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Quelle horreur:

“I give it a 70 per cent chance that Malaysia will be exporting maids in 20 years. I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens unless we get our act together,” [head of research at Corston-Smith Asset Management, Lim Tze Cheng] said.

Why?

“Electronics will be dominated by Thailand and Philippines, plantations by Indonesia, financial services by Singapore and our oil could be depleted in 20 years,” Lim predicts.

Such is the zero-sum world. Other nuggets of analysis include:

He cited a recent visit to the Philippines, a current major supplier of maids, where he visited a company, International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) and he drew comparisons to local port champions Westport and Port of Tanjung Pelepas.

He said that ICTS now draws 50 per cent of its revenue from eight profitable ports outside the Philippines, and noted that no Malaysian port company can boast of similar achievements.

On the first level, ICTS may not be representative of the Philippine economy. But on a second, more crucial level, ICTS’ overseas operation speaks absoutely nothing about the strength of the Philippine economy.

Lim did bring up important points – Malaysia is stuck in the middle-income trap. Nevertheless, the inability to make it into the high-income category does not necessarily mean that we will degenerate into a poor, maid-exporting country.

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