Penang Paradigm

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The present stagnation of the Malaysian economy cannot in truth be blamed on the Global Financial Crisis that broke out in September 2008 and on the slow recovery of the rich countries. The average income (GDP per capita in PPP$) in Malaysia was 30.7% of US income in 1996 and was only marginally higher in 2007 at 31.9%. In contrast, Korean income grew from 49.9% of US income in 1996 to 61.4% in 2007; and Taiwanese income grew in the same time period from 55.7% of the US level to 66.8%. In short, Malaysia was already inside the middle income trap by 2007, and has now been there for the last decade and a half.


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