Day 8

Posted On July 29, 2007

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ECONOMY IN EARLY DAYS
Foreseeing the development of a multiracial and multi-religious society, coupled with economic reason and based on their notions of different ethnic dispositions, the British introduced the policy of divide and rule to ensure stability.
In the effort to compensate the Malay rulers for their ‘loss of power’, British interference was minimal. The Malay farmers were left to continue with rice-growing.
The Chinese, seen as capitalists that would help increase the government’s revenues, were allowed to freely engage in tin-mining and commercial activities.
The British were, however, heavily involved in recruiting South Indian labourers to meet the need for plantation workers, especially with the rubber boom in the early 20th century. Such attitudes had probably set the basis for racial polarisation.
In Sarawak, economic development was restricted to uphold the preservation of the indigenous way of life. The governments of Sarawak and North Borneo (Sabah) relied on European and Chinese capital to develop export-oriented industries e.g. oil and timber.
Regardless, the British establishment of good infrastructure and effective legal and administrative systems had developed a profitable export economy on raw materials, which was the envy of Southeast Asia in those days.
Today, Malaysia’s economy is moving from labour-intensive towards skillintensive, targeting the development of higher value-added manufacturing and expansion of the services sector.

PRAY

1. Praise God for
a. His providence and blessings on the economy.
b. A resilient economy despite challenges and crises.
c. Policies that address poverty.
2. National commitment and action to eliminate poverty and address the legitimate needs of the poor.
3. Business community to realise its responsibility to provide opportunities for the poor and the less fortunate.
4. Growing and stable economic environment that enables the poor to move up and become self-reliant,
making their contribution to the quality of life in the nation.
5. Honest gain, integrity of the work force, stewardship of resources and community conscience.
6. Salt & light:
    Christian businessmen and professionals to bear testimonies of godly conscience; to conduct themselves in the world in holiness and godly sincerity; and to demonstrate God’s blessings in their respective communities.

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