Monday, October 05, 2009

Why the Malaysian Economy is in a Dilemma?

Why is the national economy in such a sorry state? NEAC chairman Amirsham Aziz admitted that Malaysia was still relying on the old model, as a low-cost manufacturing hub with low wages and adequately skilled workers.

Hence, he wants to take a proactive step to reinvent the economic model. But what is the main dilemma of our economy?

This is it. Ignorance. Incompetence.

He said the New Economic Advisory Council (NEAC) will send its team to South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and several east European countries soon to learn about how they have transformed their economies.

Amirsham A. Aziz said Korea, Taiwan and Singapore had successfully remodelled their economies and their economic growth has been impressive.

If these advisers and policy makers still do not know why these economies are successful, then it is best to find others who already understand the dynamics behind these economies.

South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore have a thing in common - a good education system, a high work rate, a socio-economic system based on merit, capable civil servants and policy makers, low barrier to entrepreneurialism , market liberalisation and performance driven.

Malaysia? Nepotism, know-who, increase marginalisation of SMEs, ignorant policy makers, incompetent civil service, poor education system (overly politicised), NEP, high barrier to entrepreneurialism, corruption, non-productive public projects, policy flip-flops, institutionalised racism apart from low wages and less than professional work attitude.

More study teams? If Malaysia can learn the secret of success from these countries in 1-2 weeks study tour then we would not have been in this situation in the first place.

We did not learn a bit since 1990's when the nation was amply warned of the bottleneck of low cost economic model. We did not learn in 30 years. Can we learn anything in a few weeks?

The last I checked, where was the Disneyland report? Most of the recreational parks in the country are barely working.


Anonymous said...

Dr. NO's friend is still busy with his racist comments. Where got time to prepare Disneyland? If so, are you asking him to dislose his corruption practise?

julian said...

a study tour????? what to study the women/men there??????
hell come to the country south (lucky your gov.didnt build the crooked bridge to nowhere.
i may have grouses with my gov. but WE ARE WAYYYYYYYY AHEAD of your gov, policies.
hell we even but the so called best brains from your country and we are still ahead??????????

Shanker said...

"He said the New Economic Advisory Council (NEAC) will send its team to...countries soon to learn about how they have transformed their economies."

Sigh. Another lawatan sambil belajar by our politicians.

ANd to think that Amirsham was Maybank CEO in the past. Hello, Senator, bangun la!!

Why other countries are doing so much better? Simple. Cos they don't have UMNO/BN style politics that thrives on corruption to survive. Wasn't there a report some time ago which mentioned that Malaysian had lost some USD100b in the past 2-3 decades?

So, why do you now want to add the trip cost to the bill? Stay back home, surf the Net and study some of our own local blogs, and you'll get your insight.

Anonymous said...

Are they admitting that the stimulus package is not working? How do you think Singapore,Taiwan and South Korea are doing so well? Simple! they were willing to make the change. Change is always hard but if you continue to play below the line, then all you get are massive stories. If our leaders do not have the gall (read as being accountable and responsible) to make tough decisions to curb corruption,to overhaul our education systems and to make tough policy changes with regards to NEP and nepotism to name a few then nothing will change the state of our economy. It is not incompetence and definitely not ignorance. These leaders are bloody selfish! No other words can begin to describe them.

People Power said...

All the talk of economic reform are political talk only! No real conviction!I have yet to see the ruling party leader or minister graciously step down(except Zaid Ibrahim) for the short comings.Everytime there is problem, they(theleader or minister)will give all sorts of rubbish excuses! Enough of these already! kick those flers out in GE13! give the new government a chance!

clearwater said...

Amirsham, a career ex-Maybanker, should know what ails the Malaysian economy the last 20 plus years. Once considered one of the emerging Asian tigers in the early 1990's, Malaysia turned itself into a pussy cat along with the new millennium. By 2000, its much vaunted 'Look East' policy under the then Prime Minister had turned into a joke. It was more like a 'Loot Feast' festival as the PM's cronies helped themselves to the nation's assets with his blessings, some say his connivance.

Today in 2009, the actors may have changed but not the script. The politicians are still in control. What can Amirsham do to stem the rot? He is virtually powerless to effect the deep policy changes needed to make Malaysia competitive. Does he dare even to make far reaching recommendations that may upset powerful vested interests? I doubt it. Malaysia will continue to be nearly there, but not quite there, because right now we just have not got what it takes to succeed.

CKSF said...

are you sure Amirsham A. Aziz says what you reported? and not some of his phamtom writers?
the mamak on becoming pm suddenly knows everything, talk off the cuff on anything (in front of autocue)
cant blame you though, lest your blog gets pulled down ;-))
keep on the good works. dr kkp

K L said...

Why waste the Rakyat money again to send the team to visit these Asian Tigers? Perhaps another Khir Toyo style of spending in Disneyland ! Should learn from Japan for a change of government instead!

Anonymous said...

There are just too many Makan Angin Trips with no results at all, and the worst of it: belly dancing tour by the Toyol and Gang.

Bolehland's economy is going down for sure. How long can it be sustained without going burst or how long it is going to take for RM1 = 0.5 Renminbi and also Sing.$1=RM3.50, is uncertain, but it will be very soon.

What is going on? As long as this corrupt government sticks on, it will be a reality.

Anonymous said...

When will we ever learn?
We have sent study groups overseas but have they ever learned?
We shall learn from the East, especially the Japanese.
Have we ever learned?
We also try to learn from the West. Have we actually learnt?
Then why a neighbouring country without any natural resources can be an examplary world economy?

Stevie said...

This is bit off topic, but because I have read your commentary about Public Relations and media-spinning in your earlier articles, I thought this might be relevant as to why we are where we are economically or otherwise.

In the spirit of anything boleh, Malaysia has suddenly become 1Malaysia.

1Malaysia Earthquake Fund, 1Malaysia F1 team, 1Malaysia this and 1Malaysia that. What happened to Malaysia? Are we to call ourselves 1Malaysians now?

Has a new nation emerged from the ashes of the Sumatra earthquake?

Is Najib the PM of 1Malaysia? Who is the PM of Malaysia?

I understand that 1Malaysia is a concept conceived by the PR company Najib had appointed, even though what it is is not clearly defined. But the way it is used is definitely not how a slogan should be used.

"One nation, two systems" for Hongkong, China is a slogan. "One world, one dream" for Beijing Olympic is a slogan. 1Malaysia is not a slogan. One Malaysia may be.

You create a slogan but you never change the name.

Any professional worth his/her salt knows that one should never play around with a "brandname". You don't even play around with its type-face, font size, and design elements.

Malaysia is a national "brandname". You can't simply add just anything to it, making it 1Malaysia in mass communication is definitely a no no.

What are the implications of such an exercise? Was there a claim for a separate Malaysia? Is Malaysia not good enough? What is wrong with saying Malaysia Earthquake Fund or Malaysia F1 team, for example?

Only in Malaysia. We think we are so smart when in the eyes of others we are not.

Anonymous said...

Can I ask or not Mr Khoo?Is Yang Amat Berhormat Dato Seri Toyol going this time on study tour?If he's not going where got fun ,man.

Anonymous said...

Actually, you don't need a study tour. You don't even need to go abroad. Just go to any library in any of the local public universities , and you can find many references related to these countries.

Maybe better to ask graduate students to research; form several group and let each group focus only on one country; ask each of these groups to compile references and works on these countries, and you'll be surprised....

The money for the study trip(s) might better used for research grants for these students!!!

yours truly,

Anonymous said...

I am getting very impatient with this government as I see no end to stupid trade missions, study missions that bear no results. Hence, I suggest Malaysia start looking inwards. Use your own ingenuity rather than heading there with to enjoy Soju and Sake.

Anonymous said...

No need to send a team to Taiwan, Singapore or Korea to find out their success stories. There are plenty of books written on the stellar performances. Read how do they do it.
The factors are already listed by the writers. Work on impriving them and we can succeed.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who have negative thoughts on Malaysia despite how good it is,go and stay in Indonesia and never come back. Otherwise,you are just a bunch of idiots with no brains, or even if you actually do have brains, its located in your asshole!

nckeat88 said...

Very well said but I don't really agree on racism in Malaysia. No doubt discrimination exist but this is not true Apartheid like racism. We are still able to survive and many do succed in their life through their hard effort.
What happen in Malaysia is corruption, bad governance which the elite is using racism as an excuse to reflect any attempt to investigate and eradicate them.

Anonymous said...

What is the PM talking about cashing in the diversity of 1Malayasia in his outlook of the economy? He is again talking about his pet economic theory diversifying from real problems. One can see all his theories and no action policy since taking the chair. Just like the concept of Malaysia Boleh before. As an example: The show of once tallest building is not a direct benefit to economic well being of the people. The funds that created the white elephant should have been applied to some economic project that brings benefits.Everything is done to show outside wealth of the nation and promoting a show off attitude in the people, like the many things done locally for entries in the Malaysian Book of Records - not the world. What inspiration does such entries make in the people. The dependency on foreign workers for cheaper costs of labour is slowly killing the economy when they disappear to other countries for better wages. All these fallacies make the economy weak and not competitive to emerging economies.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

To find out what makes the difference, Just analyse what successful countries do not have while we see it blatantly implemented in Malaysia? A bias policy with total disregard of merit system. That is the main cause.

Anonymous said...

In one to two weeks study trips, they will be back with more songs, slogans, T-shirts, caps, stickers or perhaps balloons uttering their success. Poor fellow.

Anonymous said...

end of the day, our malaysia own policy still the same. v malaysia boleh mar ... no need to work so hard to get things done, just sub contract out can d, v got lots of $$ mar ^.^

Anonymous said...

Stop politicising race, religion and pushing affirmative action. Maybe then we might have a chance. The government governs to fill the pockets not for societal welfare. How to change?

Anonymous said...

Dont believe Amisham ! He couldnt even run Maybank well when he was the CEO then. Maybank fared miserably during his rein as CEO; market shares dropped like mad. He had engaged so many consultants to help him, but they were mere paper works that burdened his staff. No concrete or concerted effort by him as CEO to really rectify the situation. He was only a text books CEO.What he cared was his KPIs which was really bullshit. This time around it is his KPIs that is his main concern !!

Anonymous said...

Amin is just setting the justification for more "study tours" for him and his minions.All the bullshits about study tours.You don't need them.What is needed is a real and right desire to improve things, not some taxpayers' funded holiday trips for the big fat cats.

Anonymous said...

Study tours are good if done in the right context and intention. I am a Malaysian working for a Singapore co. based overseas and occassionally I am sent on study tours and our programs are packed till night working and studying preparing reports on the places and co visited. Dinners are a quick KFC or McD and after each visit the co discuss and implement whatever is relevant. Unfortunately in Malaysia, all study tours undertaken whether by private or public sector are always a holiday or incentive trip. An indirect inducement or corruption.

Theshi said...

Omg. After all these years, they still clueless about SG and South Korea? More study tours to countries so close by and well documented?

If they want to have a study tour to Mongolia/Nepal I can understand since so little is known about these cultures and written about them.

Sometimes I just have no idea where the government get these people from.

Anonymous said...

KKP, you are right on spot, these countries have in place with them a good foundation built on the right fundamentals which can withstand the many economic challenges facing them.

Unlike Malaysia, 52 years ago we were from the same starting block, endowed with good infrastructure and administration system handed down by the British colonialist. Yet we choose to dismantle these and 'planted the wrong trees' now these trees are bearing the wrong kind of fruits. We have to accept that we are now way behind these countries and contend with our new groupings like Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and etc. If we do not make a U turn on our policies, we will very soon find out that we will have to contend with countries like Nigeria, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar in the next decade.
Those numb skulls up there must really wake up and decide to 'cut down' these trees and replant another batch of trees which can bear good fruits. Start dismantling the NEP, Depoliticize the Education system, Introduce meritocracy, Stop nepotism and allow every individual the right to choose their PM and not by a handful of warlords. Gosh there are so many I just can't go on!!!

Anonymous said...

Pre-1997 Malaysia was one of 5 Asian tigers (Spore,Thai,Taiwan,SKorea)mentioned by WorldBank.Now 10 years later we need to go and see the 4 tigers what happened?We are now close to losing to aggressive Indonesia and a hardworking Vietnam.Like all parents I worry for my children's future.I hope they don't have to go to another country to work as maid or construction workers when they finish school.God help us all.

CITIZEN said...


Anonymous said...

"lawatan sambil belajar".

for an ex-banker, he learns fast on how to screw the rakyat's money.

Anonymous said...

They say "study tour" & you all believe it...!!

Knowing very well studied "nothing" for all our tax paying trips...! For all these years.

Just rewards..!!!!

Anonymous said...

If I am not mistaken, Amirsham was CEO of Maybank when it issued a statement to the effect that only bumiputra legal firms can be on Maybank's panel of solicitors (which was subsequently retracted after it caused a small uproar - whole thing could possibly be a sandiwara of sort). Makes one wonder whether Amirsham still see things thro' tinted glasses or is he now thinking out of the box?

Anonymous said...

The low cost economic model was ok when your population was largely low cost and unemployed but it is foolish to prolong this model unnecessarily by importing other low cost population and distort the natural economic progression.

It is a myth that Malaysians will not do those so called 3D jobs when there are tens of thousands of Chinese Malaysians doing these 3D jobs just across the causeways because of higher pay, safer work environment & practice and greater automation.

None of the economies understudy has any noticeable foreign labour population; even if there are any foreign labour, they are hired on skill needed basis and paid the same wages as the local or even given quasi citizenship; unlike the low cost model here.

Without these low cost labourers, Malaysians will be paid higher wages and the companies will invest in greater and advanced automation. Otherwise, we will forever be a third world country.

Anonymous said...

Economy in dilemma because it is monopolised by one race and its the chinanese