We are in C Class

Malaysia is the no.37th Best country to live in, according to a study done by Newsweek. Many people think that this is quite a good ranking. This also proves that we are indeed a middle ranked country.

But the best comparison as to how we have fared is not the ranking per se. It is how our contemporaries are doing. In the 60s, South Korea was a very poor country, with little resources, and harsh elements, and of course it was ravaged by a very destructive war in the early 50s. Malaysia had a GDP 4 times that of S Korea. Now they are ranked No.15.

The little red dot, as our people like to call them, was part of this country till 1965. At that time, even though it was the most urbanised part of Malaysia, the standard of living was similar to ours.  Many people had predicted that it could not even survive on its own, since it has no resources at all apart from its citizens. It has not only survive, it has gone ahead of us, and despite the lack of land, and very tight living conditions, it has a ranking of 20.

The most favourite country for Malaysians to emigrate to is probably Australia. It is ranked No. 4.

Rankings aside, we should also look at the overall score. Malaysia has a score of 69, and Australia a score of 87.9 . In our time, anything above 85 is considered A, 75 to 85 is B , and 60 to 75 is C. Anything below 60 is F (a four letter word meaning FAIL). So we are just C. Nothing to boost about. S Korea is 83.28, and the little Red dot is 80.94.

The important thing to ask is why have we gone behind our contemporaries. We were in the same class as the red dot. In fact we were in better class than S Korea. We are now in C class and they have moved to B and soon would be A. That is despite we have rubber, palm oil, tin, and black gold, and natural gas. They have nothing apart from their human resources.

2 questions I want to ask is

1. will there be a day when Malaysia moves to A class? or at least a High B like these 2  mentioned. I really hope so since I will be living here and will probably die here.

2. Are we going to drop further to D or E class ? I hope not for the same reason above.

You should be able to answer me..

I will post 2 pictures of the ranking here: (click to enlarge)


29 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. CYC
    Aug 24, 2010 @ 13:54:13

    I don’t mind if it is a Mercedes C Class. What I am worry is it may be C Class Proton/Perodua.

    Just hope it can maintain the 37th position. How pathetic , but its the reality base on today’s scenario.


  2. Thor
    Aug 24, 2010 @ 14:32:45

    Your question is rhetorical, of course, and so you don’t need an answer as you are well aware of things as they stand.

    But anyway here’s an allegory …

    You and your friend, who is fat, flabby, and out of shape, are running a race with others – a marathon.

    The race starts. Before long your fat friend is falling behind. So he grabs your arm and hangs on to it tightly so that you will have to keep pace with him and not leave him behind. Because you are now pulling along a dead-weight you find that your speed has slowed tremendously.

    Now you and your flabby friend watch helplessly as the other runners race ahead and will soon be out of your sight.


  3. Ken
    Aug 24, 2010 @ 14:48:28

    Will we move up or down? The answer to this question is related to, “can we get rid of our racial policies?” The competitive global environment punishes economic inefficiencies and distortions caused by racial policies.

    Last week DAP politicians Tony Pua was threatened with sedition and received a bullet for daring to suggest that bumiputra discount for houses be withdrawn for properties above RM500,000. There you have your answer.


  4. klm
    Aug 24, 2010 @ 15:52:36

    I think we are going to the bottom. From the little things we see around us, the sign is already there. The other day, I was shocked to see that a hypermarket putting electronic tags on the Fisherman Friends candies. If things can get to this stage, I am afraid we are in deep kimchi.


  5. John
    Aug 24, 2010 @ 15:57:27

    With the rampant corruption ,abuse of power and plundering in the country under the current regime, very soon Malaysia will be F class (Failed State ).


  6. pohwatchdog
    Aug 24, 2010 @ 17:46:25

    Is it time that too much politicking had make our country turning from A class to C class? Is our policies in economic and social are too rigid? Is there political will to counter corruption and wastage? What really happened in our backyard?

    Is our economic management going to be like Greece?


  7. Ken
    Aug 24, 2010 @ 18:50:14

    I find the argument and reluctance to increase the pay of Indonesian maids amusing. Malaysia’s pay is already the lowest of any country for their maids. As a result all we are getting is the worst quality. Indonesia is progressing faster than us and in another few years there will be no Indon maids who want to work here, not even the worst quality.

    In Sabah it already happened. Plantation owners are facing worker shortage because Indon workers have gone back to Indonesia to work due to higher pay back home.

    Who knows, in another 10 years we may be exporting maids to Jakarta and Singapore?


  8. wisely
    Aug 24, 2010 @ 19:19:38

    This time i don’t agree with ur analysis. No. 4 in Asia after Japan, S. Korea and Singapore. 37th out of over 200 countries in the whole world- that’s top 20%. Below 60 -fail? Which age or world are u living in. Today 69 is an average B in all primary to secondary and in most university. U should have children – pls check with them.

    Is that the way u raise ur kids – always and only compare with the first in class or school. Unless ur kids are geniuses or they may end up having mental problem due to pressure!


  9. hanprem
    Aug 24, 2010 @ 22:27:34

    As long as this country is run by a bunch of Richard Craniums, it will deteriote further. The double standards practised by the government and the crutches mentality promoted vigorously by the government will set Malaysia further down the ranking.


  10. CYC
    Aug 25, 2010 @ 11:10:37

    Wise man,

    Being No.4 in Asia is an admirable position from the surface. Unless Malaysians are idiots, otherwise they would have cursed themselves why are they on the way of down instead of up. If u r contended with the No.4 without knowing u r actually going down hill, then congratulation as u r in the same class as those in PDRM, MACC and AG Chamber or Perkasa.

    69 is an average B, what a dumb argument. Do u know that many students who obtained 8 As could not pass their Accountancy exam conducted by Chartered organizations like ACCA, CIMA etc within the normal period of 3 years? Why, go figure out yourself if u r so proud of 69 =B by Malaysia’s standard.


  11. Dr Hsu
    Aug 25, 2010 @ 12:00:38

    I did not care to answer the wise man as i have already pointed out in the post that those in the same class and those behind us have moved forward. We should actually ask ourselves why.

    As regards my children, if wise man cares to go back to my 1000 odd posts, he would have read that my children are either specialist doctor trained by Johns Hopkins(my eldest son), or training to be specialist in Adelaide Australia (my elder daughter) and 2 younger ones in medical schools. All are straight As students, and all on father’s scholarship… My son topped the USMLE exam at over 99 % and that was why he was taken in by Johns Hopkins to do the subspecialty in Nephrology,where he has finished the subspecialty and is now working in a hospital as a consultant.. I hope he will come back, but i will never influence his decision, since there he gains recognition and respect with his own efforts and by his peers…

    I did not pressure them, in fact, i just encourage them and taught them lessons of what i wrote in this blog. I will just have the last laugh since they are all good in their studies, and will be successful no doubt in life if they remember what i have taught them, the values that is expounted in this blog.

    The problem with our system is that we have shifted our passing curve, so that even 70 is considered an A. But as CYC has correctly pointed out and i have posted in this blog many instances, some of the straight As students cannot even answer simple questions on general knowledge, geography, history or even science. Many of the JPA scholars with straight As failed in their overseas exam and retain (as posted in this blog before, one of the best examples are medical students in Auckland, my daughters classmates…)
    That is the result of shifting passing marks , and we all know why the curve was shifted… And ask 10 Malaysians, probably 7 will tell you that education standard has gone down… The best criteria to use is MU, USm. Their rankings have gone down… To tell me that 30 marks is passing mark ( as in some of our government exam, as sometimes the curves are shifted to such), I will tell you that that is a clear case of FAILING Grade, since how to pass a person who knows only 3 things out of ten that he is supposed to know???

    What is the point of labelling our universities as 5 Star or 6 stars when our 5 star is only equivalent to international 2 stars? This is a globalised world, we cannot hide in our country and pretend that we are the best by giving best marks to our students.. When As students cannot even compete overseas, when scholaship holders (supposedly the cream of our students) cannot even pass and have to repeat their years overseas? U dont need to pressurise them. Just introduce meritocracy and and their competitiveness and levels of knowledge will improve by leaps and bounds. ( i am all for meritocracy even though the old horse says it is racist, but coming from the mouth of a racist, it actually becomes nonracist, since two minus becomes a plus).


  12. sim
    Aug 25, 2010 @ 15:05:08

    Anyone been to Slovenia, Poland or Czech? They don’t have modern cities or tallest building but hey they beat us… Pls think about it and if you still can’t figure it out, we are going to F class with that state of mind.


  13. Dr Hsu
    Aug 25, 2010 @ 15:20:18

    Precisely. These were former Eastern Bloc countries that were almost bankrupt under the communist rules and in 2 decades they have gone so far. Not to mention that they were ravaged by a World War, and Poland was the site of some of the most destructive battles.. They did not receive aids under the Marchall Plan given to Western Europe to aid them to recover from the war. Most of their products and resources were taken by the then USSR, and they were just satellite states, but yet in 20 years, they have gone far ahead…


  14. mykantree
    Aug 25, 2010 @ 16:18:05

    Dr Hsu,

    The fact that Malaysian standards of almost every kind has been on a downward curve( or is it curse) relative to what many other countries that are similarly endowed and even less endowed, is an established fact.

    More than enough has been said and debated about the how,why and when.

    All sane Malaysians has also agreed and accept that fact; which is a first step to change…for the better or at least a chance for it.

    The 2nd step is to take responsibility to effect that change. And if anyone out there is still blur about what that 2nd step is… let me spell it out outright here : VOTE THE DAMNED UMNO/BN REGIME OUT OF POLITICAL POWER COME THE NEXT ELECTION.


  15. CYC
    Aug 25, 2010 @ 16:54:56


    Absolutely Done Right !

    Status quo is for those insane creatures only.


  16. A true Malaysian
    Aug 25, 2010 @ 21:33:40

    Dr. Hsu,

    Can I get your view on the case of Yong Vui Kong?

    Yong is currently in Changi Prison of Singapore, which rank 20th Best Country to live in, waiting for its President to decide whether to let him to live on or to put to death.

    Come to think of this, live or die of a human to be decided by another human, I simply can’t accept it.

    If Yong is ultimately allowed to live on, the rating for Singapore as Best Country to live in can go either way, depending on how people look at it. Assuming other factors remain status quo, I believe rating shall be better than 20th ranking.

    Anyway, if given the choice to which country to live in, I still choose to live in Malaysia, even though its ranking is inferior than Singapore. It’s all up to us to make our country a better country to live in. It’s all in our hands.


  17. Dr Hsu
    Aug 25, 2010 @ 21:57:21

    as a doctor, i am against any form of capital punishment. no one has the right to take away another’s life. anyone who puts down a butcher’s knife and repent, should be forgiven.


  18. Dr Hsu
    Aug 25, 2010 @ 21:57:21

    as a doctor, i am against any form of capital punishment. no one has the right to take away another’s life. anyone who puts down a butcher’s knife and repent, should be forgiven.


  19. A true Malaysian
    Aug 25, 2010 @ 22:30:33

    Thank you very much 😀

    I hope Mr. President thinks like us.

    But, strange, we can see many people not having the same opinion. I just couldn’t accept this.


  20. A true Malaysian
    Aug 25, 2010 @ 22:55:58

    About one year ago, our friend, Justin Choo, posted an article on Yong Vui Kong, before the news becomes prominent in Malaysia. (I couldn’t locate the article right now).

    Dr. Hsu, perhaps you could do a posting on this boy. We should help in any way we could to save this boy. By the way, I am one of the signatories for the petition to Singapore President.


  21. JDsg
    Aug 25, 2010 @ 23:15:31

    I have to agree with the criticisms against the “B = 69” mentality. In the US, a 69 will get you a “D” in both primary and secondary schools (“F” = 65). I know it is common in SE Asian countries to have this very weakened grading system (and maybe this is the fault of the British curriculum), but I don’t think it does the student any good to have such lax criteria, especially when students in other countries are able to do well with much more stringent criteria. (And I say all this as a teacher of O-, A- and university level classes.)

    The key to success for both business and education is competition, and the winners are those who are most competitive. Countries that aren’t as competitive weaken. Countries like Korea and Singapore have risen over the past few decades because their people are very competitive. Sales aren’t assured, jobs aren’t assured, and admissions into universities aren’t assured. So they make very strong efforts to give themselves a fighting chance of coming out on top in the competitive battle. Personally, it is no surprise to me that Singapore and Korea have risen since the 60s (I have lived in both countries). However, I have never seen that same level of competitiveness in any of the trips I have made to Malaysia.


  22. A true Malaysian
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 09:24:10

    I found the link to the article, of course with the help of our friend, Justin Choo.


    Well, read on, very interesting discussions, it hits 71 comments.


  23. sammy
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 09:32:16

    We are competitive among our own races who are not given the ‘tongkat’. We as foreign students are the most competitive in the UK, US, Oz, India, Russia and even Sgp. I believe so as I was among the top 5 who came back with an honours degree in my year…nowadays students of all races in varsities here are happy to pass with a 3rd class degree! Some with the ‘tongkat’ even take an extra year or two to pass..

    So unless the ‘tongkat’ mentality is removed, our country on the whole will be dropping even further down the chain, with the fat cats at the top of BN, siphoning all our natural resources. Oh, that nut ‘wisely’ must be leaning on a tongkat as well..


  24. Dr Hsu
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 11:41:53

  25. Tony
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 17:22:11

    I support competition generally, but “compete for what” matters. Higher mark / bigger business individually, or happiness / better quality of life for all people? Race to the top, or race to the bottom?


  26. Tony
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 17:24:02

    Also, healthy competition or even better, collaboration (nicer word for cooperation).


  27. Tony
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 17:25:38

    Can your party compete / collaborate with PR for the benefit of Rakyat?


  28. Tony
    Aug 26, 2010 @ 17:33:04

    Back to the earth, this post said well about the root cause of Copenhagen Conference failure.


  29. powderful
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 16:38:52

    we were great country until old horse Mahathir became prime minister.


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