Wednesday, March 14, 2012

30 years since Look East policy...

When Dr Mahathir launched the 'Look East Policy' in 1982, he caught the West by surprise. Not that he was against the developed US and Europe but the values and work ethic of the Japanese and Koreans were more suitable for a new economy like Malaysia.

While his 'Buy British Last' did caused minor diplomatic collision with the UK, his approach in dealing with the capitalist did gain recognition world over, especially among the developing and the non-aligned groups.

The South-South Commission and the Langkawi International Dialogue and the South African International Dialogue, among others that he initiated, were deemed by the West as a premier challenge to their world economic dominant.

While Japan and South Korea were also emerging as the new economic power horse, the more developed West were at their very best to contain such an emergence from getting so much closer to their standard. However, it was the work values of the Japanese and Koreans that steered them to a point beyond the expectation of the West.

And today, such values are still very much in practice - not only in the two countries but in many, including Malaysia.

It has been 30 years since the Look East Policy was introduced. Malaysia has benefited well from it. And thanks to Prime Minister Najib and his Japanese counterpart Mr Yoshihiko Noda who acknowledged Dr Mahathir's policy as the driving force behind our achievement today.

And the policy continues to open up more doors to rapid development of the country.

I remember what Dr Mahathir said when addressing the Third Langkawi Islamic Finance and Economics International Conference (LIFE3) in October last year that Malaysia and other Islamic countries should look to other Eastern countries and not the West as a model for their development.

He said he believed of making the right decision in introducing the Look East Policy of emulating work ethics and business techniques from Japan and South Korea during his tenure as the prime minister

"Right now, there are so many problems with Western countries. The problem in the West is that they have borrowed too much and cannot repay. You cannot have that kind of a country as a model. If you see countries like (South) Korea, Japan and China in the East... China has US$3.2 trillion in reserves. They are swimming in money. Korea can come up with major products better than that produced by companies in the West.

"Japan, as you know, is a country which lost a war... totally destroyed but as it rebuilt itself, it become the second biggest economy in the world. If you want to copy or learn something, learn from the successful people, not from the failures," he said.

True enough. One could not learn much from the West because it was a total failure, and as such we should continue to look to the East and not to the West.

"The West is going bankrupt," Dr Mahathir said.

However, Malaysia will not go bankrupt. The Opposition's claim that the economy would burst and gets overheated by the year 2020 was a political gimmick to attract attention. Anwar Ibrahim actually knows the actual situation of our economy but he has to politically ride it.

If he (Anwar) gets to Putrajaya after the next general election, I don't think he will scrap the policy. He will pursue it...or is there anything better than that?


penangan said...

salam tuan,

datuk najib ialah seorang pemimpin yang mengenang jasa pemimpin terdahulu. dia tidak pernah lupa menyebut sumbangan mereka. ini amatlah dimuliakan.

sumbangan tun dr mahathir terhadap pembangunan negara akan terus dikenang sampai bila2.

melalui dasar pandang ke timurlah malaysia bangkit sebagai salah satu kuasa ekonomi baru dunia dan dikagumi negara lain.

memang benar, jepun dan korea adalah lambang kebangkitan asia yang cuba dikekang oleh kapitalis barat.

3rd generation said...

i dont care what others think of dr mahathir.

buut to me, he is the man responsible for turning malaysia into what it is today.

other leaders after him will just follow...

najib, for example is a man of honor for attributing the look east policy to our success

Anonymous said...

such a policy has augured well in developing malaysia. the pace taken was fast and vigorous.

i think no other countries can gain such a development speed.

even the US took many years to become a superpower...

karipuley said...

nice of najib and noda to commemorate the 30th year of look east policy.

we should be proud of what dr mahathir had done for malaysia and in mooting some brilliant ideas i.e south-south commission and LID.

he is a true statesman!

budak sekolah said...

takda lagi dah pemimpin sehebat mahathir. kalau ada pun, mungkin lagi 100 tahun.

najib pun ok, cuma dia belum sampai tahap dr m lagi...

Anonymous said...


memang tun dr mahathir seorang pemimpin hebat dan berwawasan.

syabas juga kepada datuk najib kerana usahanya setakat ini

Anonymous said...

Compare where Hyundai is globally and where is Proton. Both started around the same time.

SiamangBukit said...

Proton cars have won Awards. Hyundai?

man on da street said...

But Hyundai is not only car manufacturing, do you know that?