May 27, 2006

Malaysian Vs. Singapore Culture

Posted in Malaysia, Reflections at 1:07 am by egalitaria

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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3 Comments

  1. Ellen Webern said,

    When I spoke at a conference in Singapore quite recently I grew very aware of how much these two regions have to offer each other…. I left wondering how differences could be put aside long enough to let some of the shared interests shine through…. Think it might happen…?

    http://thepowerplace.blogspot.com/2006/05/its-down-to-wire-in-new-orleans.html

  2. Ellen Weber said,

    I apologize that my comment left earlier before completed … thanks for the second chance and thanks for this post ….

    When I spoke at a conference in Singapore quite recently I grew very aware of how much these two regions have to offer each other…. I left wondering how differences could be put aside long enough to let some of the shared interests shine through…. Think it might happen…?

    Brain Based Business

  3. egalitaria said,

    hi ellen, thanks for your comment.. not sure why I couldn’t open the link though! But yes indeed certain parties are definitely advocating more shared interests are followed up on. However, as politics go in every country, sometimes these are shaded by other things.. .


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