May 27, 2006
Malaysian Vs. Singapore Culture
Malaysians and Singaporeans. Same difference?
The two peoples are really cut from the same stone, and yet only a couple of decades after its separation, there can be a defined difference between the cultures, which some would say is growing.
The development of any society can be closely intertwined to the political and administrative system of the country.
Singapore, together with many South East Asian countries, had for many decades the privilege/hegemony (delete whichever necessary and appropriate in your opinion) of a dictator-like leader. In a strange way, these strong-willed and almost theocratic leadership was necessary to allow control and positive development of the society. Think Philliphines, think Singapore, think Indonesia, and surprise surprise, think Malaysia.
A strong leader like Harry Lee, brilliant and intelligent in leading his country, allowed for a refined political system that could not be questioned. Economic development into the country will always be received positively by its people. If you satisfy the basic need of the people, by filling their pockets and tummies, it is difficult to complain, really.
By having an administration provide virtually everything for you, you also subject yourself to allowing the system to do all the thinking. You are merely a follower and an implementer.
This is one of the major differences I often hear of people doing business and working in political fields in both countries. That Malaysians have a much stronger entrepreneurial spirit. Flexibility and adaptability are some of the characteristics often quoted, currently lacking across the border. This is a result of the way in which the mind has been developed to think.
On the other hand, Malaysians should not rejoice. Singaporeans are far, far ahead in terms of efficient implementation of anything. Even if our policies can be beautifully worded, we are so inefficient and ineffective that the means never even get to the "end".
Isn't it interesting that the same people groups have dichotomised in such a short period of time? Doesn't this speak volumes for political systems and what a huge role they play in the development of the peoples it commands?
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