Malaysia is heading towards its 2020 objectives in strides, frantically building a vast infrastructure network, enhancing connectivity and banking on innovation so that it can declare itself a developed nation.
But it lays well behind Singapore and Brunei in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, stuck in the third place in ranking in the Asean grouping.
The ten countries of the association – which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year – have vastly different levels of economic growth.
A look at their GDP per capita in US dollars is a given.
On top of the list comes Singapore with US$52, 744 – according to figures published by the Asean.
Brunei is second with US$30,942. Malaysia is listed third with US$9,657.
Malaysia is striving to increase its GDP per capita but it is not doing it in a rational way, certainly not when salaries are stagnating at almost all levels of the workforce but for the top brass.
Yet the only little surprise in this list is Laos, which has a GDP per capita of US$1,831, distancing both Indonesia (a vastly larger country than Laos) showing a GDP per capita of only US$1,246 and Cambodia with US$1,198.
Myanmar has a GDP per capita of US$1,246.
The Philippines (US$2,850) is slightly better than Vietnam (US$2,190) but is distanced by Thailand (US$5,737).