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11/01/2006

my rumbling to robertteh's rumbling

My rumbling to robertteh's rumbling in redbeanforum. We do not have a very long history and tradition to develop core skills and industries like some European countries, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Germany and some of the Scandinavian countries. It is unfair to compare our development with them. It is very flattering to compare ourselves with the failed countries in the Third World and keep patting our backs to say we have done well. Indeed we have done well so far. But going down the road, we need to be excellent in some manufacturing industries, R and D or service industries. There were aspirations to be the best in everything. But so far we have not really develop something to differentiate us from the developed countries. We started off almost at the same time as the Koreans and Taiwanese, maybe a bit slower than Japan. The Japanese took off long ago. The Koreans and Taiwanese have surged ahead from us. We are still like Hongkong, banking on trading and shuffling of funds and as shopkeepers. Maybe we were trying to be too many things. We are ahead of our neighbours in many areas. But the time for us to build a clear cut advantage were not maximised and it is so easy for our neighbours, or China and India to overrun us. Then we will be in shit. Shouldn't we pour in all our heart and souls to develop say the medical services and facilities to be way ahead of the region or the world? The electronics and consumer goods manufacturing are relatively new industries that we could capitalise on like what Apple and Microsoft have done. These are areas where education and high skilled workers are needed and not really land and labour intensive. And they are new industries which would not put us in a too disadvantageous position. We could have invested heavily with Creative to make it real big. But Creative was left to fight its own battle against the world giants. Imagine if we are now the capital of manufacturing all the little gadgets, softwares etc. As it is we are just subcontractors. Not much value add and easily replaceable. Now we are facing the real challenge, a tsunami of sorts with the Chinese and Indians edging us out of the game. Everything we can do they can do better and cheaper. Even as shop keepers, we are losing out as the barrier to entry is so low. And our high land cost etc will only drive us out of the competition. And they are still crazily raising the rentals and cost of service as if Singapore is the only place on earth to buy genuine quality goods at attractive prices. Without core manufacturing expertise, I am not talking about heavy manufacturing industries, everyone can provide good and cheap services. Where do all these left us? A good political and state administrative system. But these are not marketable or scalable. They can make the IRs and other industries look better being here. But they are not productive on their own. Actually very costly and over valued. I am just rumbling. The crunch will come and is coming.

4 comments:

gecko said...

The crunch will not come until it reaches critical mass. It is a matter of years, not decades before this happens... a matter of years until someone passes away. Then maybe, things will truly start changing.

redbean said...

aiya don't be like dat lah. waiting for people to go away, not so nice lah.

who said that the flutter of a butterfly can cause a storm?

gecko said...

Redbean: But I never wish for people to go away - only waiting. Same thing, hor? :P Lorenz lor. He who coined the term 'butterfly effect' and who is still alive, also.

redbean said...

everyone has a life to live. let people enjoy their lives. only selfish people need to be kicked.