Speechs in the year
Tarikh/Date 	: 	13/10/94 

   I am delighted to be given the honour to speak about the
future at this World Economic  Forum;  the  future  economic
and  political links between Europe and East Asia.
2.   The focus on the future is certa inly very appropriate.
It is the most important time for all of us. Although we may
celebrate or berate the  past;  although  we  may  enjoy  or
struggle through the present;   the future is  really  where
all of us will be spending the rest of our lives.
3.   Even today, there are some who  say  that  Europe  will
inherit the future.  Lester Thurow used to argue  this  very
strongly.  He may well be right.  But he is more circumspect
these days.
4.   There is a growing number who glibly talk about the Age
of the Pacific.  And there are those who talk about the 21st
century being the Century of Asia, as if in some way various
parts of the world will  oblige  the  popular  historian  by
agreeing  to  rise or fall, on each occasion, in neat chunks
of a hundred years.
5.   Thus it is said that the  Nineteenth  Century  was  the
Century of Europe,  the Twentieth Century is the  Century of
America and the Twenty-first century will be the Century  of
6.   The more objective truth with regard to the past surely
is that for many more than one century Europe dominated  the
world  -- in a way that was never done before.  And in a way
that can never be done again.  For a relatively short  time,
the  United  States  was the most important superpower.  But
its cumulative impact on the world was not of the  order  of
the European onslaught.
7.      As  to  who  will inherit the future, I hope that no
single nation, no single people and no  single  region  will
inherit the future.
8.     I hope that a very large number of nations from every
corner of the global  compass  --  including  Asia,  Europe,
Africa,  the  Americas  and  elsewhere  --  will inherit the
future.  I hope that all people of talent and diligence, who
earn the right -- including a very large number  of  Asians,
Europeans,  Africans,  Americans  and others -- will inherit
the future.  I hope that the future will belong to all those
who have the will and who are willing to put in the effort.
9.   My hope is that the Twenty-first century will above all
be a century of cooperative  global  prosperity,  democratic
global  governance  without  hegemony from any quarter, with
greater global equality, fraternity and caring and much more
mutual  respect.    The  need  to  establish  a  much   more
prosperous, democratic, egalitarian, fraternal, caring world
order  built on mutual respect is the backdrop against which
my  more  specific   remarks   on   the   Europe-East   Asia
relationship should be seen.
10.    Quite  obviously  to reach the new world order that I
have envisioned  will  require  an  economic  revolution  --
because  there  are  too many millions living in poverty and
too many living in abject  poverty.    There  has  to  be  a
political  revolution because there is too little democracy,
too little egalitarianism  and  too  much  hegemony  in  the
community  of nations.   And there has to be a psychological
and  cultural  revolution  because  too  many   believe   in
beggar-thy-neighbour  policies when all our interest lies in
enrich-thy-neighbour policies, in enriching others  so  that
we can take advantage of their wealth and prosperity.  There
also  has  to  be less arrogance and more mutual respect all
11.  Equally obviously, the Europe-East Asia nexus  is  also
very  much  in  need  of  revolutionary change; for the most
dynamic  and  drastic  evolution  at  the   greatest   speed
12.  First, Western Europe should sell more to East Asia and
vice  versa.    We  need  to strengthen and enrich our trade
13.   In 1990, the European  Community  (EC)  accounted  for
close  to  30 percent of total global output.  If everything
is equal, the  European  Community  should  account  for  30
percent of East Asia's total imports.  In fact, the European
Community's share of East Asia's imports added up to only 12
percent of the regional economy's total imports.
14.    This  is  not  bad  given  that  in 1985 the European
Community's share was only 9 percent.  In 1980,  the  figure
was only 7 percent.  The movement is in the right direction,
having increased from total exports of only US$21 billion in
1980,  to  US$28  billion in 1985, to US$78 billion in 1990.
Today, the European Union (EU) economies export more to East
Asia than to the United States.
15.  But it is just as well to remember that in 1990,  which
by  East  Asian  standards is a long time ago, East Asia was
already importing US$658 billion  from  the  outside  world.
Thirty  percent of that is close to US$200 billion.  This is
twice as large as the  EU's  total  exports  to  the  United
States  and seven times more than the EU's exports to all of
Latin America in 1993.   Indeed, it is  US$25  billion  more
than  the European Union's  combined total exports last year
to the United States, Latin America and Eastern Europe.
16.      The  potential  for  Western  Europe  is  enormous.
The IMF predicts that in the 1990s, US$7.5 trillion will  be
added  to  the  gross  world product.   Half of that will be
produced by East Asia.
17.  The recent European Commission policy paper, "Towards a
New  Asia  Strategy"  concurs   with   the   view   of   the
International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is almost identical
with   the  analysis  of  the  World  Bank.    The  European
Commission goes on to state that by the year 2000, which  is
only  62  months away, 400 million Asians "will have average
disposable incomes  as  high,  if  not  higher,  than  their
European  or US contemporaries."  As you who are in business
know, goods and services are sold to  individual  customers,
not  to states and regions.  By the year 2000, there will be
many more well off or rich East Asians than well off or rich
Europeans and North Americans.
18.   To cite further the  European  Commission,  "half  the
growth  in world trade up to the year 2000 will be generated
in East Asia.  This holds out enormous opportunities for the
(European) Union and can create many jobs."
19.  Many of today's realities already  "boggle  the  mind".
You  might  be  interested  to  know,  for example, that the
United States exports more to my  small  country,  Malaysia,
than  it  exports  to  all of Eastern Europe and Russia.  In
purchasing power  parity  terms,  the  East  Asian  regional
economy became bigger than both the Western European and the
North  American  regional  economies  in 1992.   In terms of
foreign exchange US dollars, this should happen in the early
months of the year 2000.
20.  The potential beyond this 62-month horizon, must surely
challenge even the most creative of imaginations.
21.  You who are from Western Europe must sell us more.   It
is  good  for you.   It is also good for us, for we must not
forget  that  consumers  buy  for  their  own  benefit   and
satisfaction,  not for the benefit and satisfaction of those
who produce.
22.   But  for  Western Europe to trade much more with us in
East Asia, there is need first  of  all  for  a  fundamental
awareness revolution.
23.    I  know  that  you who are here today are fully aware
about East Asia.  But you must often be quite frustrated  by
those  at headquarters and in Europe, all of whom think they
are open minded and global participants, most of whom are in
fact incredibly Eurocentric and   often  incredibly  unaware
that they are so.
24.   I am reminded of Marshall McLuhan's remark:  "I do not
know who discovered water, but I know it wasn't  the  fish."
Sometimes  it  is only from the outside that one can clearly
perceive the obvious truth.
25.  The obvious truth is that most of Europe has  still  to
wake  up  to  what has been called "the East Asian miracle".
Europe still has to truly discover  Asia.    The  last  time
around,  it  required a heroic effort and sometimes wondrous
exploits of courage and persistence  by  men  of  adventure.
Perhaps  this  time  around,  it  will also require a heroic
effort and more than  the  occasional  wondrous  exploit  of
courage  and  persistence from men and women of the business
26.  On the other side of the equation, it is equally  clear
that East Asians too have to fully discover Western Europe.
27.   In 1990, East Asia accounted for 23.7 percent of total
world output.  But in the same year, East Asia supplied only
8.8 percent of the total imports of the European Community.
28.  This is not really bad given that East Asia is only two
thirds the economic size of Western Europe.   But the  truth
remains:    in  1992,  the  European  Union  economies alone
imported almost as much  as  East  Asia  -  US$636  billion.
Twenty-three  percent  of  that  is  US$146  billion.
29.   I have talked about trade, which is the lowest, though
the most important  form  of  economic  cooperation  between
nations.   Equally important is investment.
30.  How has Europe done?  Unfortunately, not well.
31.  In the 1960s, the European Community grew on average by
4.5  percent  a  year.    East  Asia  grew on average by 7.1
percent.  In the 1970s, the EC economies grew on average  by
3.3  percent a year. East Asia averaged 7.9 percent.  In the
1980s, the EC averaged 1.7 percent.  East Asia averaged  6.4
percent.     So far in the 1990s, East Asia has been running
at over 6 percent  per  annum,  recession  or  no  recession
elsewhere.  Overall these miracle years, when the East Asian
economies were galloping, Europe's investment position -- in
some  countries European companies not too long ago held all
the commanding heights -- has either been eroding rapidly or
simply collapsing.  The European Commission sadly notes that
in the years between 1986 and 1992, only 10 percent  of  the
foreign  direct  investment  in  East  Asia  came  from  the
European Union.
32.   There are many other economic  issues  that  I  should
mention.    Because of the time constraint, let me say a few
words  about  human  resource  development  and   technology
transfer  and cooperation.   The importance I attach to this
should be clear from the countless visits  I  have  made  to
Europe.  Many say that European companies are much better at
transferring   technology   than,  say  Japanese  companies.
Nevertheless  the  most  tangible  results   of   technology
transfer  to  Malaysia  are  still  those from the Japanese.
True, we have to squeeze it from them, but in the end we got
nearly all that we need.  When we suggested that cars should
be assembled in Malaysia, many great names just quitted  the
market.    And  we  in East Asia have a great deal to learn.
Speaking for Malaysia, and I believe, for ASEAN too, let  me
say that we are eager to learn.  And we fully appreciate all
the  gestures    that    have  been made to help us with our
programmes forhuman  resource  development  and  technology
acquisition and development.
33.  There are also a great many things that  I  should  say
about  the  political  side  of  the Europe-East Asia nexus.
Because of time constraints again,  let  me  concentrate  on
only   one   dimension,  a  dimension  that  has  been  well
articulated by the European Commission.
34.  The Commission urges the EU to continue  to  strengthen
the  Union's  bilateral  relations with individual countries
and sub-regions in Asia.  It urges support for  the  efforts
of   Asian  countries  to  cooperate  at  the  regional  and
sub-regional level.   It  specifically  mentions  the  ASEAN
Regional  Forum and calls for efforts to strengthen the EU's
relations with ASEAN and the South Asia Regional Cooperation
35.  What I found particularly  striking  are  these  words,
uttered  at  the  very  beginning of the Commission's policy
paper:  "Asia's  growing  economic  weight   is   inevitably
generating  increasing pressures for a greater role in world
affairs.  At the same time, the ending of the Cold  War  has
created  a  regional  environment of unparallelled political
fluidity.  Consequently, the European Union should  seek  to
develop its political dialogue with Asia and should look for
ways  to associate Asia more and more with the management of
international affairs,  working  towards  a  partnership  of
equals,  capable  of  playing a constructive and stabilising
role in the world."
36.   The age of hegemony has not  yet  quite  passed.    It
should  die  away.    We should bury it.  Europe, East Asia,
Africa, the Americas, all parts of the world, should  indeed
seek to work for a partnership of equals.
37.    The European Union now already has a regular dialogue
process with ASEAN.   If  Western    Europe  believes  there
should  bea  regular  dialo  gue between Western Europe and
East Asia,  this  is  an  idea  which  should  be  seriously
38.    Let  me  re-state one of the central themes that runs
through  my  remarks.    There  is  an  urgent  need  for  a
revolution  of  the  minds, the most rapid transformation of
mind sets.   Fundamental to the new  partnership  of  equals
that  the  European  Commission  talks  about  is  a  mental
39.  Europe must decide its priorities.    Is  economics  in
command?    Or  is  economics not in command?  As ye sow, so
shall ye reap.
40.  Europe must increasingly not only understand  but  also
appreciate pluralism.
41.    Bad governance should attract the condemnation of all
mankind.   Atrocities are atrocities  wherever  they  occur.
But  why  is  it  that  so  many  from Europe understand and
appreciate the fact that Asian music  should  develop  along
its  own  path  and  should  not  be great imitations of the
Beatles, Aznavour, Mozart and the Modern Jazz Quartet?   And
yet  so  many  cannot  tolerate any Asian form of governance
that is not a fair copy of the European form.
42.   Why is it that so  many  from  Europe  understand  and
appreciate  Asian  art  and celebrate its enormous diversity
and take it as only natural that it is not a carbon copy  of
European  art?    And  yet so many insist that Asian ways of
business and economics, politics and  administration  cannot
be  legitimate  unless  they  are  carbon copies of European
43.  There can be no real movement towards "a partnership of
equals" until there is a greater  equalisation  of  humility
and  the  disappearance  of  what  some will call incredible
44.  Many in Asia look at the state of  Europe.    In  their
more  exuberant  moments, there are many Asian leaders, I am
sure, who think they can solve Serbian atrocities in Bosnia,
the Basque problem, the income inequalities between northern
and southern Italy, the  problem  of  homelessness  in  rich
societies, drug addiction, classroom violence, vandalism and
the  ridiculous  health  systems.   There are some societies
where  there  are  more  illegitimate   babies   born   than
legitimate ones.  There are countries where large numbers in
their  thirties  or  even  forties  have  never worked for a
single day of their  lives.    There  are  places  where  an
unemployed person is better off not working than if he found
a  job.  There are some polities where political leaders are
afraid to do what they know is  right,  for  one  reason  or
another. There are economies where employers can only afford
to  retrench  when  they are doing well and cannot afford to
trim their staff when they are doing badly.   There  are  so
many countries where people expect to earn more and more for
doing less and less.  And the people and the leaders in most
European  countries  live  in  fear,  fear of the free media
which they so loudly proclaim as inviolable.    Everyone  is
entitled  to  privacy except when the media choose to invade
it.   It  has  become  a  many - headed  hydra  which  sours
everything  on  which it breathes.   Publicly they breath in
the foulness of the breath, but privately they express their
abhorrence.  Such is the monster of their own making.
45.  Many Asian leaders, in their moments of levity, let  me
hasten  to  add,  believe that they have the answers to such
problems.  If some European countries want  their  help  and
advice,  I  am  sure they would be willing to give such help
and advice.  But so far, it has not entered the mind of  any
Asian  leader  to threaten sanctions if any European country
fails to put its house in order.  No Asian parliament  I  am
aware  of  has  passed  a  single  resolution calling on its
government to take  steps  should  a  European  country  not
reform itself.
46.  If any Asian leader were to so threaten or if any Asian
parliament  were  to  so  act, the west would regard them as
mad.  The west would regard the whole idea as preposterous.
47.            But, reflect.  If it is preposterous and  mad
for  Asian  leaders to threaten sanction when Europeans fail
to measure up to their standards and norms, could it not  be
equally preposterous for Europeans to threaten sanction when
Asian countries prefer their own standards and not Europe's?
48.    Europe  has  now  called for "a partnership of equals
capable of playing a constructive and  stabilising  role  in
the world."  Let me add that this partnership of equals must
serve not only the interests of Europe and Asia but also the
entire  world.    It must be an important element of the new
world  order  I  spoke  of,  an   order   characterised   by
cooperative  global  prosperity, democratic governance, with
greater global equality, fraternity  and  caring,  and  much
more mutual respect.