Why Compete With Singapore?

by Patrick Liew on August 27, 2018

Why Compete With Singapore?

Political leaders in Malaysia should realise that they don’t need to compete with Singapore to achieve progress and prosperity.

Economic growth is not a zero sum game.

It’s a fallacy to believe that if others win more, Malaysia will win less.

History has taught us that a win-lose or worst, a lose-lose mindset can cause potential conflicts and other challenges, and limit potential for achievements.

A scarcity mindset may lead Malaysia’s political leaders to pursue an ethnocentric rather than a win-win path.

There may be a tendency to overly-focus on meeting their own needs and protecting their own turfs, rather than raising the economic tides so that Malaysia and other neighboring countries can achieve better and faster growth.

By focusing on winnging and being less willing to help other countries, the other countries will also ring fence themselves and be less willing to help them.

It bodes well to remember that Malaysia’s competitors are more than just a Little Red Dot.

There are developed countries that are way ahead of the game.

Following behind are developing economies that have either overtaken Malaysia or are breathing down their neck to be ahead of them.

Instead of seeing Singapore as a competitor, political leaders in Malaysia should see Singapore as a complementary partner and seek to develop a mutually beneficial relationship.

Instead of working alone, why not synergize with Singapore to achieve better outcomes.

Leverage on each other’s strengths and other resources to achieve better results.

And work together as a strategic alliance to compete better and achieve greater impacts.

Malaysia and Singapore do not have to compete with one another.

The two economies are largely complementary and together, they can be a powerful force in the new economy.

Both countries can learn from one another and help each other to move up the value and food chains.

While Malaysia is seeking to refresh itself with a new government after GE14, Singapore government is transiting to a fourth generation of leadership.

Let’s use the inflection point to reboot our relationship.

Learn from whatever has held us back from working more effectively together.

And start a new beginning to build a brighter future for both countries.



I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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