“Economic growth is a prerequisite for achieving a democratic transition. ” This statement greatly powers engines of thought. Politics and economy are two intertwined concepts that compose the major premises for a country's development. Every country has a different set of development concepts, under which each of the countries undergo a distinct process wherein a country is able to move head or stagger behind.

Politics and economy work on two sides: it is either political entities seek to influence the way the economy is being run; or it may be the case that economic development triggers the way that political systems are changed according to what shall suit the country's development based on the prevalent economic model. The type of government which a country adopts is also a factor in a country's development. Consequently, market factors are also of equal importance in such progress. And as such, market factors and the type of government are two directly related concepts of development.However, it is not utterly safe to say that economic growth generally turns out to a successful conversion towards democracy. The transition of various countries towards democracy had certain differences in their processes.

But, indeed, the type of democracy under which these countries have operated in, greatly influenced the manner at which economic growth has either become feasible or impeded. In the past years, several countries around the world shifted from a different type of government towards democracy.Democracy is the form of government system wherein rights to suffrage and fair elections are ought to be practiced. A functional democracy entails that the country and its government recognize the rights of all of citizens in all aspects, and their needs are being addressed as a form of national consensus in formulating new laws and policies. As such, democracy has been a viable form of government under which most people preferred, relying that it has the generally effect the most positive gains for the people (Krier 2).

Consequently the spread of democracy has been wide spread and has become a world wide movement. The downfall of authoritarian regimes gave way to the transition of most countries towards democracy. Given the distinct relationship of between politics and economy, the changes experienced in the government type also fuelled the changes in economic market type. Market forces have changed as the government shifted towards a different set of rules and policies.

However, these changes have varied according to the differences in the functions that democracy served different countries.Some countries have coped well and boosted their economy, while some of the countries came lagging behind other countries. Malaysian Experience The economic transformation that Malaysia has undergone is simply impressive. Over the past years, Malaysia has been able to utilize properly their democratic transition towards supervising an economic model that is best suitable to their political, societal and economic environment.

The Malaysian government used a strategy wherein state involvement in market relations has been minimized to the extent that the market became freely enticing for competition.This strategy however, became really successful as it brought economic incentives and growth and contributed greatly to Malaysia's progress (MacIntyre 8-10). The Malaysian kind of democracy worked in such a way that state bureaucracy was less insulated. Minimal state intervention was also observed.

Hence, the market was left to operate on its own, thus providing the people with a levelled and competitive market competition (MacIntyre 7). However, a feature that is distinctive of the Malaysian form of government and its market activity is the heavy “clientelistic” link between the business people and the government.But this is only due to the fact that the Malaysian population greatly consists of a vast majority of people with Chinese descent. Nonetheless, the Malaysian concept of functional democracy allowed minimal state intervention in the market. Though there would be times that state intervention was necessary, the state's role was kept to the modest possibility but still highly significant. Following this kind of state policy, the Malaysia launched a very strong economy.

The mark for heavy industrialization was intense thus translating to a better market policy.Accordingly, trade barriers have been reduced, the market and industry were left on their own, and direct foreign investments were highly encouraged to flow in the Malaysian economy. Thus, the democratic transition that Malaysia chose was structured in a less bureaucratic way. It opened up opportunities for a more competitive economy by keeping state interventions at a minimal but significant level, thus translating towards positive economic returns.

Philippines on the Far EndIn contrast to the case of Malaysia, the Philippines' directed efforts towards attaining democracy was covered with too much controversies. Political involvement intertwined with economic practices was prevalent and massive, and as such, corresponding effects have been noticeable. Coming from a dictator regime, the Philippines' transition towards democracy was highly inefficient and blundered. The Philippine government was and until now, is highly bureaucratized. Until this era, the powerful elite controls a large part of the Philippine politics and economy.Thus, this has significantly impeded the growth of the Philippines' economy.

In the Philippines' political arena, elites and government cronies are extremely powerful. Given this fact, their power and control over the government are being translated towards influencing the process and manner that economic policies are formulated (Hutchcroft 218). Thus, policies that have been made and formulated were not directed towards equipping the country with better opportunities and providing the country with a competitive market ground.Philippine bureaucracy has highly impeded the state of legislating sound and coherent economic and political policies that will benefit the whole country.

Moreover, the Philippine economy has suffered under the claws of private interests. Particular oligarchic interests have thrived in Philippine economy, that even though these oligarchs operate outside the sphere of bureaucracy, otherwise they have found access in political connections to influence the market and assist them in accumulation of private profits (Hutchcroft 220).This kind of market state resembled the Philippine government's incapability of protecting their market from sole private interest and encouraging a level playing field for all economic competitors. Thus this kind of inability and shortcoming from the government has rendered the economy grave negative economic results that thwarted the growth and development of the country. However, this is not a case of massive state intervention.The functional democracy that Philippines adopted is also the same as that of the Malaysian democracy wherein both are ought to operate in the most minimal way that is possible.

But, in the case of Philippines, minimal state intervention and turning towards the tenets of laissez faire meant that the government should not intervene in market operations, albeit all the atrocities and negativities that the influential powerful elites have brought in the country. In addition, Philippines has widely relied on foreign aids and grants.That without foreign assistance, the economy of the country will suffer even worse. However, as these grants came with “conditionalities” - agreement that aids will only be granted given that the borrowing country will abide on certain treaties/agreements – it has only worsen the economic and political status of the Philippines. Philippines became highly dependent on other countries and allowed usurping legal positions and possession in exchange of financial aids and assistance (Hutchcroft 222).As such, this development model and democratic model that Philippines adopted is proven to be unsustainable.

This kind of strategy has not resulted towards improving their economy and political stands. Rather, this only caused further underdevelopment in the country, and has obviously impeded their growth. Conclusion Going back to first statement that “economic growth is prerequisite for achieving democratic transition,” the two country cases of Malaysia and Philippines may prove otherwise. Democratic transition, in some cases, may influence the economic growth in a country.Both Malaysia and Philippines adopted a democratic government type, only that the two countries differed on the functional democracy that they implemented in their territories.

In the case of Malaysia, the tenets of democracy that they adopted operated on a less structured and bureaucratized way have proven to be beneficial for the country and hastened their growth. On the other hand, the Philippine democracy is highly bureaucratized and is extremely influenced by powerful elites and oligarchs that rendered them unable of producing efficient policies and laws that will benefit the whole country.Rather, policies that were legalized were formulated to protect the interests of the few powerful and rich economy, thus affecting the country's economy leaving them staggering behind the rest of the Southeast Asian countries. Democracy indeed played an enormous part in the success and failure of the economy in Malaysia and Philippines. The manner at which democracy is being observed in the two countries dictated the pace of their growth and development.