:10 pm

    Dr. Cheng Man Hin,
    Malaysia will follow the formula when the moon turns blue!!!
    Even if she wants to, there is no real leaders with the brains to do it.
    China is willing to import brains like Senior Minister Lee to help them out. Would we do it????

  5. #5 by Toyol on Friday, 17 August 2007 - 4:07 pm

    First of all, NEP has to go followed by all chauvinistic, racially dividing and discriminatory policies. Then Bangsa Malaysia has to be adopted by all irrespective of race, creed or color. Then sack the current leaders and make way for people with some brains!

  6. #6 by democrate on Friday, 17 August 2007 - 5:46 pm

    I hv visited China not less than 10x. i must say the 28 years of miracle development is really unbelievable. No wonder the people in the West always say its not only the great wall but the Chinese too are great!! cos their development is 10 years ahead of schedule!!

  7. #7 by ccjett on Friday, 17 August 2007 - 6:13 pm

    “The city is divided into districts, each specialized such as university district, IT district, cultural district, industrial district, residential and ‘no night’ commercial district.”

    Malaysia is divided into bumi, non-bumi, muslim, non-muslim and THAT’S THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEMS

  8. #8 by raven77 on Friday, 17 August 2007 - 6:56 pm

    CTOS destroyed this country’s economy………execute Chung and Nor Mohamed, bring back those little Chinese banks…..and this economy will jumpstart inspite of the NEP………entrepreneurs will work hard to succeed instead of borrowing from loan sharks and getting caged….when will Malaysia ever learn……..GROW! GROW! GROW!!!!!!……worry about raising the bar later…….

  9. #9 by Godfather on Friday, 17 August 2007 - 7:42 pm

    Frankly, China is the place where we should look to for our future. “Our” may not include Bolehland, but it should include everyone who is ambitious, hardworking, and believes in a level playing field.

    Very soon, clowns like KJ and Zainuddeen Maideen and Nazri will be queuing up to kiss the hands of the Mainland Chinese leaders. Especially when Bolehland is about to go bankrupt.

  10. #10 by boh-liao on Friday, 17 August 2007 - 7:46 pm

    Can Malaysia emulate China or even India? Ha, ha, ha, ……….

    Both Malaysia and Singapore are blessed with multiracial populations, in fact not with any other races but Chinese and Indians (people who are familiar with the language and culture of the two awakening giants; people who have roots in the two economic giants), in addition to Malays and others.

    Did Malaysia capitalise on these fantastic assets? Imagine, if the UMNO Malays who ruled our country in the last 50 years were self-confident and visionary, and promoted the growth of the language and culture of both Chinese- and Indian-Malaysians, besides Bahasa Malaysia and English, we would have a nation of well-educated individuals ready to tap the opportunities in both China and India. However, you and I know the sad, myopic outcome.

    On the other hand, Singapore, the little red-dot not considered to be a nation by a couple of our arrogant but ignorant cabinet ministers, makes full use of its diverse human resources and formulates educational and business policies to capitalise on the limitless opportunities in both China and India.

    This is the sad tale of two Siamese-twin nations – split in 1965 and moving on different paths, one towards north and the other towards south.

    China, a country that opened its door to the outside world only 30 years ago, is moving ahead. In education, China definitely overruns Malaysia.

  11. #11 by ihavesomethingtosay on Friday, 17 August 2007 - 7:53 pm

    Malaysia must emulate China’s policy on currupt officials by knealing them onto the ground and put a bullet through their thick skull.

  12. #12 by shortie kiasu on Friday, 17 August 2007 - 8:09 pm

    With due respect, do any of Malaysian political leaders have such a vision and determination? Sorry the answer is none. We have many mediocre people around with too much self interests and vested interest in everything they do. Look at the biggest political party in the coalition, they are looking for crutches and free lunch, ready to just put their hand in it, take it for free with a drop of sweat. Never, never, that is fact, when they will ever learn? No.

    Death penalty for those found guilty of corruption with immediate execution? No no!

  13. #13 by aycy on Friday, 17 August 2007 - 10:09 pm

    Don’t mean to be rude. China’s economic development might look very rosy dosy but at the expense crushing the ordinary people’s life. Forced evictions of people from their homes with either non equitable compensation or none at all. Pollutions (Look at the future Olympic venues) and corruptions are all over the place. The government have forced people to move out by turning their place into a condo and made a killing by selling them. The connected communist party members and the contractors benefit from all of these schemes. I am not sure that’s right.

    Similarly to Malaysia, the justice system is controlled by the Communist Party so much like UMNO. Verdicts are decided by senior members of the party. Imagine the judges’ background range from a janitor to ex-military person without any law background.

    The developments that you see in the bigger cities are “superficial” as their basic needs like healthcare is being ignored. Once you step away from the cities, it is like a different China that you would have in mind. Farmers are still poor and illerate. Freedom of speech and media are non existence in China. Internet access is being censored and monitored by their government.

    So be very careful of what you plan to emulate from China my dear Malaysian compatriots.

    P/s One of my relatives’ home was taken by the Chinese government without any compensation. They just said the government needs it to develop the area.

  14. #14 by tunglang on Friday, 17 August 2007 - 11:53 pm

    After 50 years, Malaysia is still in self denial, man! Stupid, arrogant, pride for the wrong reasons (always Boleh! notwithstanding the facts) and very skin-coloured! Why? because we have some idiots who ruled this country (fabulously bestowed with natural resources) but stupid enough to squander its riches away, to deny talented human resources from developing in this nation. Remember how rich Malaya was in the 50s with abundant rubber and tin resources that was the envy of other Asian countries. Too angry to mention wasteful projects that never stood the test of time, lest another NameWee belt out a woeful song.
    #1 reason for our demise in the coming: FEAR of losing out to other races, within Malaysia and globally. This made for an opportune excuse by sly politicians to prolong and twist the NEP which actually was a noble one. This myopic view is causing our very downfall as a nation, irrespective of race.
    #2 is corruption. Example: Baffling that 40% of our police officers (to quote Haniff) are (suspected) on the minum kopi!
    What else is in the coming revelations of this once fabulous country-Negara Ku Malaysia.
    We were once a great Malaya achieving a hopeful 1957 Malaysia for all anak-anak Malaysia. 2007…Tak tau!

  15. #15 by ployd on Saturday, 18 August 2007 - 1:09 am

    Sotong had said it right. When WW3 comes China will repeat her founder’s footstep by following the so called ‘Longest March’ but this time around towards Middle-east for oil to fuel it war machinary.

  16. #16 by cg on Saturday, 18 August 2007 - 2:04 am

    Tend to agree towards some of the bad practices you mentioned in mainland.
    I was having a conversations with some bright youngster here in China comparing which country is the “worse”…
    A lot of bad practice in M’sia are also happening here. Crimes are not so significant here after averaged out with it’s population, no illegal immigrants threat here though.
    However, when I tell them about our education system and the quota system. They say: Oh My God, this will have adverse effect for the long run throughout a long period of time.
    Also, the facts is, they think of our neighbour, Singapore which is just a dot in the map very highly.

  17. #17 by art-upon-mu on Saturday, 18 August 2007 - 2:20 am

    China has moved on despite the senseless Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. Malaya and Malaysia had a head start but still ended as an internalised nation on a slippery slope to more ethnic instability and corruptions.

  18. #18 by AntiRacialDiscrimination on Saturday, 18 August 2007 - 12:34 pm

    How are we going to move on if over 60% of our country’s population depends entirely on crutches handed out by the Government?
    They can’t even walk without the ‘tongkat’.
    The Government has help Malaysia to become the largest producer of ‘Tongkat Ali’.

  19. #19 by k1980 on Saturday, 18 August 2007 - 2:14 pm
    So all you Indians out there without a job or doing menial work, living in crime infested flats, rumah murah or squatter houses about to be demolished along with your illegal temples, bypassed for promotions in the low level civil service post you are in, with children who are unable to make it to public varsities despite good results, when you pray to your God tonight put in a good word for your leaders, for it is they who have placed you in such an exalted and envious position in Malaysian society…

  20. #20 by Bobster on Saturday, 18 August 2007 - 2:53 pm

    Current economy is sustaining on the border line not because of the good works for the administration.

    Thing on surface are looking good due to crude oil price at all time high, follow by rubber and palm oil. World economy currently in favor of our country. Just need a regional or world economy crisis to bring the whole country into deep slum.

    The leaders of this country are not prepared for globalization. BN/UMNO still cling on to race and easy get rich type mentality, not ready for an open economy for all races which will encourage even more foreign investors to our country and help to boost the GDP to a higher level. Just look at Singapore with zero natural resources but with fair and friendly policy proven to encourage foreign investors which in a way help to build the country economy above the rest of the countries in the region.

    BN/UMNO still insist to cling on to the small little cake when they can have a feast if they break the race based economy and encourage foreign investors to our country.

    So fellow Malaysians, we have to be prepared for the worst as the present government is not up to the mark and thing doesn’t look good. At least Dr M with his many shortfalls still managed to make the right decision to curb the currency crisis. Our PM holding the post of a Finance Minister till today never have a concrete and clear goal of country finance and future economy. Only thing he emphasis is pertanian, pertanian and more pertanian. I seriously wonder whether he understands basic finance or only make his decision base on ‘perasan’ or feeling. On one hand he is ‘reducing’ government spending but on the other hand increasing cost of diesel, toll etc causing inflation to most items. Government servants are taken care of but rakyat feel the pinch or should say a punch right on the face. Where are the money to create more jobs? What are the strategies to encourage private spending and spur more foreign investment? All talk and went blank after that expect things to fall from the sky.

    Come to IDR and NCER all the cronies surrounding the PM showing clear sign of major scandals waiting to happen. Next you will see billions being transferred out of the country and our rakyat get peanut for multi billions project. Billions spent for projects that cost probably only tens of million due to corruption. This is what waiting to happen.

    Coming to election government will boost up the stock market to make it looks good on surface. With whose money? Everyone knows we taxpayers and epf payer being used as the scapegoats as usual. After election back to square one. If the US economy continue to tumble or China suddenly take a turn and go for a dive election will be postponed till you know when. There goes our hard-earned money too …

    PM should relinquish all his under/non-performing posts as every hour and every day the country is going down the drain.

  21. #21 by k1980 on Saturday, 18 August 2007 - 5:42 pm

    How the Americans cheat the world
    Think about gumdrops. They are no different than sub-prime home mortgages, and they illustrate how such a tiny segment of the housing market in the US could cause so much trouble for the world economy….

  22. #22 by sj on Saturday, 18 August 2007 - 6:27 pm

    Uncle Lim,

    Simple answer would be, a big no no. Stop being too optimistic and positive. Positiveness and optimistic do not work on stupid people. Like those in goverment.

  23. #23 by undergrad2 on Saturday, 18 August 2007 - 8:41 pm

    Chinese in Malaysia should renounce their Malaysian citizenship and seek citizenship in China. What do you say??

  24. #24 by Woody on Saturday, 18 August 2007 - 9:01 pm

    Can Malaysia emulate China?

    How is it possible? With NEP, not in a million years.

    Deng Xiao Peng only open up China for about 30 years ago and see how much they progress.

    As for Malaysia, we are going to celebrate our 50th Birthday and now we are still talking about racial issue and NEP.

    As long someone is not taught to fish for his own food, he will never grow up.

    How to progress in this way?

  25. #25 by bystander on Saturday, 18 August 2007 - 9:14 pm

    Not a chance. When UMNOputras are in perpetual denial and with NEP, its not possible lah. To them everything is ok. To RPK, everything is f—-d. ha ha

  26. #26 by khoyamliang on Sunday, 19 August 2007 - 3:56 am

    Like it or not, what you are seeing before you now the gigantic development of China is in fact the largest ever transformation in the entire human history, yes I repeat, the entire human history!!

    Some renowned American economists predicted that in 20 years’ time, China’s GDP will overtake US’; in terms of GDP-PPP(purchasing power parity), China is already No.2, right behind US. China’s current GDP stands at USD2.8 trillion(2006), by the end of 2007, it is poised to overtake Germany’s(USD2.93 trillion).

    The Three Gorges Dam, the manned space program(self-developed technology), the Qinghai–Tibet railway, the hosting of 2008 Olympics, the modernisation of PLA(People’s Liberation Army) with nuclear capability, the huge and massive urbanisation of cities across China, the moving up of the value chain in economic production, etc. etc.

    In a short 9 years’ time, China accumulated a massive USD1.2 trillion in foreign reserves(in 1999, it stood at 150 billion, now it stand st 1.33 trillion).

    For export of goods and services, economic and social developments, GDP, R&D, technological breakthroughs and innovations, military expansion, international relations, soft power, cultural influence, global standing, standard of living, etc. etc. etc., you have to expect the unexpected as far as China is concerned, sky is the limit now!


    It has literally gone to the dog! No thanks to Umno.

  27. #27 by mendela on Sunday, 19 August 2007 - 11:15 am

    GDP of China may be only USD 2000 per capita. But in big cities like in Shanghai, Beijing and Shengzhen, theirs are much higher than Malaysians’ USD 6000!

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