One can understand why to one extend. The island city is hardly anything in size compared to Malaysia yet it has gained from '3rd world to 1st world' before reaching 50 years old; while Malaysia is nearly 51 and is 12 years to its Vision 2020.
The branded 'kiasu-ism' in Singapore could be another factor. And at one stage, which was even reported in the press, there was an 'ugly Singaporean' image. However, some have changed somewhat since the humble pie of the economic crises back in late 90s and including the outbreak of SARS which hit the country badly.
So, the Singapore Flyer takes off with a big bang - but Malaysians are calling it a kiasu approach to KL's temporary The Eye On Malaysia.
Honestly, I don't think Singapore did the Flyer which cost over S$200m was built just to beat or rival Malaysia's. Besides, this was planned in 2003, when the KL Eye was not there yet. Of course, I'm not sure did Malaysia planned The Eye before 2003 and it leaked to Singapore? Actually, which was planned first - and who copied who?
In any case, I see it more like a fight of kiasu-ism (for a good cause) against London and even China (the Flyer is now the world's tallest - beating the Star of Nanchang, and before it gets beaten by the Great Beijing Wheel in 2009. (more at Singapore's The Roundest)
Some other reasons I think Singapore don't compare with Malaysia - take a look at the Formula One race. Malaysia's Sepang touted as the hottest race in the world has just celebrated its 10th race! And Singapore is only starting its maiden race this September! And we always thought Singapore is much more 'advanced'?
I believe that the reason Singapore is bringing F1 here is because it aims to boost Singapore's image internationally. And that is because many other Asia cities have done so - including international cities Bahrain & Shanghai. I see that Singapore is more concern in loosing its appeal to these 2 cities than to KL.
They are taking calculated gains & risks for the F1. Of course, they are smart in making it the first night race in the world. Again, if they are so concerned with Malaysia, they would have done the A1 Grand Prix as well.
On a sidetrack, Singapore's partnership with Mark Burnett, the producer behind Survivor is part of Singapore's aim in branding the island.
Another example - the Commonwealth Games. Malaysia hosted this in 1998 - and it was a huge success bringing the nation together. It also put Malaysia in the limelight at least amongst the Commonwealth countries.
But why does Singapore don't bother to even host the SEA Games what more the Commonwealth Games? If I'm not wrong they passed their chance in hosting one of the previous SEA Games. If they were so concerned that Malaysia has been hosting it, then wouldn't they quickly host the Games as well?
Now, then one would say, yeah, but Singapore is hosting the First Youth Olympics. Again, are they really competing with Malaysia here? From my perspective, it's again a fight with the other Asia countries - again China. China is hosting the World Summer Olympics come August. Well so Singapore can say they hosted the Youth Olympics - though at a smaller scale.
Next, the integrated resorts. Yes, Malaysia has the Genting casino. And soon, so will Singapore - which will be operated by Malaysia's Resort World. Here, I may say, yes, they are looking at the huge gains Genting make yearly and the Singaporeans driving up to the clouds for a night or two trying their luck. But I also think, that they have looked beyond that and their main rivals are actually Macau.
In my conclusion, this self-proclaimed lil red-dot is not really competing with Malaysia. It has taken a shift to try to stay ahead with the awakening (or already awaken) dragon, China and also the countries in the Middle East. Their main competitor is HK, Abu Dhabi, Shanghai and even Seoul and Tokyo.
So for us Malaysians, let's not bother too much on the things (little or big) that Singapore does, but focus instead of competing with the bigger boys. In any, we should work with Singapore rather than against her and succeed together.