JC History Tuition Online - What is the Look East policy - Economic Development Notes

What is the Look East Policy of Malaysia?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Economic Development after Independence
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Paths to Economic Development

Learn more about the Look East Policy that impacted Japanese-Malaysian relations as well as economic development of Malaysia. [Video by Free Malaysia Today]

Historical context: Learning from the best
Six months after Dr. Mahathir assumed the role as the Prime Minister of Malaysia, his administration launched the ‘Look East Policy‘ in February 1982, which called upon Malaysians to emulate the Japanese work ethic and business management techniques. By doing so, the government aims to acquire Japanese expertise and capital through bilateral trade and investment.

To Mahathir, the definition of ‘East’ consisted of Japan and South Korea. Interesting, Taiwan and Singapore were not being raised as case study references.

Mahathir also mentioned two features which Malaysia proposed to adopt from the Japanese model. One was the concept of Malaysia Incorporated, intended to encourage business owners and workers in the public and private sectors to work together. Another was to create large companies based on the Japanese sogo shoshas (the large trading companies), although in Malaysia these were not developed as rapidly as the Prime Minister would have wished.

An excerpt from “Malaysian Politics Under Mahathir” by Diane K. Mauzy and R. S. Milne.

Two-pronged approach
The ‘Look East Policy’ had two parts. First, Malaysians studied at the Japanese universities. Second, trainees worked at Japanese industries. The program was mainly financed by the Malaysian government, while the Japanese counterpart deployed Japanese trainers and covered part of the expenditure.

No one can dispute that Japan achieved a miracle when it rebuilt itself after the war. How did it do it? It did it by not being advised by other people. It did it in its own way. The only advice it accepted was to produce high quality goods, goods of world standards, so as to be accepted by the world markets. The rest was entirely Japanese.

[…] Japan has been censured for the close cooperation between the government and the corporations. Japan incorporated was regarded as some kind of cronyism involving the government and the private sector. Malaysia sees nothing wrong in the close collaboration between government and the private sector. The government should help the private sector to succeed because a large chunk of the profits made by the private sector belongs to the government. In helping the private sector the government is actually helping itself.

An excerpt from a speech by Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia, on “Look East Policy – The Challenges for Japan in a Globalized World“, in 2002, marking the 20th anniversary of the ‘Look East Policy’.

Dr. Mahathir held a firm belief that the ‘Look East Policy’ was vital in realising his Vision 2020, an aim to transform Malaysia into fully developed nation by doubling the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) every decade between 1990 and 2020. Japan was identified as a integral role to fulfil this national aim.

A pipedream in the making?
However, government efforts to emulate the successful Japanese model were obstructed by several factors. One such problem was the cultural differences. For instance, the Japanese employees have adapted to long working hours, but there was resistance from the Malaysians.

Another issue was related to the differences in economic development. While Japan was a pro-Capitalist developed nation, Malaysia was still in the process of transforming from a developing nation to a newly-industrialised economy.

The application of the ‘Look East Policy’ can be traced to the establishment of the Heavy Industry Corporation of Malaysia (HICOM) in 1980, which was also key feature in Mahathir’s policymaking in the 1980s. With the help of a team of United Nations development experts, HICOM formed companies, such as the Proton Saga national car project (Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional) and the Perwaja Terengganu steel mill.

While still Minister of Trade and Industry, Mahathir contacted Mitsubishi, apparently without sounding out any other possible Japanese partners, and reached agreement with Mitsubishi.

[…] There seems to have been reluctance to make use of knowledgeable Chinese in the Proton project. However, on marketing and selling, the government relied on existing Chinese firms. There was some truth in comments that the Proton was not really a Malaysian car, but a Japanese car with a Malaysian “chop” (name). In 1994 Mahathir accepted this, admitting that Malaysia would not have the know-how to produce a fully fledged car for ten to fifteen years.

An excerpt from “Malaysian Politics Under Mahathir” by Diane K. Mauzy and R. S. Milne.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that external actors were more important than domestic actors in promoting economic development of Southeast Asian states?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Paths to Economic Development. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What is the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea

What is the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 2: ASEAN (Growth and Development of ASEAN: Building regional peace and security – relations between ASEAN and external powers)

Topic of Study [For H1 History Students]:
Essay Questions
Theme II Chapter 2: The Cold War and Southeast Asia (1945-1991): ASEAN and the Cold War (ASEAN’s responses to Cold War bipolarity)

Historical context: Third Indochina War
In December 1978, Vietnamese forces entered Cambodian territory and toppled the Khmer Rouge regime. Subsequently, the pro-Vietnamese People’s Republic of Kampuchea (PRK) was formed, led by Cambodian politician Heng Samrin.

An ASEAN-backed solution: Enter the Coalition
In 1980, ASEAN and China urged the Khmer Rouge and the royalists to join forces and form a coalition group to prevent the legitimisation of the PRK government. Norodom Sihanouk had set some conditions before returning to politics, such as disarmament to prevent another round of atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge as well as the deployment of peacekeepers after the Vietnamese withdrawal.

Notably, Sihanouk also requested that the country’s official name be changed from Democratic Kampuchea to Cambodia.

Leaders of the political factions Sihanouk, Son Sann and Khieu Samphan attended a summit hosted by Singapore in September 1981. Eventually, a ‘four-points’ agreement was made, which included the formation of a Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK).

With the CGDK being formed, the factions can garner foreign military support for the other two factions besides the Khmer Rouge, particuarly the Khmer People’s National Liberation Front (KPNLF) and National United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful and Cooperative Cambodia (FUNCINPEC).

On 22 June 1982, the three leaders signed an agreement to officiate the establishment of the CGDK in Kuala Lumpur. The June agreement stated that the CGDK’s aim was to “mobilize all efforts in the common struggle to liberate Kampuchea from the Vietnamese aggressors”.

More importantly, the three political factions in the coalition group would share power equally and make decisions through consensus.

On June 22, 1982, the three coalition leaders met in Kuala Lumpur to sign an agreement establishing a Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK), on the basis of four principles. Prince Norodom Sihanouk was president, with Son Sann the premier and Khieu Samphan the vice president, in charge of foreign affairs. […] and the new president launched an appeal to all friendly countries to bring aid and support for the “sacred cause”, the restoration of peace in Kampuchea and stability and security in that part of the world.

An excerpt from “Cambodia Confounds the Peacemakers, 1979-1998” by Macalister Brown and Joseph Jermiah Zasloff.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that ASEAN played a crucial role in the resolution of the Cambodian Crisis?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Regional Conflicts and Cooperation. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - Why Did the USA Get Involved in the Korean War - Cold War Notes

Why did the USA get involved in the Korean War?

Topic of Study [For H2 and H1 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Cold War (1945-1991)
Section A: Source-based Case Study
Theme I Chapter 2: A World Divided by the Cold War – Manifestations of the global Cold War: The Korean War (1950)

Learn more about the causes of the Korean War [Video by The Infographics Show]

Historical context: A Divided Korea
After the Japanese surrendered in 2 September 1945, the superpowers (USA and the USSR) agreed to divided the Korean peninsula at the 38th parallel. From 1945 to 1948, the superpowers oversaw the development of the two Koreas.

In 1948, the USA put forth the idea of a vote for all Koreans to decide their futures. After the North refused, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was formed, helmed by Kim II-Sung. In contrast, the South formed the Republic of Korea (ROK) under the leadership of President Syngman Rhee.

Having blamed the United States for killing Korean reunification and setting up its own satellite state in southern Korea, the USSR then proceeded to approve the establishment of a separate North Korean state only after the South Korean state had been founded on August 15, 1948. Accordingly, elections were held in northern Korea on August 25, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was proclaimed on September 9, with its capital in Pyongyang.

An excerpt from “The Partition of Korea After World War II: A Global History” by Jongsoo James Lee.

Preparation for War
In 1949 and 1950, Kim visited Stalin in Moscow, seeking the Soviet leader’s support to launch an invasion in Korea. With the help of the Soviets and the Chinese, the North Korean troops crossed the 38th parallel and invaded South Korea on 25 June 1950.

Before the Truman administration took the initiative to lead the United Nations Command (UNC) and repel the invasion, the American President received a document named the National Security Council Paper Number 68 (NSC-68). The document advised Truman to build up the defense industry to counter the danger of global communism.

According to the authors, the Soviet Union was an inherently expansionistic and militaristic power “animated by a new fanatic faith” – communism – that “seeks to impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world.

[…] “With the development of increasingly terrifying weapons of mass destruction,” the authors of NSC 68 wrote, “every individual faces the ever-present possibility of annihilation should the conflict enter the phase of total war.” “The issues that face us are momentous,” the authors admonished, “involving the fulfillment or destruction not only of this Republic but of civilization itself.”

An excerpt from “NSC 68 and the Political Economy of the Early Cold War” by Curt Cardwell.

On 27 June 1950, Truman gave a speech, ordering the deployment of American forces to South Korea to counter the North Korea’s attacks. Interestingly, the US intervention was not treated as formal declaration of war against North Korea, but rather a ‘police action’.

American historians have consistently revised their views on the Korean War: called a “police action” in the 1950s, it became the “limited war” in the 1960s, a civil war or “forgotten war” or “unknown war” in the 1970s and ’80s, and in the 1990s new archives in Moscow were used to argue that it was exactly the war Truman said it was at the time: Kremlin aggression, which he rightly resisted.

An excerpt from “The Korean War: A History” by Bruce Cumings.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– To what extent do you agree that the Korean War was a civil conflict?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Korean War and other case studies related to A World Divided by the Cold War. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.