In the past week or so, there were several news reports stating that Malaysia was regressing backward relative to the high-income country GNI benchmark of $15,000 per person by 2020. The Economic Planning Unit showed the figure fell to $9,291 in 2015 and to $8,821 in 2016, from $10,677 in 2014.[1] From the figures alone, […]

The idea that Malaysia needs to graduate from low-tech, low-skill sector to high-tech, high-skill sector is well-rehearsed. If you have been reading my blog long enough, you will know that I am not a fan of such narrative. I consider it as a feel good rhetoric as if there is a switch somewhere that turns everything […]

Europe was uncontested center of the world during the periods leading up to the 20th century. It was the fountainhead of human civilization. Their progress allowed them to become the foremost colonial powers of the world. The British Empire itself was so vast that as the saying goes, the sun never sets on it. European achievements created […]

There are Harold and Kumar, after Harrod and Domar, a high rate of development, after a great pot investment.

I was Sarawak for two weeks in early 2011. It was election time and the campaigning period was well underway. From my observation, I think I can conclude that the politics of development is very much alive in Sarawak. It is not hard to understand why. While the standard of living in Kuching, the state capital, […]

If one looks at various socioeconomic statistics, it is easy to conclude how far behind Malaysia Cambodia is. Yet superficially, if one landed in Siem Reap in north Cambodia, one would find it hard to differentiate rural Cambodia from rural Malaysia, apart from Khmer writing on the billboards and posters as well as the spoken […]

The rapid and successful economic development of China so far has been presented as the superiority of central planning over the approach taken, for example, by India. It is the Beijing development model as some would say. Authoritarian top-down approach gets things done, unlike the messy democratic means from the bottom up. All those criticisms […]

As the Malaysian Parliament planned to vote out Singapore from the Malaysian federation, Tunku Abdul Rahman said this in the Dewan Rakyat: …On the other hand, our relationship with Sabah and Sarawak has been excellent. We are desirous of carrying out extensive development programme in these two States, because we realise that under the colonial […]

The following illustrates the GDP per capita of countries attending the Langkawi International Dialogue. Seychelles has been left out because it is an outlier and it is messing up the graph. The next graph shows the human development index of the same countries with the exception of Tanzania (the omission is purely a matter of […]

There is much stress on economic freedom these days. This is clear by the fact that the New Economic Model is advocating less government in various aspects. So excited are the document authors about the idea of free market that at its rhetorical climax, they highlight the phrase “market-friendly affirmative action”, never mind the apparent contradiction […]

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