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Sunday, October 30, 2011

West a failed model, says Dr M

The former prime minister says he made the right decision to introduce Look East policy.

LANGKAWI: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said 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 he made 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 during a question-and-answer session at the Third Langkawi Islamic Finance & Economics International Conference (LIFE 3), here.

The three-day conference, with the theme “Islamic Banking and Finance: Waqaf, Zakat and Sadakah as Community Empowerment and Strategies for the Economic Transformation of the Ummah”, began yesterday.

Mahathir said one could not learn much from the West because it was a total failure.

“So, we should continue to look to the East and not to the West. The West is going bankrupt,” he said.

He also said that he was personally against socialism because it would make everyone poor.

“For capitalism, it is the way to prosper the country. If we look around, capitalist countries seem to be so rich, that even workers can drive big cars. But people can become extremely greedy… wanting more and more money without thinking about the consequences.

“They borrow and borrow until they cannot pay and they are all bankrupt. Greed will cause this. Today, we are seeing failed countries in the developed world.

“It is because countries like Greece are so indebted… borrowing more than 200 percent of their GDP (Gross Domestic Product),” Mahathir added.

-Bernama

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