MALAYSIANS need to embark on a serious soul-searching exercise if we are to keep up with the rest of the world, especially Southeast Asia (SEA).
“The Japan Centre for Economic Research (JCER) has predicted that Vietnam will become an upper-middle-income country in 2023 and its gross domestic product (GDP) will surpass Taiwan in 2035.
“In 1970, when we started the New Economic Policy (NEP), Vietnam had a GDP of US$2.7 bil, trailing behind our GDP of US$3.7 bil.
“But now, Vietnam has a larger GDP and is set to leave Malaysia far behind in the coming years,” said Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang in a statement.
In a report by JCER, entitled Asia in the coronavirus disaster: Which countries are emerging?, the research house predicted that only China, Vietnam and Taiwan are on track to maintain positive year-on-year growth rates this year.
It also predicted that Vietnam would sustain a growth rate of 6% in 2035 due to booming exports.
Poised to enjoy a per capita income of US$11,000 in 2035, Vietnam is on track to become the second largest economy in SEA, after Indonesia.
Touching on the data, Lim said that from 1970 to this year, Vietnam’s GDP grew by 122 times compared to Malaysia, which grew about 90 times.
“We have also lost out to Singapore, where its GDP grew by 176 times in the past 50 years as well as Indonesia, whose GDP grew by 111 times. Where did we go wrong?” he asked.
The veteran lawmaker then urged the Government to infuse Malaysians with a new national consensus, or risk becoming a failed nation by 2040.
While lauding the launch of Vision 2020 by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Lim said the Government has failed to turn Malaysia into a united and prosperous state along the way.
“We stalled by not leveraging on our unique position as a confluence of four great civilisations, and floundered in our attempt to become ‘a beacon of light in a difficult and distracted world’,” Lim opined.
By : G. Vinod – FOCUS MALAYSIA