Mirror mirror on the wall, where will Malaysia be heading to?

2 days ago, I posted the  global competitiveness rankings done by World Economic Forum. Malaysia was ranked ’24’, down from ’21’ a year ago, and ’17’ 2 years back.

Today I am going to post the rankings of the ‘Ease of doing busniess’ 2010. This is compiled by World bank yearly to reflect the ease of doing business including starting business in a country. The higher the ranking, the more pro-business is the regulatory process in the country…

You dont have to be economic genius to know that Malaysia’s ranking in this is slipping downwards too. Last year, we were ranked NO 21, and this year 23.

 I am posting the top 30 rankings here. For the full list, you can go here and for the comparison between 2009 and 2010, you can view here.


Economy Ease of Doing Business Rank Starting a Business
Singapore 1 4
New Zealand 2 1
Hong Kong, China 3 18
United States 4 8
United Kingdom 5 16
Denmark 6 28
Ireland 7 9
Canada 8 2
Australia 9 3
Norway 10 35
Georgia 11 5
Thailand 12 55
Saudi Arabia 13 13
Iceland 14 33
Japan 15 91
Finland 16 30
Mauritius 17 10
Sweden 18 43
Korea, Rep. 19 53
Bahrain 20 63
Switzerland 21 71
Belgium 22 31
Malaysia 23 88
Estonia 24 37
Germany 25 84
Lithuania 26 99
Latvia 27 51
Austria 28 122
Israel 29 34


Remember a fewyears ago, I wrote an article will Malaysia be marginalised, in which I quoted the FDI rakings of Malaysia:

fdi-table1.jpg(data from UNCTAD)

FDI flow to Malaysia slipped from NO 4 in 1990 to NO 62 in 2005.

Apart from economic rankings, look at football. The FiFa latest rankings (2nd September) showed that Malaysia is now ranked 152…view here. We are in page 4 out of 5 pages of rankings, and very soon, we may be in page 5.

What pathetic performance is that, you may ask… Indeed it is pathetic.. It is almost hopeless..

Our economy was 4 times that of SOuth Korea in the 60s, and was almost on par in the early 80s, but now SOuth Korea’s economy is now 4 times ours.

While MU medical school was considered par with University of Singapore when I was a medical student in the latter in the 70s, MU was no longer listed in the top 100 while University of Singapore (now known as National Unisversity of SIngapore is ranked NO. 30. View here

The trend is clear that in EVERY ASPECT, we are losing our standings, and the decline starts in the eighties, when we started shouting “Malaysia Boleh”. 

Those of us who went through life in the 60s and 70s when Malaysia was really ‘Boleh”, would recall nostaligically that Malaysia regularly beat South Korea at Merdeka Tournament in Soccer.. Malaysian students were often the top students in overseas prestige universities and colleges. Look what we have to day, even scholarship holders and top SPM 16As students were repeating.(view here)

While politicians in the past travel by buses and trains to KL to attend the annual meetings of their parties, often putting up 3  to a room in a budget hotel, nowadays, they travel by limousines or planes (first class) to come here, and stay in 5 star hotels…

It can be seen that there is in fact an inverse proportional relations between politicians’ bolehness and the country’s:  while politicians become “boleh’ and ‘rich’ beyond imaginations, the country has beocme more and more ‘ tak boleh”, slipping down in everything.

Corruption is of course the number one culprit. When politicians become corrupted, they tend to use thier ill gained money to cover the mouths of and gain support from  thier supporters , cronies and subordinates, and this in turn lead to massive abuse of power, which subsequently lead to declining standard of governance, and compromising the judicairy.

COrruption also leads to an end to meritocracy. When there is corruption, the best company would not win a contract; the winner would be the one that is willing to use money to cover their incompetency..

Loss of meritocracy in turn leads to loss of excellence, and slowly but surely, the decline is seen in all fields, as reflected in the various rankings above.

We can try to arrest all these declines by tackling corruption, and nothing is better to show our resolve in this than going to the very bottom of the PKFZ issue.

I would therefore call upon the government to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate thoroughly into the PKFZ fiasco, rather than just setting up  a special task force. A RCI would show the people that the govenrment is serious in tackling corrupt practices, and would be able to go to the very bottom of the ills that is making our country  sick and uncompetitive.


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. CYC
    Sep 11, 2009 @ 17:51:20

    Dr. M was our PM for 22 years, the longest serving PM. He should held responsible for the most of the damage done but yet most Chinese especially business regarded him as the best PM.Their logic is simply it is easy to cari makan during his time without taking into consideration other aspect such as what was the comparable GDP of other countries during the same period, what has other achieved during the same period etc. To me, he is the worst PM we ever had. He must be held responsible for destroying the judiciary, declining education standard and racial polarisation and increased religion fanaticism.

    As for the PKFZ fiasco, there is no need to set up any more task force. It is a sheer waste of money akin to taking off your pants in order to fart. What happen to the PwC/Skrine report? Are BN trying to cover up as the report doesn’t sound nice to them. If MACC and PDRM failed to perform in this investigation, KPi minister should give them a red card. Where is the KPI? Or should we issue a red card to KTK, Hishamudin and the entire cabinet?


  2. mccann105
    Sep 11, 2009 @ 19:47:07

    seemed we use 5 guys doing one job..each guy will have differenent intrepretations…those who fit what that suit the ears of man in power will be endorsed…we have enough of all these nonsense…the public aint dumb mute n deaf…enough is enough….the same old spins ….it matter of time the people will turn violent …


  3. Meng
    Sep 11, 2009 @ 23:56:18

    Dr Hsu, what is the point of setting up the RCI when the recommendation of the lingam scandal was never implemented??.

    For all you know you may not even find the reports, all covered with dust and piled up in the storeroom.

    The whole of malaysia is a circus, we are the audience and the ministers are the clowns..clowing away with malaysia boleh. It is a real mess up of the whole system in the country….

    The lingam findings if it has been implement, it would have raised the investors confidence. In your last post..and the site provided as reference…judiciary was noted as as “Disadvantage”… who will come in to invest??

    Malaysia boleh and we are going nowhere…but to doomsday.


  4. frank
    Sep 12, 2009 @ 02:32:34

    Agreed with Meng.

    Like the Teoh Beng Hock’s coroner inquest or even the so-called royal inquiry were all the smoke screen, and to put it bluntly, all the monkey tricks!

    Teoh Beng Hock’s case, as the people in the street would say, it’s only a charade which put up by the 1-Malaysia proponent to placate the grouses and the appeasement of the family of Teoh, and the public furore! The end result is plain clear, will be such like the Kugan’s case, seal with a kiss!

    Why the many aspects of performance – economically, educationally and even morally, we had long gone into the drain! Yet the uncouth politicians are at every endeavour to paint up a picturesque of ‘everything all right and acceptable’ for winning the ‘perception’ of the low mentality hoi-polloi!

    Nation’s dignity is on the verge of bankrupt but our politicians, and the supremo, are seriously caught with the ostrich syndrome and blind folded by the thick dolls marked with the royal image! They see nothing and hear nothing what the world citizens are commenting and sneering at us!

    Malaysia boleh? It’s only a diarrhea which spewed from the big mouth of the fall guy, you know who!


  5. Armagaddon
    Sep 12, 2009 @ 07:02:15

    I do not want to appear racist but the reality is that all government and government-link companies are dominated by a single race whose competency is very doubtful. The only thing they are good at is playing politics and real work is sidelined. In the 70’s you have at least a semblance of meritocracy where the efficient and capable get a chance to head a department. Now it is all racial and the best have left the country benefitting other countries with our best human resource like Singapore.


  6. Meng
    Sep 12, 2009 @ 11:43:14

    Armadaddon is right when he mentioned GLC competency is very doubtful. But the greatest joke there are in fighting and back biting amongst them. Jealousy and false reporting of peers occasionally crops up in these single race.. result..they cannot function solidly as a coherent group. So how do you negotiate with them???

    To make matter worse, If the GLC have subsidiary companies, it is headache to deal with one of them.
    Some of them GLC do not function like the rest of the corporate bodies where the profits are channeled to the main holding. The main holding inturns distribute the funds where it is required for new projects, R&D or expansion etc etc. required by the subsidiary concerned.

    In the GLC, the subsidiary holds on to their profit and the main holding has to request for funds to be transfered to those other sunsidiary who are in need of funds. This is where the problem lies!!!
    Each trying to out do and kill each other… why..cannot see another sub company perform better.

    This is my current problem with a subsidiary company which I am dealing with. Real headache because other subsidiary refused to release the funds…When the main holding is approached for help…no help coming, reason the main holding could not or not able to direct funds to be transfered to the main holding kitty.. Real shit management.

    Want to deal with GLC..think twice…


  7. sing
    Sep 12, 2009 @ 12:07:26

    FDI flow to Malaysia slipped from NO 4 in 1990 to NO 62 in 1995.

    Dr Hsu,
    I think 1995 should read 2005.
    The figure is probably far worse for 2009!

    Racism, and its subsequent incompetent and corruption in every level branch of the public institution will soon completely destroy this beautiful nation.


  8. Dr Hsu
    Sep 12, 2009 @ 12:43:49

    Thanks for pointing out the mistake.. I have corrected them…:)


  9. ahoo
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 10:22:52

    Without MERITOCRACY no nation can achieve its true potential. Without any real effort to fight corruption this nation is heading to be the pariah of Asia very soon.

    In order for the nation to regain its past glories, either the ruling regime shows real change with clear-cut policies for the people or the people will have to vote them out for a change. With a new party at the helm for a term or two and a check and balance from a former hungry ruling party, things will be good for all.

    Things will be more balanced with a two party system of governance in the cabibet. Let us all prepare for a change in govt in the coming GE 13 and it certainly cannot be any worse than the current status.


  10. 1MY
    Sep 15, 2009 @ 11:49:41

    Medical students should have the mentality to study medicine for the love and not for the money/status.


  11. petestop
    Sep 17, 2009 @ 19:59:10

    Thanks, Doc Hsu, you made a finer KPI monitor than our KPI minister.

    Very little news from KTK lately after he gain his ministership, except that they need to hire another assistant in the form of Idris Jala to help him out.


  12. Atila
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 01:21:15

    Mirror Mirror on the Wall,
    Where will Malaysia be heading to?

    The Mirror answers “you shall be like Iran once under the reign of Shah or Turkey under the reign o Attaturk, both doomed”.


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