For Malaysia to achieve TN50’s goal to be the top 20 economy in the world and Penang to be the next Silicon Valley of Asia, we must not lose to Brunei by being a clean welfare state, not a kleptocracy, and be No. 2 in 4G speed in Asean. First Malaysians were shocked when wireless coverage mapping specialist OpenSignal, released a report showing that Malaysia is amongst the slowest amongst 88 countries surveyed, in terms of the average speed of 4G.
Malaysia’s average speed of 4G is only 14.83 megabits per second (Mbps), behind neighbouring ASEAN countries liek Singapore (with an average speed of 44.32 Mbps), Vietnam (21.49 Mbps), and even Brunei (17.48 Mbps) or Myanmar (15.56 Mbps). Malaysia should be No. 2 in ASEAN, losing out only to Singapore but at the atrocious rate we are going, we will be No.2, if we count from behind.
This shocking revelation that the average speed of 4G in Brunei is faster than Malaysia is completely unacceptable. This is followed by Brunei beating Malaysia in terms of Corruption Perception Index(CPI) by Transparency International(TI). Brunei scored 62 points and was ranked No. 32 as compared with Malaysia’s 47 points and ranked No. 62.
Malaysia recorded its lowest ever ranking on the 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), and now is on the same level as Cuba. Both countries are at No. 62 with 47 points on a scale of zero to 100, with zero being highly corrupt and 100 being very clean. This is a precipitous drop for Malaysia of 2 points from 49 points and seven positions of No. 55 in 2016. Clearly anti-corruption efforts have not worked but has become worse.
If this series of bad news is not enough, it was pointed out recently that Price Waterhouse(PwC) had predicted that Malaysia would not succeed in its 2050(TN50)’s objective of becoming the top 20 global economy. Malaysia was ranked by Price Waterhouse at No. 27th top global economy in 2016 and is expected to be No. 25 in 2030. However, in 2050, Malaysia is projected to improve by one spot only, to 24th. Indonesia will be flying high at a lofty 4th. Philippines, Vietnam and even Bangladesh will overtake us, ranked at 19th, 20th and 23rd respectively. Vietnam in 2016 was at 32nd spot.
The PwC’s report continues that the average GDP growth per annum (in domestic currency) for Vietnam, Bangladesh and the Philippines between 2016 to 2050 is projected to be 5 percent, 4.8 percent and 4.3 percent respectively. Malaysia is sadly lagging behind at 3.5 percent. Clearly TN50 will not only fail in our goal to be a top 20 global economy but may also see us lose to lesser countries, including Bangladesh, Philippines and Vietnam.
The time has come for change. It is critical for our country’s future that the wrong direction the country is taking under BN be quickly corrected. Failing to do so will see Malaysia slipping further behind and see us lose out to other countries that send their workers here. Let us not let our children’s future be stolen as ours was stolen.
LIM GUAN ENG