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On my way back from Myanmar I stopped four days in Malaysia. It was a very interesting experience because I was comming from Myanmar and it made for an interesting contrast and also because as someone who was born in a third world country, I found their economic development to be interesting.

Burma was actually richer than Malaysia in the 1960's. Malaysia's development is really amazing. There is a sizable middle class, education is pretty good and uvailable to all. They export not just traditional materials such as rubber, but semicondocturs, and are in the process of developing media, IT industries. The country breathes dynamism and activity. It seems that the Mahatir regime which was a semi authoritarian regime that ruled the country for most of its independance, set some priorities to develop the country and succeeded. Of course there are charges of corruption, but I think all polititians in the world are thieves, so might as well have thieves that leave soemthing in return. As a Latin American I wonder why in my region governments are going back to populist formulas from the 1970's and dont apply some of the policies applied here.

On the bad front, I found that this development is happening on the back of traditional culture. There seems to be a race to build higher, brighter buildings, and there does not seem to be much trace of culture or tradition as you can see in Myanmar. I do beleive that a country can develop and without becoming all plastic.

Anyway about the photo: it is taken on a main street on the edge of Chinatown. YOu see some more traditional lowying buildings mixed up with office buildings which push me to ask the question: how much office space does a city of 2,5 million people need? Can they ever feel it up?

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Additional Photos by daniel barreto (rbcy1974) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2354 W: 147 N: 3406] (20758)
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