2022-01-13 IPmod 26996



Layla May, Writes at beautyrabbithole.com (perfumes, skincare, makeup)
Asians are generally hardworking, but I do think that we Southeast Asians are generally less hardworking than East Asians. However, I don’t aspire to be as hardworking as East Asians because I think it’s excessive, as they have to work long hours despite their countries being developed. If a developed country makes you unhappy (Koreans call Korea “Hell Joseon”) then that’s not the developed country I want our country to be.
Southeast Asians have less sense of urgency. It’s common if something starts at 5, many of us would come at around 5.10. Strangely, some would even arrive much later lol. Japanese people on the other hand are super punctual. Koreans are also known for their pali pali pali culture.
Southeast Asians are less ambitious and less materialistic. I’m not sure about Japanese, but Koreans and Chinese are very materialistic and worldly so they strive hard to achieve all that as those things matter the most to them. There’s a saying that Chinese religion is money. Southeast Asians don’t care too much about materialism which I think a part of it is due to us being more religious and spiritual. So to many of us there is more to life than being the richest and most successful so we don’t give our all to be number 1 in material success all the time. Seems like many of us are quite content or actually aim to have a comfortable, simple life like having work-life balance, family, etc.
I agree the hot weather plays a role. I once saw a video about Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew. When asked which invention helped to develop Singapore the most, he said it’s the air conditioner because it enables people to work during day time. I’ve never thought about how important the air conditioner is to develop hot countries!!!


Abhishek Das
, Young businessman/entrepreneur
As an Indian I hope I can lend my proper views.
The work ethic is a bit different in east Asian countries like Japan, Korea and China.
This might offend some south East Asian people what I am about to say. Singapore and Malaysia is definitely developed in South East Asia but Malaysia is not progressing further because of bhumiputro policy.
And a trend which I have seen in thais and Filipinos and little bit in Indonesians . They glorify malls. Whats with the craziness for malls?
They even think mall is a infrastructure. No my friend mall is just Entertainment . When I go to Bangkok or manila I see plenty of malls but no universities or public libraries. Maybe they are there but not visible. On that front Vietnam cherish books more than thais and Filipinos. I go to mall for watching movie , buying some clothes etc , end of day how big malls are doesn't matters .


And Thailand is talking of 4.0 industry but don't see the push from people. I have seen expats in Thailand mostly of yoga , sexpats, retirees , food or in hotel business. But very few in investments in software.
Indonesia has a good manufacturing yet not enough for the population same like India but they don't even have a good service economy too.
Some East Asian countries develop all other cities from every front . Their capital city is not everything but some southeast Asia countries seems to worship their capital cities, other cities are not underdeveloped but major wealth creation happens in thier capital cities.
East Asian countries worship education and technology. Some southeast countries are happy with resources but east countries are heavily investing in technology of future.
And corruption is very less in East Asian countries. Vietnam has not been able to build a metro yet .


Ryan S
I don't mean to offend anyone. But here are my assumptions.
I think that Southeast Asians have a hard time coping with the weather due to humid. Therefore, making them lose their energy and capacity to work. I also think that there is not much organization in private companies or governance. It isn't organized as well as it should be, there isn't a rule where you should do this and not do that. And even if there is, I don't think it's followed as much. My guess is if you could try and make people be held accountable for their actions more then people would start working more and trying harder.
On the other hand, I think that the government needs to do more and encourage various diverse exports, and tax the most generating cashed companies to generate welfare for the people. Look at South Korea it relies on a chaebol system of family run companies to help it survive. That's the beauty of capitalism once you can master the concept you can make the country rich and trustworthy.


Muhammad Satria Jaya, studied Law at Universitas Indonesia (2018)
I’m trying to give you an obxtive answer based on my limited knowledge and experience. Keep in mind that this is merely my personal opinion.
I think the main reason why Southeast Asia is poorer than in East Asia is the difference in regional political circumstances.
It’s lucky for Southeast Asia to have ASEAN as it helps to reduce political tensions among Southeast Asian countries. ASEAN has contributed to problem-solving and maintaining stability in Southeast Asia. The peaceful condition creates no urgency for Southeast Asian countries to develop itself. Except for Singapore, who has been excluded from Malaysia. Singapore needs to empower itself in order to survive and stand against its much-larger neighbours.


However, it’s a different story in East Asia. East Asian countries have a long history of conflict, occupation, and war among each other. This kind of condition pushes East Asian countries to stand up for themselves. In other words, self-reliability is a must for them in order to survive. So, they develop their economy and advance their education systems. These efforts consequently lead them to prosperity and advancement.


Rick Almeda, former Assistant Cashier at Metrobank (2001-2003)
Many southeast asians who migrate to east asia are hardworking and talented in their fields of work. If they’re like that, why does Southeast asia remain poor. It’s because of their Governments. Many governments in that area are led by corrupt and inefficient leaders who think only of themselves and not of their fellowmen. Many others are engaged in War that’s why they have no time to uploft the lives of their people. Many of them are import economies and not export oriented economies like China, Japan and Korea. They import more than they export, that’s why they have a deficit in dollar budget.
If only the leaders were disciplined, Southeast asia will be much prosperous.


Roberto Rizzo, studied Anthropology
I’m shocked no one has mentioned one of the major issues, which criss-crosses with some of the reasons given by others: colonialism.
With he exception of Thailand, all of Southeast Asia was depleted from any occasion to develop independently or to emulate and rehearse Western models of economy and politics as Japan did. This had enormous consequences even decades after formal de-colonization: unlike Japan or Korea, most countries in the region were left to their own devices overnight on all levels. Obviously, whereas Japanese had already been fluent for some time with terminology like “democracy” and “market economy”, places like Indonesia and Myanmar were still occupied with the huge question of what to do with such a notion as “nation state” in the first place, along borders created by others, which separated communities or, on the contrary, put together very different ethnicities.
That’s why even where the colonial period had left behind some decent infrastructure (as in Myanmar) the political troubles managed to hold the country back from the international economy stage. And even where economy seemed to have burgeoned (Singapore, but mostly because blessed with the deep lixs it established with China) it’s the political climate that’s been kept on hold.

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Caesar Karl, studied at Peking University
One eazy reason that no body want to admit:RACE.
For the SE countries,the more chinese percent they have,the more developed they are. There is no denying that east Asians are more smart and hard-working than SE asians,if you talk anything about history or climate . There always are vivid examples to contradict you. For history,do you know almost all SE countries are far more wealthy than China before 50s or even 70s,because China was trapped in the war almost 100 years,and China is semicolony as well.. But China has become a huge economy entity since it became to conduct reform and opening-up policyconomy and leave most SE countries behind. For the climate,how singapore is a developed country at the latitud?
In fact ,the essential point that determine a country's development is always it's people rather than anything else. That explains the achievement of Asian four tigers and China.


Donghwan Kim, College Student. Korean Canadian.
SEAsians are less hardworking and intelligent.
SEAsia was destroyed much more than EAsia
There is not a single developed country(except small ones) in the latitude of SEAsia. Being in hot latitude makes development difficult in many ways. Hot weather makes many hours simply unworkable. Tropical climate leads to very turbulent natural disasters. Tropical diseases cause huge losses as well. 1This leads to the endless bad cycle, causing bad healthcare, poor education, low ethic level, and corruption, which further worsen the economy.
People like to point those factors as the reason why SEAsia is poor, but after all if they were easily fixed, all countries would be rich.

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Yue Yie, former Advisory Board Member (2017-2019)
Since ancient times SEA civilisations were based on trade and not manufacturing;
During western colonisation, the Dutch and the Brits played a divide and rule policy by bringing in immigrants to play active roles in the economy leaving the natives to their devices and internal politics. In the end the migrants are a step ahead in almost every aspect thanks to their close relationships with the colonial masters. Migrants still hold the keys to trade gateways allowing them to monopolise imports and exports of goods and services especially in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia causing huge income disparity between the migrants and the natives;
Artificial national boundaries and monopoly tactics created by colonisation slowly destroyed maritime trade networks and ancient city state ports cestablished by the natives within just a century;
The weather allows SEA people to live with less money than those in East Asia. SEA natives don’t have to plan ahead for winter or to buy thick clothes to withstand the cold. In fact it is better to wear less clothes living in such heat leaving almost no room for progress in fashion and apparel.


Nabila Shukri, Chemist
aside singapore, malaysia is the only country in south east asia that close to be developed..malaysia have “very high” HDI where as most country in south east asia have medium HDI except thailand..I think the reason that south east asia poor is :
corruption. corruption is very rampant in south east asia..singapore is the only country that have zero corruption hence be a developed country. Only the rich people can have an access to all the money whereas poor people suffer..
Attitude. Attitude in south east asia is more relax and laid back..we are not as hardworking as korean or japanese that is why south east asia lagged behind east asia
Education. Education is also one of the reason that south east asia is poor..I think education is really important to developed a country and be rich but south east asia education is not that good and most people in south east asia except singapore, malaysia and philippine cannot speak english..
Natural disaster. South east asia is situated in the ring of fire and there is a lot natural disaster such as earthquake,volcano and others..country like indonesia and philippines have the worst natural disaster but singapore and malaysia is safe from it..

Ooi Chai Giap 黄再业, Director for small enterprises at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

If anything I can generalize why SEA is poorer than East Asia:
China, Japan, Taiwan, HK and South Korea are richer than SEA except Singapore.
Exception is North Korea is even poorer than most of SEA countries.
I choose one factor for the above. That is education.


Look at universities ranking say by THES.
World University Rankings
The quality of education at these countries are top in Asian region (including Singapore) and top Asian Universities within 100 ranking are overwhelmingly from so call Sinosphere countries except North Korea and Vietnam.
All rich and developed countries basically have good quality of education. Therefore good quality education especially STEM fields will provide skills, competent, knowledgable and competitive manpower to steer the country to greater high.
Those country with general low quality of education will loss up in economy development. For example Vietnam, despite having more than 80 universities, but it is not surprising if many of university graduates become low ranking pay job like security guard, receptionist at hotel, taxi drivers, manual job, etc. Despite Vietnam able to attract FDI in manufactoring sector. Most of the factories set up in Vietnam are low technology products assembly, R&D is very negligible.


Another factor greatly affect economic development of the country is corruption level. I dare to generalize that rich and well developed countries normally have low level or neglible corruption issues. There are many potential countries in SEA to be rich like East Asia countries mentioned above or Singapore but due to high level of corruption, these countries are faltered economically!