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Malaysia’s Glory Years 1971 – 1996

As a society, Malaysian’s have in the past demonstrated both the political will and social cohesion to change and as a result of that, Malaysia is only one of thirteen countries in the world which has managed to sustain an average of  seven percent growth rate for 25 years.   This was our glory years from about 1971 to 1996. Together with Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan are also in the thirteen.

To explain the glory years we must recognize that  there is a very strong Asia -> Asean -> Malaysia link.  (Note that the 5th member of ASEAN, the Philippines did not make the list.)

The uniqueness of these 9 countries is built on the fact that there  was social and political cohesion within the countries and across the countries.

The formation of ASEAN was a major reason for the growth of this region.  Quoting  Kisore Mahbubani, ASEAN achieved three things for the region:

a) no two ASEAN states have ever gone to war with each other (remember this was just after the Konfrontasi with Indonesia and the communist threat was real and Vietnam and Cambodia we all at war)

b) ASEAN developed close economic and social coöperation within the region

c) ASEAN  had geo-political centrality within the region

Domestically, it was the events that lead up to May 13, that provided the catalyst for change and  the outcome was three unifying factors that brought this nation together:

a) Rukun Negara: the unification of Social intent through the declaration of  the Rukun Negara on the 31st August 1971 – which in essence became the guiding pricipals for all Malaysians

b) Barisan Nasional:  the unification of collective Political vision through the formation of Barisan Nasional in 1973

c) New Economic Policy: the unification of Economic coöperation among society with the announcement of the NEP in 1971.

With unity at the political level, social level and economic level Malaysia launched itself from a third world country to Upper Middle Income in a span of 25 years.  On all social economic measures – health, education, poverty eradication, transportation, infant mortality, lifespan, employment, income levels, urbanization, etc… Malaysia improved. This will forever be know as the Glory Years of Malaysia where our self believe was so high that it got  encapsulated in the slogan “Malaysia Boleh…..”

The good years did come to an end with the Asian Crisis of 1997 and from there all the unintended consequences of the  NEP started to rear its ugly head leading to the watershed 12th general elections of 2008.

Time permitting, the next post will be the Unintended Consequences of the NEP.

I hope you has a good read. Please feel free to contribute to the richness of the discussion by posting your comments in the comment section just below. (Click on where it says leave a comment, just below this)

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2011 in NEW ECONOMIC MODEL

 

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Malaysia’s New Economic Model

I am creating a new category called the NEM as a repository for all my writings on the New Economic Model.  All comments are welcome and will not be moderated for as long as the languages used is constructive.

The pulse of any society can be measured by  its EEG or Economics, Ethics and Governance polices and practices. Therefore this blog will look at the NEM from the perspective of EEG.

If you haven’t read the New Economic Model (parts 1 and part 2), you should. All credit must be given to the NEAC for the honesty and truth in its analysis. Most importantly it is a document free from the smell of politics. It is critical yet fair. It not only says what we as a country need to do, it spells out why we need to do and how we will do it. It also makes clear our challenges in executing the NEM.

There is a great quote by the NEAC that reads:

“The NEM…..It sets up a stark choice for Malaysians and their political leadership, a choice between muddling through in a business-as-usual mode and going for a historical transformation of the economy.”

The challenges come down to two: the  political will to change and the social cohesion needed to enable the change. In the absence of political will and social cohesion, we will be mired in this constant political venom spitting that plays in our news everyday.

I hope, through a series of posts, to share my views of the NEM starting with:

  • Malaysia’s Glory  Year’s (1971 – 1996)
  • Unintended Consequences of the NEM (1997 – 2008)
  • The watershed of the 12th General Election’s
  • The New Economic Model
  • Why the poor will continue to get poorer and how we can reverse it

I hope you enjoy reading and do feel free to contribute to the richness of the discussion by posting your comments in the comment section. (Click on where it says leave a comment, just below this)

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2011 in NEW ECONOMIC MODEL

 

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