The Star reported that it was Dr Mahathir’s MSC that inspired Jack Ma to start Alibaba.

The Alibaba founder and executive chairman said that he read about MSC in a newspaper 20 years ago and found the idea inspiring.

“I thought, ‘Wow, this is a genius idea. If Malaysia can do this, why can’t China. Why can’t I do this myself?’

“So Malaysia inspired me to create Alibaba,” he said during the launch of an Alibaba Group office in Kuala Lumpur on Monday (June 18).

20 years later, the divide is stark. Malaysia has sadly lagged behind.