Still at the doorway

Below is the list of  top 27 rankings of Global Competitiveness Index(2012-2013)  compiled by the World Economic Forum. For the full report, click here.

Malaysia is not doing too bad, being ranked 25 out of 144 countries. Malaysia’s GCI score remains at 5.1,  same as last year.  So in a way we did neither  regress,  nor progress,  which may seem on the surface to be not a  too bad thing . However, while our score has remained at 5.1, 4 countries has moved ahead of us, forcing us to drop  from our position of No. 21 last year.

South Korea, Luxembourg, New Zealand, United Arabs EMirates has overtaken us, to be exact. This is despite our government channelling considerable resources into transforming our economy since the present PM has taken over. We have not only not moved forward, but has remained stagnant , despite setting up various think-tank labs in Pemandu, employing many of the so-called top brains in trying to develop policies to lift us out of the middle income trap.

Perhaps it is time that we look at how other people view us, especially our weak areas, instead of just debating among ourselves how to transform our policies.

What are the problem areas in our global competitiveness, especially when compared to others?

The report by WEF in fact highlighted out problems. Look at the WEF graph below on our problematic areas:

In case the readers cannot read clearly the graph above, the top 2 problematic areas are these:

1. inefficient government bureaucracy

2. corruption

It is clear that our main problem and main impediment to our competitiveness is none other than our government. It is not only inefficient, but corrupt as well.

Then the next 2 problem areas are:

3. inadequately educated workforce

4. poor work ethic in national labour force

3 and 4 are the results of our education system. Again these 2 problems point to our government who is responsible for formulating our education policy, which has ostensibly produced  many A’s students, but many of these are not competitive once they start competing globally.

There is something  grossly wrong with our policy which has produced not only inadequately trained workforce, but work force with ‘tidak apa’ attitude, as we Malaysians know all along. Who can blame employers opting to employ foreign workers? Not only they are cheap, they are hardworking, with better work ethics, to say the least.

In a nutshell, and looking deeper, I think that if we want to become more competitive,  to make our workforce more productive with better ethics, and our civil service more efficient, we have no other choice but to introduce more liberal and broader based education system. We need to do away with affirmative-action-based policies, and curb corruption.

In September 2009, I wrote an article about this Global Competitiveness Index too, and one of my frequent commentators, klm, has made a comment  which I think  is still relevant. I would like to post his comment here:

Dr. Hsu. If you take a look at the list above  Malaysia (Editor: the list refers to the 2009 list not 2012), other than Qatar and UAE, these countries are the so called developed countries of the world, the tier 1 countries. Malaysia had done well in reaching the doorway. But crossing this door way is a very different thing from what Malaysia had done in the past. Malaysia is having great difficulties in make the crossover. The characteristics of these countries are:

1. Liberal and open economy
2. Other than a few, a vigorous and democratic government system
3. Strong governance, transparency and accountability
4. Little or no public corruption
5. Quality education system
6. Knowledge industries
Strong nurturing of talent
7. open immigration

These are many things Malaysia do not have. Without the political will to make the changes needed, Malaysia will still be at the doorway 10 years from now.

Three years from that last article on our competitiveness, we are still at the doorway, unable to move out and up into the top ranked nations.

Even though I wish my country well, I think klm may be right that Malaysia will still at the doorway 7 years from now.


37 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Simple Sense
    Sep 07, 2012 @ 19:36:57

    Corruption and Poor Work Ethics share the same root cause. Once corruption is eliminated, work ethics improve. Corruption to society is like cancer to our bodies. What stage of cancer does Malaysia has?
    As a medical doctor, you know the prognosis of cancer.
    Inadequately educated work force can be remedised by investors or employers.


  2. monsterball
    Sep 07, 2012 @ 23:46:53

    Our country is blessed with alot of natural resources to churn out billions each year.
    As matter how much the UMNO b rouges and thieves are stealing……billions will be generated through sales.
    We keep reading….our economy is still OK.
    Sure it is…but these blood suckers will keep stealing and one day..when all know..Malaysia will be a bankrupt country…it is too late.
    Massive corruptions are real and on going.
    No matter how rich a father is…with sons stealing and wasting…soon that father will go bankrupt too.
    It’s the same simple commonsense with the country’s wealth where you have UMNO b politicians keep stealing.
    There are so many multi millionaires ….all UMNO b members.
    It is the commercial firms….making money and tax payers…all feeling sick of the government.
    The kopitiam fellas and hawkers…are die hard racists voters …supporting DAP.
    UMNO b created race issues and these Malaysians will fight for the minorities.
    It’s a natural race …that are patriots…tested to be traitors through dirty politics by Najib and Mahathir.
    Back to economy….Malaysia is a blessed country…and still is.
    Do not let the rouges and thieves keep stealing.
    Why do you think…Najib is holding off the 13th GE for so long?
    If we are doing OK…then the Government is OK…is it not so?
    Why all OK….Najib dare not announce 13th GE date for past 3 years?


  3. monsterball
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 00:17:47

    The strong position of our economy does not tell the true picture of our country.
    Imagine a billionaire keep pumping money into a company mismanaged by his sons. Outsiders will see it a strong company.
    Only the Auditors know the true situation….and these news are not available to the public.
    To make it simple…look at ALL companies bought up and owned by UMNO b as majority share holders.
    Name one that is making money….NONE…and they must stay as loosing ventures..for the smart crooks to pump in stolen money through different ways.
    Look at New Straits Times…the oldest newspaper. What is it now?
    Billions are churning in through revenues earned from natural resources.
    Najib is playing the role of Satan Clause…for he dare do as Mahathir …recorded as stolen more than R100 billion in 22 years.
    Najib knows all eyes are on him…and 13th GE…he must appear to be non stealing…but giving and giving.
    It’s a show to win votes. We all know why….don’t we?
    Once BN wins with a majority….just watch the real Najib performs.
    The disease cannot be cured.
    UMNO b politicians must keep stealing….t\o maintain what they are.
    Do not let our blessed country be raped and choked to death by these devils.
    God may not take sides in politics…but the 12th GE a sign for all Malaysians to free themselves from dirty race and religion politics.
    Forget about MCA and MIC…these are small worms.
    It’s UMNO b governing or PR…..your choice..and hope the choice is for country and people…….not for personal benefits…like selfish bastards.


  4. monsterball
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 00:32:23

    All muddle up….I mean Najib playing the role of Santa Clause and he must appear to be non corrupted right now.
    We are still living comfortably because of the hard working Malaysians and country is strong……like a giant tree…not that easy to chop it down…and the crooks know that too well.
    Mahathir said “Money is Power” 30 years ago…and UMNO b is using money to buy up the whole country.
    These people do not act like civil servants elected to govern.
    They behave like they own the country..and do as they like…..and that was possible in the past..because UMNO b race and religion politics created millions of racists…and to divide and what Mahathir loves to do.
    Forget about Global index showing how strong Malaysia is.
    Just vote for change…and show to UMNO b who is the boss..the voters or their idiotic arrogance and bad behaviors.


  5. Taikohtai
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 08:27:53

    So FELDA shares are now trading at par with its IPO. So much for the hype and ‘strong corner stones investors’. Its the EPF contributors who are now bearing the slumping environment of weak CPO prices. SakmongkolAK47 has been proven correct, correct, correct. Felda settlers now fast losing their sarongs, having their land conned for pittance. Instead their estates will soon become breeding grounds for Mat Rempits to be roped in by Hisap for ‘national security and protection’. Next GCI will show Malaysia no where near the doorway but flung right back into the hutan rimba wilderness, unless there is a drastic outcome in the coming GE.


  6. Wave33
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 08:30:03

    The Political scenario in ASEAN has improve for the pass few years, namely Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar. We see less corruption in Indonesia now and more democratic approach in Myanmar. This has enhance growth for the above mentioned countries.

    In a short time, Malaysia would be below Myanmar in terms of growth. Myanmar has a lot of natural resources, so do Indonesia. It has been said before Malaysia would be exporting maids soon to foreign neighbouring countries. The problem is, which country would hire maids that walks with a tongkat?


  7. aiz
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 09:07:21

    “Mahathir said “Money is Power” 30 years ago…” [monsterball]

    True indeed.. with money comes power but must put it to good use lah. If it is put to bad use then don’t underestimate the sum of power of the people who have no money. Because it is self recharging and once power up and unleash it could destroy nations and build new ones.


  8. monsterball
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 11:27:15

    aiz…but not billions stolen from ALL Malaysians…the poor and rich and get the power.
    Check your sense or proportions and logic.
    I hope you will not have a brain like Mahathir….biggest rouge…most cunning and dirtiest politician Malaysia.
    We are not a united country…all because of him.


  9. HuaYong
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 12:31:10

    aiz, people are discussing serious topic and u write like a poet, like that how to communicate?

    i am now recharging myself daily listening to gangnam style and visit ellese blog 🙂


  10. aiz
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 12:49:27

    monsterball… Excuse me, I do not like you to speak to me like that. I do not belong to an elitist society of authority. I possess a brain of a common people who could read and undersand the tyrannies of king and bishops, so to speak. What have been denied or stolen from the common people would be valued.


  11. Dr Hsu
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 13:25:21

    Please keep your comments to topic and dont attack others. Do not belittle others even if you dont like their comments.


  12. aiz
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 14:14:40

    HY, what to do bro.. I only have a wee bit modicum of critical training in gangnam style of language. Perhaps I should try to talk the taxi-driver style eh!

    ‘Right of Reply’ blog is too off for me lah. I read your poetic comments in that blog too. Agreed, it is good to recharge oneself though.. 🙂


  13. PPG
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 15:27:30

    The top 4 reasons that plague Malaysia’s competitiveness can be nailed down to our sitting government. In other words, they are the major roadblocks that hinder our progress… them out and our problems will be solved!


  14. monsterball
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 16:17:34

    Money is power to anyone… when money is obtained through hard work and earning it…honestly.
    One can stand 10 ft tall….as a hawker…fisherman..gardener to save and see their children become well educated with degrees.
    When one …became a PM ad stole billions from Malaysians and use the money to be powerful….to make sons as billionaires
    That kind of power of success is nothing short of being a rouge.. a thief.
    Vast majority Malaysians know this….and it needs idiots to twist my comment to sound like an idiom…when I was stating facts.


  15. aiz
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 22:50:40

    Naming and usage of abusive terms are normally the specialty of the unschooled who have coinsistent problem in getting the meaning of an opionion/analysis right.


  16. monsterball
    Sep 08, 2012 @ 23:41:29

    It will be the “unschooled” lot …that their vast majority votes will matter most on 13th GE..
    They will throw the well schooled…UMNO b crooks into the tong sampah…together with their puppets and shoe shine boys.


  17. Wave33
    Sep 09, 2012 @ 09:14:15

    It is true those unschooled is unable to get the gist of the matter. It is also true as RPK says, some people likes to talk about the dog collar instead of the dog.

    We can’t help it, that is what makes the world goes round. Earth is not a world if we do not have fanatics, extremists, corruption collaborators, blind partisan supporters and cock talkers.


  18. HuaYong
    Sep 09, 2012 @ 13:31:43

    oh, even taxi-driver style dont help while confronting a mulish and stubborn one, for instance one that likes to talk about the dog collar instead of the dog as how wave put it which petra is obviously one, it always takes one to know one. i read josh hong latest on “false neutrality” and again petra come to mind, interesting how he rebut one that calling him turncoat, seem like only he is allowed to write in not literal sense.

    yuck, let stick to gangnam style 🙂


  19. aiz
    Sep 09, 2012 @ 14:42:44

    Wave33/HY… There is an undercurrent of anti-brown in a particular write here 😀 Nevertheless, for me if a black enormous scum slave monster could show that if he is capable of producing a multiracial society that would live in peace and harmony I would still vote for him.


  20. monsterball
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 16:52:58

    Double talks will get you nowhere.
    Vote for change…PERIOD!!


  21. aiz
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 08:21:59

    “Idiots”… a generous word for a wretched man of a brown skin. “Double talks”… shows a kind opinion on the aforesaid brown skin. “Vote for change” … a common well-defined goal indeed. No one can achieve change when there is so much of uncompromising stand on racism. Change to achieve the vote for change. PERIOD!!


  22. HuaYong
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 09:17:36

    bro, though i can think of many terms to describe our old friend but racist might not be an apt one. bias yes, anyway he bias to many thing, however i rarely see him write in an anti brown manner. the problem with him is his comprehension skill, cant tell if there is no element of pretense.

    what is your take on “false neutrality”? i am partisan and never bother to hide my stance, i just find it odd many self claim non partisan is apparently take side rather than remain at middle ground (at least that is my impression). what about u?


  23. aiz
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 10:11:02

    Bro HY… am I not audible and visible enough to indicate that I am sharing compatible goals with you? This country needs a dynamic civilizational transformation. Thus the present dominant hegemony needs to be changed.

    The supposed freedom of expression expressed in overt behaviour by our old friend would give an impression that we are talking about dethroning of the existing and to set another perverse power in its place.


  24. monsterball
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 16:27:38

    For or Against…. and stop trying to be too smart are People Power objectives.
    The fact is…FOR CHANGE is so clear.
    Call me an idiot…anything…who cares.
    Yea….make all sorts of demands for a transformations.
    Meanwhile….no one has all that qualifications…lets not rock the boat and vote BN in at 13th GE…CORRECT?
    hhhhhmmmmmm……that’s real smart twisting…smarter than Chubby Checker….hahahahahahaha


  25. monsterball
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 16:46:03

    Mahathir is smarter than all…..and he asked voters to vote for the Devils or the Angels…and we have on smart UMNO man….here to teach all Malaysians…get united..clean up your brains…be firm..this and that….get all that done…then show him…all are ready for change.
    Real smart twister.
    I am seen as a brown man.
    I am color blind to all humans.


  26. HuaYong
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 17:14:10

    naturally we both are, it is as clear as crystal. i am just perplex what is the rationality when one claim he is neutral or non partisan. actually the exchange btw wave n ellese accusing each other as partisan is quite fun to read, however that dont make anyone of them more or less neutral if compare against me and u.

    rb headline on global competitiveness index is “msia is top 25”, while hsu is “still at the doorway”, mainstream as usual publish “msia rank 25 out of 144” while non mainstream mostly claim “msia drop to 25”, by reading all this we more or less know where they stand. cool isnt? n that is y i read with interest josh hong piece because he brought up something very interesting albeit he is partisan in his assertion, but similar to him, i too found the so called neutral sect a bit dishonest.


  27. monsterball
    Sep 11, 2012 @ 21:55:04

    Najib is mumbling and grumbling over petty issue.
    Chua Soi Lek is telling Malaysians someone wants to finish him off…showing hell money..he received.
    These will be the tactics for BN to tell voters…not to vote for change.
    13th GE is expected to be at November…2 months from now.
    Mahathir has trained all to twist and turn very well…avoiding main issues.
    Vote to get rid of corruptions….dirty race and religion politics…double standards…unjust laws…vote for change and vote out a dirty government.
    Focus your minds…to vote for change…and do not “discuss” this……”consider ” that.. with anyone ….at this 11th hour.
    Minds must be firm and focused!!
    Freedom Fighters are ready….People Power are ready.
    Mark my will be the hawkers and kopitiam less educated fellas…whose votes cannot be bought to put PR in PutraJaya.


  28. Wave33
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 10:44:07

    The headlines news for The Star paper for the pass three weeks has been on propaganda announcement not news. After reading the headline every morning, I have some feel good factor about this country. It really helps me to pass motion better and starts with a good day.

    It addresses issue on crime, pilfering, counterfeits pills, drugs mule, education etc etc. That means the government acknowledge the issue concern and want to “tackle” it. Some how, I see some lights now. Of course, play some politics too along the way, with the headline such as “Bodyguard under fire”. I don’t know whether our Sultans will get “murka” with such headline.

    I fully agree with aiz, that racism is a problem and when will PERKASA action is due for the government to acknowledge and hit headline news in The Star paper in the coming days.


  29. Dr Hsu
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 16:08:40

    please keep to the topic.. Otherwise, this blog reserves the right not to publish the comment.


  30. CYC
    Sep 14, 2012 @ 18:40:41

    The myth is most people tend to look towards countries like US, UK and Australia for quality education but conveniently/ignorantly forgotten the Scandinavian countries like Finland, Sweden and Denmark were better choice. Their approach is more holistic and not purely market driven. Of course, some may argue on medium of instruction but it is something you can overcome and adapt. They emphasis a lot on teaching to suit one’s interest and ability. Another aspect of interest is they emphasize on arts or nurture one to appreciate beautiful thing and inspire creativity. I am not expert in education but i believe and trust theirs are something the current society need to embrace before we lost our moral values and become robots who lacks the attributes of a decent human being.


  31. Dr Hsu
    Sep 15, 2012 @ 11:38:05

    Yes, Scandinavian countries have one of the best system.

    in June 2010, I wrote about the need to overhaul the whole educatio system and I cited Finnish system as one of the best. Pls refer to


  32. Ellese
    Sep 16, 2012 @ 23:01:22

    Reblogged this on The right of reply and commented:
    My comments were censored at least twice. Dr Hsu pretentiously claim any irrelevant posting will be deleted. Please refer to my previous post on what I wrote and compare with the other comments approved by Dr, Hsu. Everyone can be irrelevant as long as you condemn a specific party. But no one apparently can write contrarion views to Dr Hsu even though with justification. Dr Hsu is one rubbish hypocritical person. The next time he extolls the believe in freedom of expression and media, I’m going to remind him of this deceitful incidence. He thinks he can get away with his action. Im not going to allow that.


  33. CYC
    Sep 17, 2012 @ 12:02:25

    Thanks for the link, Dr Hsu.


  34. aiz
    Sep 20, 2012 @ 11:07:32

    It is quite a challenge indeed to navigate one’s way through a couple minefields of comment, hyperbole and deceit….


  35. Phua Kai Lit
    Sep 21, 2012 @ 08:18:59

    When one is a guest in someone else’s house (i.e. blog), one should
    respect the house rules and be polite to the host !


  36. grkumar
    Sep 21, 2012 @ 19:41:15

    At least Malaysia can celebrate being one rung up the ladder from Israel. Israel is arguably the most powerful state on this planet. Its citizens and those with a right to enduring citizenship of that tiny state are sprea throughout the diaspora in every far flung corner of the globe.

    In none of the places including Kaifeng in China where Jews are found to exist are they known to be mediocre. To have achieved this non event of “competitiveness’ one rung up from them must be an achievement worth celebrating.

    The positions of Malaysia above Israel is also indicative of the lack of any uttility of the measures of competitiveness by this organization of people with nothing better to do with their time.


  37. kasumi
    Apr 15, 2013 @ 22:31:17

    sorry buti cant understand that why taiwan is with china they r different country


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