Socialism or Free Markets? Consider Myanmar and Thailand


Lee Kuan Yew opines in Forbes:

IN TERMS OF LAND area and population Myanmar and Thailand are close in size, and i n the 1960s both countries had similar rates of growth.

But in 1962 Myanmar’s General Ne Win led a coup d’état, establishing a nominally socialist military government that followed an economic policy of autarky. The country closed its doors to the world and expelled the Indians who had come with the British to help in the retail industry many decades before. Although Ne Win resigned in July 1988, the military junta remained firmly in control of the country.

During the same period Thailand experienced multiple army coups, but its leaders chose a different economic path. Thailand became a free-market economy, open to all investments from all countries, and it absorbed its Chinese immigrants, who had arrived during and after British rule. Today Thailand is one of Asia’s busiest manufacturing hubs. …

Thailand itself transitioned from an absolute monarchy to a democratic constitutional monarchy. Regular and rambunctious elections are held, but the army continues to stage coups whenever it considers the government unreliable or going against the monarchy. Over the last 80 years there have been 11 successful coups and 7 failed ones. The most recent was the ouster of prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in September 2006. The military’s interference has resulted in a perpetual state of political uncertainty and has shaken investor confidence.

Both countries’ governments would do well to remember that it was the open-door policies of free trade and investment that made Thailand prosperous and the passive closed-door policies that held Myanmar back for 50 years.


12 Responses to “Socialism or Free Markets? Consider Myanmar and Thailand”

  1. 1 Unfazed Citizen

    LKY is the greatest fearmonger in the history of Singapore.

  2. 2 LY Lim

    It is no wonder you are unfazed. You are a fear monger yourself, propagating fear of Mr. LKY.

    It takes one to know why, indeed.

  3. ‘If I have to shoot 200,000 students to save China from another 100 years of disorder, so be it.’
    1989 Tiananmen Square protests, Straits Times, Aug 17, 2004

  4. 4 Concerned Citizen

    Truth hurts, but not for hypnotized sheep like LY Lim.

  5. 5 Quiet Citizen

    Spiritually, LKY is already a corpse. Zombic sycophants abound who praise his rotten ego in every forum such as this.

  6. 6 Alert Citizen

    Singaporean sheep are ruled by zombic Lee and his demented progeny.

  7. All of you who thinks of zombic and corpse are dead yourself. Only living SAINT can do what LKY did.
    Thailand will be very successful if only the one & only beautiful PM continues to rule. When she buys back rice from farmers – this is back to basic and that is what will save our EARTH.

  8. Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months
    of hard work due to no data backup. Do you have any solutions to stop hackers?

  9. 9 Fedup Citizen

    Idiots like Patrick Boo can join LKY when he drops dead.

  10. Everyone have to leave to join LKY when he have to leave sooner or later.
    Only idiots thinks they are the one that need not leave. If you are Fedup, why not choose to leave NOW?

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