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Sunday, October 24, 2010

What Does the Malaysia 2011 Budget Has In Store For Us?

It has been more than a week since the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak has tabled the 2011 budget for the nation. The 2011 Malaysia Budget is based on the theme Transformation Towards a Developed and High-Income Nation. The budget might seems ambition, but does it really relevant to most of the rakyat (citizen) of Malaysia?

From the long list of the Malaysia Budget for the Year 2011: Transformation Towards a Developed and High-Income Nation, there are actually few things that is actually relevant to us. True that some of the construction work like the construction of the highways or greater KL MRT will provide better transportation system in the near future, but will it really ease the burden or the citizen? We are not sure about that.

Anyway, back to the topic What Does the Malaysia 2011 Budget Has In Store for Us, one of the thing that I see that most Malaysians might be anticipating is the introduction of GST (Goods and Services Tax), but the government has choose to postpone the introduction of GST. This might be a political play, however, the government has increased the current service tax rate from 5% to 6%. It is surprise to see that when the Government "promise" the rakyat the GST rate will be lower, the Government actually defers it and increase the current service tax.

Toll rates will not be increased over the next five years which seems like a good news to most Malaysians, especially those staying in KL area, but this will also mean that it is the Government using the taxpayers' money for this subsidy although I do not see any justification for PLUS to keep raising the toll rates every now and then? Or the Government will push towards PLUS privatisation? We never know.

There are actually other goodies that is in store for us in this budget which I will discussed in the next post, but overall it seems to me that this is just another budget like others from previous years.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Forbes 400: The Richest People in America - Part 2

This post continues from Forbes 400: The Richest People in America

3. Larry Ellison
Net Worth: $27 billion
Source: Oracle
Residence: Woodside, Calif.
Age: 66

The Oracle chief brazenly chastised Hewlett-Packard for ousting its former head Mark Hurd over his relationship with a marketing contractor. Then he turned around and hired Hurd weeks later to replace Oracle's co-president, Charles Phillips, who resigned at the same time. HP sued Hurd, prompting Ellison to say that HP was making it "virtually impossible" for the 2 companies to do business together. (The two parties recently settled). Oracle, which has acquired 66 companies over the years, figured out a way to turn a profit on its latest big buy, Sun Microsystems, in 2010. One of the highest-paid executives in the country, Ellison has gotten $960 million in compensation in the past 5 fiscal years, mostly from the exercise of stock options; he recently cut his salary to $1. Ellison's fortune is almost entirely tied up in Oracle; he also owns a $580 million stake in Web business-software outfit Netsuite and is one of the largest private land owners in celebrity haven Malibu, Calif. Ellison has 2 houses in the Bay Area: Japanese-style compound in Silicon Valley and bay-view mansion in San Francisco. An avid yachtsman, Ellison spent a decade and over $100 million on his quest for the America's Cup, which he finally won in February. He beat his Swiss rival Ernesto Bertarelli, thanks in part to a trimaran with a rigid main sail longer than a Boeing 747's wingspan. Now he's deciding where to take the next Cup, said to favor backyard, in San Francisco. He intends to give 95% of wealth to charity.

4. Christy Walton & Family
Net Worth: $24 billion
Source: Wal-Mart
Residence: Jackson, Wy.
Age: 55

The widow of John Walton inherited her wealth after the former Green Beret and Vietnam war medic died in an airplane accident near his home in Wyoming 2005. She got an extra bump in her fortune because of her late husband's early investment in First Solar; shares up more than 400% since 2006 initial public offering. But bulk still comes from her shares in Wal-Mart, the retailer founded by her father-in-law Sam Walton and his brother James in 1962. Today Wal-Mart has sales of $405 billion, and employs more than 2.0 million people. The philanthropist supports museums, education and organic gardening.

5. Charles Koch (tie)
Net Worth: $21.5 billion
Source: manufacturing, energy
Residence: Wichita, Kan.
Age: 74

Since inheriting control of the refining business of his dad, Frederick, in 1967, Charles Koch has expanded the Wichita conglomerate more than 100-fold to $100 billion in revenues; it is now the second-largest private company in the U.S. behind Cargill. Biggest deal to date: The $21 billion purchase of building-products maker Georgia Pacific right before the housing market crashed. Charles and brother David bought out sibs Frederick and William for $790 million in 1983. Each year Charles and David reinvest 90% of profits in the business, with enough left to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into their pet charities and causes, a mix of libertarian think tanks and New York City arts institutions. Most recently they angered California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger by giving $1 million to help efforts to overturn the state's climate change regulations.

5. David Koch (tie)
Net Worth: $21.5 billion
Source: manufacturing, energy
Residence: New York, N.Y.
Age: 70

More gregarious than his brother Charles, David Koch may have made his shrewdest decision in 1983 when he kept his stock in Koch Industries instead of selling out like his brothers William and Frederick, who got about $790 million for their stakes. Since then the company has expanded rapidly and now is worth more than $50 billion; it has interests in pipelines, refineries, Lycra, Dixie Cups. David, who was the Libertarian Party's candidate for vice president in 1980, restricts his political activities now mostly to supporting conservative think tanks and activist organizations. Most recently he and Charles angered California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger by giving $1 million to help efforts to overturn the state's climate change regulations. From his home base in New York City he runs Koch's chemical technology group. He and his wife, Julia, are also active on the charity circuit and have given or pledged $600 million, mostly to cancer research and the arts since 2000; he sits on 26 nonprofit boards.

7. Jim Walton
Net Worth: $20.1 billion
Source: Wal-Mart
Residence: Bentonville, Ark.
Age: 62

Jim is currently chairman and chief executive of family's Arvest Bank; also chairs local newspaper company Community Publishers. Sam Walton's youngest son has served on Wal-Mart's board of directors since brother John's death in 2005. While Wal-Mart's shares are nearly flat over the past year, the 3 children of the founder collected $1.2 billion in dividends. A former clerk, Sam Walton (d.1992) founded Bentonville store with brother James 1962; today Wal-Mart has sales of $405 billion, employs more than 2.1 million people.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Malaysia Budget for the Year 2011: Transformation Towards a Developed and High-Income Nation

Malaysia budget for the year 2011 was tabled by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak earlier today. The 2011 Budget is based on the theme of Transformation Towards a Developed and High-Income Nation and will be centre on four key strategies.

These are the highlights of Budget 2011:

The Govt took into consideration views from the public and private sectors, focus groups, media, 1M blog and lab sessions.

Govt expects 7% growth for Malaysia in 2010 over previous estimate of 6%.

Govt aims to achieve 6% growth in 2011, supported by private investments, expanding 10.2%, private consumption 6.3%, exports 6.7%.

Income per capita will increase 6.1% to RM28,000 while income in terms of purchasing power parity to USD16,000 (RM49,440).

Will emphasise on efforts to transform the nation into a developed plus high-income economy plus sustainable development.

With the theme "Transformation Towards a Developed and High-Income Nation", Budget 2011 will centre on 4 key strategies.

Several PPP projects identified under the 10MP will be implemented in 2011 through private investment of RM12.5bil PPP project: Construction of highways such as the Ampang-Cheras-Pandan Elevated Highway

PPP project: Construction of a 300-megawatt Combined-Cycle Gas Power Plant in Kimanis, Sabah

PPP project: Development of International Islamic University Malaysia Teaching Hospital in Kuantan; Women and Children’s Hospital

Another PPP project identified is the Academic Medical Centre. This project involves private investment of RM2 bil

Greater KL MRT to be implemented from 2011. When completed, public transport utilisation rate is expected to rise to at least 40%

Another major project is the development of the Malaysian Rubber Board land in Sungai Buloh covering an area of 2,680 acres

A new landmark, Warisan Merdeka, is expected to be completed in 2020. It will include a 100-storey tower, the tallest in Malaysia

The Govt will implement bold measures to revitalise the domestic capital market

Efforts will be taken to strengthen Malaysia's position as a premier Islamic capital market

The Govt will provide Entrepreneurship Enhancement Training Programme to train 500 technopreneurs and attract more angel investors

The Malaysian Technology Development Corporation will be provided a startup fund amounting to RM100mil to provide soft loans

To revitalise capital market activities, the Govt will launch a Private Pension Fund in 2011

Existing income tax relief of up to RM6,000 for employees contributions to EPF will extend to Private Pension Fund contributions

A sum of RM857 mil is allocated for local E&E companies to compete at the international level

The Govt will allocate RM146 mil to support the oil, gas and energy industry

The Govt is committed to develop green technology to ensure sustainable development

Pioneer Status, Investment Tax Allowance for energy generation from renewable sources plus energy efficiency activities extended til 31 December 2015

To further encourage ownership of hybrid cars, import duty and excise duty exemption will be extended until 31 December 2011

Tax exemption on income from trading of Certified Emission Reductions certificate to extend until year of assessment 2012.

The Govt will implement the Programme on Blending of Biofuels with Petroleum Diesel (B5 Programme) in June 2011

The Govt will allocate RM3.8bil in 2011 to increase productivity and generate higher returns in the agriculture sector

Infrastructure facilities to be allocated - RM85mil to facilitate construction of hotels and resorts in remote areas

RM3bil eco-nature resort Nexus Karambunai, Sabah, to commence 2011

To support the tourism industry, the Government will allocate RM100mil

The Govt proposes that import duty on approximately 300 goods preferred by tourists and locals, at 5% to 30%, be abolished.

In efforts to propel the palm oil and related products industry, several measures will be implemented

Measures include encouraging replanting activity to replace aged trees with high quality new clones through RM297mil

RM127mil to be allocated to support domestic oleo derivatives companies plus RM23.3m to expand downstream palm oil industries

Multimedia Development Corridor programme is allocated RM119mil. Focus is on creating an innovative digital economy

Import duty and sales tax exemption on broadband equipment are also extended for two years until 2012

The Government proposes that sales tax be exempted on all types of mobile phones

Corridor and regional development will be accelerated. The Government allocates RM850mil for infrastructure support

For Iskandar Malaysia, a sum of RM339mil is allocated.

The Northern Corridor Economic Region is allocated RM133mil.

East Coast Economic Region is allocated RM178mil for projects

For Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy, RM93mil is allocated for facilities

A sum of RM411mil is allocated in 2011 for R&D&C activities

For 2011, a sum of RM71mil is allocated for Special Innovation Unit UNIK

A sum of RM200mil is allocated to purchase creative products such as high quality locally-produced films, dramas and documentaries

The Government proposes that the rate of service tax be increased from 5% to 6%

RM29.3bil is allocated for Ministry of Education, RM10.2bil for Ministry of Higher Education and RM627mil for Ministry of Human Resource

The Govt will establish a Talent Corporation under the Prime Minister’s Office in early 2011

RM6.4bil is allocated for development expenditure to build and upgrade schools, hostels, facilities and equipment

RM213mil is allocated to reward high-performance schools

The Govt will increase pre-school enrolment rate to a targeted 72% by end-2011 through an additional 1,700 classes

The Govt will also strengthen the curriculum and appoint 800 pre-school graduate teachers

RM250mil is allocated for development expenditure to schools: religious, Chinese-type, Tamil national, missionary, Government-assisted

RM576mil is allocated in the form of scholarships for those wishing to further their studies

RM213mil is allocated to enhance proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia, strengthen the English Language

RM20mil is allocated to increase PhD qualified academic staff to 75% in research unis plus to 60% in other higher learning institutions

RM60mil is allocated to further intensify the Industrial Skill Enhancement Programme in State Skills Development Training Centres

The Govt will also allocate RM50mil to the Multimedia Development Corporation to train graduates in ICT

RM474mil is provided to enhance productivity and skills of non-graduates

The 1Malaysia Training Programme will commence in January 2011 with an allocation of RM500mil

RM200mil is allocated to conduct part-time training in the evenings and weekends in selected training centres nationwide

RM200mil from the Human Resources Development Fund to be used by companies to fund specific training programmes for their employees

The Govt will enforce basic minimum wages for security guards, to between RM500 and RM700 a month depending on location

RM30mil is allocated to introduce the Single Mother Skill Incubator Programme and the Prime Entrepreneur and Women Activist

The Govt will provide 40 1Malaysia TASKA to assist women to obtain quality childcare and early education for their children

The Govt will allow flexibility to self-determine fully-paid maternity leave, not exceeding 90 days from the current 60 days

For sports development and management, a sum of RM365mil is allocated to the Ministry of Youth and Sports

To develop football, the Govt will establish a Football Academy in Pahang with RM20mil to produce quality football players

In 2011, the Government will allocate RM1.2 bil to the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.

The Govt will launch assistance programme to benefit 80,000 disabled individuals with an allocation of RM218mil

Government will extend tax relief of up to RM5,000 to help parents with expenses such as daycare, caretakers & other daily needs

First-time house buyers will be given stamp duty exemption of 50% on instruments of transfer on a house price not exceeding RM350,000

RM6.9bil is allocated to implement basic infrastructure such as water and electricity supply as well as rural roads

Build and upgrade rural roads in Sabah and Sarawak with an allocation of RM2.1bil and RM696mil in Peninsular Malaysia

RM974mil is allocated as price subsidy for padi, fertilisers and padi seeds. RM230mil for production incentives, increasing padi yield

Govt to establish a 1Malaysia Smart Consumer portal to help the rakyat keep abreast with price movements of retail goods.

Effective January 2011, the monthly allowance of Imam will be increased from RM450 to RM750

The monthly allowance for KAFA teachers will be increased to RM800, an increase from RM500, starting Jan 2011

RM100mil is allocated to implement various programmes, including resolving Orang Asli land rights and border settlement issues

Toll rates in four highways owned by PLUS Expressway Berhad will not be raised for the next five years, effective immediately

RM15.2bil is allocated to build new hospitals, increase the number of doctors, nurses, obtain supplies of medicines and equipment

Since 2009, 51 1Malaysia Clinics are in operation. The Government will provide an additional 25 1Malaysia Clinics

RM350mil is allocated to implement various programmes to combat crime, including burglary, motorcycle and car thefts

RM70mil is allocated for programmes with select NGOs to help Govt strengthen family institution and address social ills eg baby dumping

RM1.9bil is allocated to environmental preservation, including implementing the River of Life Programme and KL greening

To assist children, particularly the low-income to excel academically, the 1MDB will provide multi-vitamins for primary school pupils

1MDB will provide RM20mil to the 1Malaysia Youth Fund. This fund will be utilised to instil the 1Malaysia spirit

The Govt agrees to abolish the Competency Level Assessment/PTK and replace with a more suitable evaluation system by June 2011

Civil servants burden in coping with schooling expenses to be reduced by providing a Special Financial Assistance of RM500

RM212bil is allocated for Budget 2011, which is 2.8% higher than the allocation for 2010

RM45.6bil will be allocated for Development Expenditure, RM15.5bil for the social sector

Government revenue collection is estimated to increase 2.3% to RM165.8bil in 2011, up from RM162.1bil in 2010

The deficit for 2011 is expected to further decline to 5.4% of GDP, compared with 5.6% in 2010

So, what do you think of the Malaysia 2011 Budget?

Monday, October 4, 2010


Asia is the region that contained approximately 60% of the world population, which accounts for about 4 billion people. Over the last decade, the economic growth in Asia has been fantastic. This is partly due to the macroeconomic and structural reforms and management as well as the growth seen in emerging China. On average, Asia has recorded a growth of 6% per year. This is quite a remarkable feat as Asia’s share in the global economy is now one third. This economic growth has helped to lift a lot of people out of poverty and improve their livelihood. Today, the leading region in the economic recovery is Asia. All of these are because of the strong fundamentals and quick and forceful policy responses to the crisis implemented by the leaders of the countries. The ability of most Asian countries to respond to the recent crisis is due to the significant structural changes made in Asia’s financial sectors after the 1997/98 crisis.

However, there is still a lot for Asia to learn before emerging as the leader for the post-global crisis economic world. Here are some of the crises that Asia will face in the near future. The rising standard of livings in China and India will eventually lead to a slow down as both the countries are currently providing cheap and amply labour in the region. There are also political issues between countries such as Pakistan and India that constantly pose threat to one another which prompt the government to invest heavily on military force. Japan is also another country that is finding it difficult to find new innovation and move beyond stagnation. The Dubai debt problems is also another warning and indication that more changes are needed. You could actually feel that each country face a different challenges in the days to come and emergent Asia needs to move beyond modernity into postmodern world to face these challenges.
Postmodernism in this context does not mean that Asian countries to linger around the uncertainties of the world but it means the need to deconstruct the old thoughts before constructing new ideas and image of the future for the world. As mentioned above, there might be a lot of different challenges faced by different countries in Asian countries but the biggest challenge faced by countries in this region over the next decade is the need to emerge into a new mindset. This is why Asia must learn to move beyond modernity into postmodernism. The old thinking needs to be replaced with new ideas, visions and stories just as no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. The new era has come and we could not contain growth and development with old perspective. This is an important part of growth because there is a need for transformation in adapting to the new challenges. With new risks within and across borders, it is necessary for Asia to maintain a strong supervisory regime going forward, including by building up risk assessment capabilities and adopting a macro-prudential approach to supervision.
There are many people who wonder why the need for a new perspective while Asians are heading the right direction. The problem is that most Asian countries have been so used to being colonized that it seems awkward and impossible to lead in the global economy recovery. One of the countries in Asia that is showing the right frame of mentality is Korea. In fact Korea represents the success story in Asia far better than most countries. Let us not forget that at one time, Korea was the second poorest country in the world, second only to Niger but it is now the 4th largest economy in Asia and the world’s 15th or 12th if according to the purchasing power parity.
The innovation and willingness to redefine the image of their country has helped South Korea to where it is today. Even though the nation was not recognized for their ability to grow, Korea had been determined to create local competitive countries that would be recognized worldwide. In the mid 1960s, Korea was an export-led developing country and the Korean firms supplied big multinationals with components or even the entire products. However, the Koreans had the determination to manufacture products under its’ own brands instead of the brand of other companies. Initially it was a very difficult journey for the country and the efforts and struggles put in were often painful experiences. Most people would remember Hyundai’s first disastrous foray into the U.S car market back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. However, they have not given up on their dream and with financial and government backing for the private companies, Korea has been able to achieve its’ feats today.
However, many other nations are lacking on the mindset to strive to achieve in Asia. A lot of the countries in Asia are comfortable with where they are at. Middle East countries are happy with the oil resources that they have but for how many years will these resources last? What will happen when green technology is being developed as replacement for petroleum fuel? Japan is finding it hard to get away from their “savings” mentality regardless of the low interest rate in the bank. There is a looming mood in the nation especially since deflation, the curse of the "Lost Decade" of the 1990s, is back with a paralyzing bite. Prices and wages are falling as aging consumers save their pension checks and wait for still-lower prices. Even as Korea might have seen so much improvement in the last few years, there is indication that the work ethic in the country might have caused the workers to burn out. The lack of consumer culture and burn out of employees are issues that must be taken seriously. The leaders of the country must also be aware not to move into the direction of Japan where it is hard to move further ahead. On the other hand, China is the force that must be reckoned in the near future but there is still a lot of work to be done especially in developing their domestic markets further. The change in mentality will help to drive innovation and creativity in Asian countries.
The lack of professionals in the technology industry should also be a warning and indication that more work must be done to help Asia connect with the world. Globalization has been helped largely by the existence of internet but until today, there is no well-established technology company from Asia in the internet field. The recent issues regarding the censorship of internet search results had resulted in a long-running-stand-off between Google and China. At one point, Google even threatened to pull out of China. This is one of the important changes that must be made. Censorship on the internet could result in manipulation of information and this is not a good sign for China. The search engine in China, Baidu might be quite popular in China but had recently been sued by, another Chinese Internet Portal for launching DDOS attacks on their servers. While it is not an issue for Asian countries to depend on the companies from other countries, the lack of knowledge workers in this field is something that must be considered given that most of the masterminds behind Google, Microsoft, Apple and many others are from the Western countries.
All of these could be overcome with the right mindset. It is important that Asians learn to be more innovative and creative. Instead of always looking into the products and success of other countries, Asians need to come out with something of their own. It is just like how the Japanese and Koreans being able to establish themselves as well known car manufacturers. The leaders in the countries need to spend more money and invest heavily on research and development to bring about the positive results. Instead of struggling with politic issues and corruption such as those happening in Thailand, Philippines and many others, Asians should set the right direction. Singapore has been very successful at this as the country is very stable politically and has seen positive results in fighting against corruption. With all the unnecessary distraction set aside, the country could focus the funds on research and development, building proper infrastructure and providing the support to the private companies. Singapore is on the right track in this issue and the country has one of the best and most efficient public transportation in the world. If you want to know how much should be spent on research and development, one example is Microsoft which spent 8 billion US dollar on research and development in 2008 alone.
Other areas that Asians are lacking in include the development of clean energy. This is probably one area that the Asians need to work on. Science has identified black carbon as one of the elements that impact the regional climate. In fact, several studies and research have identified Asia as the largest source of black carbon emissions globally. All of these are from contained combustion such as combustion in engines, stoves, and kilns, accounting for more than half of all such emissions. Other than that, open combustion such as forest fires, land clearing through fire, and burning of agricultural wastes also lead to the omission of black carbon. There are some efforts in developing clean energy such as the Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) 2010, which was held in Manila on June 23-25 this year. It is Asia’s premier event for policymakers, technical experts and investors to share knowledge and up-to-date developments in clean energy in the region. However, given the vast potential in this region to develop the clean energy, more efforts should be taken in developing green technology.
It is also important to take note that the environment issue will also be another important challenge that will be faced by all Asian countries. The change of perspectives and thoughts will help Asians to prepare themselves and plan the development of their cities and countries. This is important to allow emergency help to be provided to rural areas when there is a need such as flooding that occurs frequently in some countries such as China. Besides Singapore, most of the other countries in Asia do not have proper infrastructure development. This will lead to the dependence on vehicles that use petrol that contribute to the air pollution. If the infrastructure development could be planned in advance, this could help to encourage the citizens to use public transportation. This effort could reduce the release of carbon dioxide into our environment. Other important steps would be proactive participation in recycling and other environment friendly activities. The new set of mindset will help Asian to prepare for all these uncertainties.
From all of these, we could easily recognize that the most important challenges facing Asia over the next decade is to emerge into a new set of thinking. The new thinking and mindset will help the Asians to form new ideologies, ideas and all of these will lead to innovation and restructuring of the fundamentals in the countries. However, it is not easy for one to find solution to these changes. After all, it takes a long period of time for transition of thoughts and perspectives especially since most Asians are tied closely to their culture. For example, the Chinese believe strongly in hard work and discipline, which is a good characteristic in any individual. However, it is important for Asians to learn to work smart as well. Flexibility in working hours is also important to avoid burn out workers. Although the Chinese form one of the most hardworking and discipline group of workers, most of these people are not able to think out of the box in their working environment. They are trained to do the same work repetitively.
This is why postmodernism is important in this context. While the characteristic of hard work and discipline are important for all skilled and knowledge workers to have, it is also important for these group of people to learn to be more flexible, see things from a different perspective and learn to think outside the box. This will help to generate new ideas and innovation. One of the ways to encourage this thinking among the workers in Asia is to organize motivation talks, provide a better and more comfortable working environment as well as encouraging independency at work. Instead of judging the performance of the workers by their hard work, more values should be placed on the results and ideas given by the workers. It is also important to allow exposure to cultures from other countries and regions. While it is important to maintain the culture and hold firm to the beliefs of one culture, it is also necessary to look at the positive attribute from other cultures and apply them into our daily lives. All of these should be stressed in education as well as through the media.
Transparency is also an important concept that must be implemented so that Asians could see things from different perspectives and not just through the eyes of their government. Internet transparency is important as we can see from the conflict between Google and China. If the leaders of Asian countries are able to see the need for transparency in all areas of their administration, the citizens will have more faith in their work. Trust and integrity is important because people only practice honesty when they see the value in trust and integrity. One country that has been very successful in Asia at this level is Singapore.
It is also important to look into the work force of the country and make sure that it is balance in terms of age group and qualification. For example, it is very dangerous if the work force is full of people who are at the age of 60 and above. This group of people might be able to provide stability and with their experience, they could provide insights into the possibility of what might happen in the future but they are also the group of people that find it difficult to think outside the box. Due to years of training over the same thing, they are not capable of looking at new ideas and thus eliminating innovation in the process. This could be seen in the case of Japan as of now. The right mixture of young and old will help to provide this balance for innovation and development. These will help both the young and old to learn from one another and thus, enhancing their knowledge and perspective.
The journey towards the next decade is still a long way to go but if Asia is to be the leader in the post-global-crisis world, they must take a giant leap of faith for new ideas and perspectives. There will definitely be more challenges ahead but the most important challenge is the perspective and mindset of Asians. Asians must no longer look at others for ideas and perspectives. They should learn to look within and think of a bigger picture. IMF’s Dominique Strauss-Kahn states that Asia should play a leadership role in guiding the global economy to a new, more sustainable path for growth. Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said in Washington that a changed world order is upon us. All of these are possible but it could only happen if Asians are willing to move forward with the new perspective.