Bumiputera Malaysia

Bumiputera Malaysia

By a Malaysian for his country

Thursday, November 09, 2006

"Syiok Sendiri"

Let's face it. Malaysia is not doing well. No matter how the sleepy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is trying to hide the true facts, we are just not OK. Let's don't try to make ourselves feel good or "syiok sendiri" when the country's supposed-to-be premier university fell in the world university ranking, the inflows of the foreign direct investments (FDI) have fallen to a record low, hundreds of thousands of university graduates are jobless, prices of goods and services keep shooting up, the global corruption perception index shows that we are more corrupted and the politicians are behaving like monkeys and abuse their powers.

And now, we are trying to tell ourselves that our country is doing quite well. With newspapers' headlines saying that the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) has breached the 1,000 mark, it seems that the good ol' days are coming back. Are you really sure? Read on...

Data compilation by The Edge and Citibank

Let us compare ourselves with our neighbours (after all, whenever the fuel price goes up, you will hear that "our price is still the lowest in the region"). Malaysia's market capital has consistently fallen over the last 10 years by a huge margin (40%), which equals to US$117 billion or RM427 billion. The loss is staggering and mind blowing especially when the other 8 countries in the same region managed to increase their market capital by an average of 134%.

What actually went wrong? Malaysia's market capital should have increased by about 53% over the 10-year period. It would then take 6th place in the above table, between Singapore and Thailand. This growth would imply a market capitalisation of US$452 billion in 2005. The difference between this number and the actual number is US$274 billion or one trillion ringgit (RM1,000,000,000,000). This amount is so large, that divided by the number of Malaysians, it would equal to RM38,000 per every Malaysian!

So, are you "syiok" or shocked? Who is lying to us?