Malaysians Overjoyed As Singaporeans Look To 'Bolehland' As A Model For Change

Setting a good example for other nations to follow.

Cover image via Bernama via NST (Edited)

For a long time, citizens from Malaysia and Singapore have been engaging in fierce debate on various subjects

Malaysia has always maintained strong ties with its neighbour down south as the two nations have a lot of shared history but it will be hard to ignore that two countries' seemed to have a love-hate relationship.

This love-hate relationship extends beyond the ongoing food fights and sporting events as the public often compare one country to the other when talking about standard of living. 

The general perception is that SIngapore had been better off than Malaysia in many aspects including education quality and successfully increasing income levels historically. 

However, the 14th Malaysian general election (GE14) has been dubbed as the turning point for the country. Nations around the world, including Singapore, have turned to Malaysia as a model for democracy.

For the first time ever in Malaysian history, the Barisan Nasional coalition, which had ruled the country since its independence, was voted out by Malaysians.

Following the stunning victory of an opposition coalition, Pakatan Harapan, in the historic election, some netizens in Singapore felt inspired as the event signifies a positive tilt towards democracy, something which could be emulated in their own country.

Image via Twitter

About a week after GE14, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also spoke about how opposition parties play a role in keeping Singapore's politics "contestable".

"Opposition parties keep Singapore's politics contestable. In other words, the ruling party, the PAP, does not have a monopoly of power, does not have the right to rule Singapore indefinitely," Mr. Lee said during a parliamentary debate, as reported by Asian Correspondent.

In Singapore, the People's Action Party (PAP) has been ruling without interruption since the country's independence in 1965.

That's not all.

Most recently, Singaporeans took notice of news that all Cabinet ministers of the Pakatan Harapan government will be taking a 10% pay cut from their basic salary.

In a post shared by the 'Wake Up, Singapore' Facebook Page, a comparison was made between Malaysia's new Cabinet with Singapore's '4G Cabinet', a reference to the Singaporean Cabinet that is dominated by fourth-generation ministers.

"While Malaysia's new cabinet reduced ministers' salaries and eliminated GST, ours kept their million dollar salaries and raised GST to 9%," the post read.

Singapore has made headlines for the country's "million dollar ministers" — new ministers reportedly make about SGD1.1 million (about RM3.3 million) annually while Mr. Lee's annual income came up to SGD2.2 million (RM6.6 million).

On the other hand, Malaysia's new government has moved to implement zero-rated goods and services tax (GST) in the country beginning 1 June 2018 but GST in Singapore is expected to be raised from 7% to 9%, according to economists and analysts.

The Facebook post has gone viral, drawing thousands of shares and hundreds of comments from netizens.

Many Singaporeans have continued to commend Malaysians for making "progress"...

Image via Facebook

... while Malaysians have expressed their happiness for their country finally being in the spotlight for a good reason

Image via Facebook

Malaysia has always been urged to learn thing or two from Singapore.

To have the citizens of the Lion City "looking up to Malaysia" is definitely a breath of fresh air, as these netizens have pointed out.

Image via Facebook

9 May has been regarded as the beginning of a new Malaysia, and the PH government has quickly got to work to carry out its reform agenda:

Pakatan Harapan's historic win gained widespread coverage from international press: