TV SMITH's Dua Sen: One-Eyed Jacks
TV Smith's Dua Sen
TV Smith's Dua Sen. The politically incorrect irregular columnist combines his idiosyncratic observations and tangential commentary into a blog...


by TV Smith

DPM: Rapid development due to good leadership

KUALA LUMPUR: Committed and responsible leadership played a role in Malaysia's rapid development, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Using Ghana as an example, the Deputy Prime Minister said it had also gained its independence in 1957 but the two countries had since taken different routes.

Najib said while Malaysia now has a per capita income of US$3,000 (RM11,400), Ghana's per capita income was just US$300 (RM1,140).

“I want to emphasise that we are thankful and lucky to have leadership – then and now – which is not only responsible but also committed.

The Star, Friday 8th April 2005

It may be good to take stock of our success periodically, be grateful for our good fortune and leadership. It may be even better, if we also give ourselves a reality check occasionally, to get back into a competitive frame of mind.

The DPM's speechwriters probably didn't notice that there are some 85 countries ranked above us. No offense to Ghana but the point is we Malaysians have the habit of benchmarking ourselves against losers.

Whether in sports, education, business or record-breaking; we seem contended being the proverbial one-eyed jack. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

It is the same mentality plaguing many of our GLCs where CEOs pride themselves on being the best of the worst. Lackadaisical work attitude and poor service exist because these companies are effectively run like (previous) government-owned monopolies.

Some of our manufacturers reportedly compete by relying solely on the undervalued ringgit or protection instead of product quality and efficiency. As Thailand becomes the "Detroit of Asia" we are still trying to figure out how to make reliable power windows. As proverbs go, are we also becoming the jack of all trades and master of none?

Perhaps the DPM was alluding to his earlier candid remark that it’s fortunate Vijay Singh was not granted PR status, otherwise he would not have become the world’s number one golfer.

So we did Vijay a favour. Lets start by doing ourselves a favour. It's time we compete with winners, not losers.

IndependenceRankCountryGDP - per capita (USD)
199364Slovakia $ 13,300
199146Slovenia $ 19,000
199170Lithuania $ 11,400
199177Croatia $ 10,600
198448Brunei $ 18,600
198175Antigua & Barbuda $ 11,000
197357Bahamas $ 16,700
197132UAE $ 23,200
197136Qatar $ 21,500
197155Bahrain $ 16,900
196871Mauritius $ 11,400
196659Barbados $ 15,700
196683Botswana $ 9,000
196530Singapore $ 23,700
196451Malta $ 17,700
196281Trinidad & Tobago$ 9,500
195786Malaysia$ 9,000
1957165 Ghana $ 2,200
Compiled from The CIA World Factbook

© 2005 TV SMITH
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