Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lessons from Singapore Part I

That's me in Singapore on Friday night, at the new Expo center near Changi airport on the first day of a convention conducted by the legendary Harv Eker, the author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.

I carried some cash in Sing dollars, which gave me a good return when I changed back a single $50 dollar bill which carries the value of $117 when I came back to Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

I won't be talking about the seminar for now, but what I've learned during my first day was mainly about how prosperous those people are down south.


First thing was about selling. The people have great ideas to sell things. There, as Harv said, you start by selling low but offering much value to entice people. Then as the demand goes above the roof, you increased your selling price bit by bit, with the knowledge that there's a high demand for it.

These guys there are not afraid to give extra for a low value. Forget about currency conversion rate, I had a set meal from Burger King as a quick lunch on the second day, and the burger bun I had is 1.5 times bigger than the burger bun size here. And it costs only $6.40. One thing is that the prices is counted together with a 7 percent GST, (effective July), and rounded up to the nearest value. But Malaysia just followed suit of making 1 cents an invalid value by April 2008, which I can say that Malaysia is far behind in mentality despite having first-world facilities.

More than half of the 5000 people in attendance here have great spending power in Singapore. You can get a Sony phone at just $445 dollars compared to paying $1199 here in KL. A friend of mine told me that the government is encouraging every people to get a television set for their homes. That is why getting a TV there is cheap, even if that means getting a brand new Sony Bravia X HD television set!

Economic planning there is well thought out. It's like laying things and revising things on the drawing board. Housing and television is the main priority for their citizens. Each person gets their own apartment given of the limited land size there, which is about 700 square miles. The most favorite part of this section is about money...Just imagine paying $3 for a plate of fried prawn noodles. $3 compared to $4++ at K.L? Hey...I would pay there..it's cheap. I thought of the currency as of in 1993.


Of course, the social order in Singapore is quite strict, with emphasis on cleaning. When I was at the LRT station, it was smelly beneath. Why can't DBKL be kind of active in handling the cleaning. This is what is Bolehland is all about...hahaha

Every person there is quite good in English. I thought many would speak as what people in Penang do, but then the exception here is that every person knows English well. After going along the expressways to the Expo center, I thought it would be sensible for Malaysia to put English language signs here first or dual-languages instead of putting just Bahasa Malaysia first.

The logic behind it is that you are catering for investors to come in to Malaysia to ply their trade in future. If you just simply put BM only ads / billboards, the first impression these guys will ask is...what the heck does that say?

I Put No Stock In Religion

When I arrived at the Woodlands checkpoint at 1 a.m. in the morning, I tend to notice that people, especially the Muslim women do not wear the headdress unlike their counterparts here in Malaysia.

I came to understand because of one reason: the clear establishment of the line between of professionalism and religion. In this case, as together citizens of Singapore, they are encouraged not to show, even a thin establishment of religion in appearance. That's to give the impression to the people coming there that they are neither Chinese, Malays or whatsoever, but as Singaporeans working together for a common goal. We can indeed do this hear, and through emulating that, we can actually show the rest of the world that we are Bangsa Malaysia.

But why can't we do it here? Fear? Backlash? The International Trade Ministry is setting an example of this, but why can't others? That's to say that there is a leaning of religion instead of the correct path professionalism. Or, we can say that religion is added together in the working ethics.

I only came to know of the aftermath of the Hindraf rally via Malaysiakini or my friend Haris' blog. As what the Cameron Highlands MP was saying, the rally happens for a reason. Harv was saying, everything in this world happens for a reason. Jonathan Kent said to his son Clark, he was here for a reason. The theme about the rally was more about the racial treatment of the Indians in Malaysia. I have to concur though that the MIC, whose purpose is to safeguard the interests of the Indians, as part of a multi-racial society objective in Malaysia has failed in its purpose.

Seeing this and the NEP, which tends to discriminates people in favor of Malay priority serves as the reason why Malaysia is still lagging behind top Asia nations like Singapore, Hong Kong, and even the upcoming nations like China and India. The actual way of working is reward by performance, or judging by the capabilities of a person irregardless of race. I would somehow agree with Mahathir's half-past-six statement on the current Bedol Napoleon administration, if things get worse later on.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I love your analysis on Singaporean socio-political condition and your comparisons with the dismal situation here. It's true that the average Singaporean has so much higher buying-power compared to Malaysians. Food is value-for-money. Electronic goods are aplenty and cheap to boot. Marvel hardcovers cost only S$40+ as compared to RM102+ here. Moreover, the education system there beats ours flat - especially their command of the English language (did you know that the STPM Cert is not recognised by the Singaporean Education Board?). Back home, our Education Board can't even make up their mind about the Maths/Science in English or BM issue. Everything here is lined up in RACIAL terms. We don't understand any higher issues apart from RACIAL rights/discrimination. Is it any wonder then that Malaysians will still be Third World even after 2020? :(


You are welcome to post in any comments that do not trouble readers of the blog.

Providing an ID is recommended. If some reason you wish to use an Anonymous name, please leave a name below your comments. From now on, comments with no names will not be considered for moderation.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...