So they yanked out an allegedly corrupt leader, made free a political prisoner, removed GST and froze petrol prices.
That’s them. Good for them.
May we not forget that they are 420 times larger than Singapore, have a population of 31 million people and they are an energy producing nation that is fourth largest in the Asia-Pacific.
Of course they can freeze petrol prices, they produce the damn petrol.
And of course they can freeze GST (or sales tax or whatever tax they decide to replace it with), they easily subsidise shortfalls with national resources.
So they released a political prisoner – but guess who put him there in the first place? And may we not forget that he was put in there for the most incredulous of reasons – sodomy. Homosexuality. We know the facts of that case, what does it tell you about their justice system?
I could go further, but shall stop lest I get accused for Malaysia bashing – and that is not the point.
What I’m trying to say is: we are two different countries, and a much smaller one at that. Mahatir himself never let us forget it when he was in power – we’re a small nation and we better know our place.
We punch above our weight because we do not behave like the small nation we are. We have funded our own progress, worked our way out of poverty and established a system that preserves, encourages and continue the success realised by previous generations.
The problems they face could have been the problems we face: corruption, national lethargy, under education, race based politics – these are all issues that can be eradicated with strong leadership and political will.
Honestly – I hope that Malaysia will do well economically. With a strong competitor at our doorstep, it will spur us to do even better.
I have a sense that Singaporeans are taking our growth, progress and good living for granted. When cities all over Malaysia start to become as competitive as Singapore; when they become as liveable, as safe and as well managed as we are today – Singapore would slowly lose its shine and its unique selling point.
What will become of Singaporeans then? Will we flood to Malaysia to look for work? Will the best property investments be bought there? Will we become subordinate to a nation that was for a short few decades, not as efficiently run as ours?
Instead of fawning over them at benefits that are really just personal interests, Singaporeans had better be prepared for an economically powerful Malaysia. It looks like they are determined to head that way and when they do, things may not be as rosy for us.