WE are not Mexico. That was what everyone in Malaysia and Singapore was saying yesterday when asked about their currencies - the Malaysian and Singapore dollars. Indeed, they are right. Growth in the economies of Malaysia and Singapore may have peaked. Both economies may be suffering from labour shortages. Their leaders may, at times be insufferable. Particularly when they are discussing their superior Asian values, and how, due to those supremely marvellous values, their economies will just keep growing forever. Essentially, however, one must admit that Singapore and Malaysia have two extremely well-run economies. Particularly Singapore, whose generous current account surplus contrasts with Malaysia's growing gap. Singapore also has a lower real inflation rate, which is recorded with more honesty than in Malaysia. But even Malaysia compares favourably with other developing countries. Economists say that Malaysia's debt service ratio is just 4.7 per cent. Compare that with region's other developing countries - ones which also have had currency problems this week. Indonesia's debt service ratio weighs in at 32 per cent, Thailand at 8.6 per cent, and the Philippines at 22.4 per cent. Mexico's foreign reserves can cover 3.7 months imports; Malaysia's can cover 7.4 months imports. Let us look at what is wrong with Mexico. Mexico is a basket case. It is full of starving peasants who do not trust the country's so-called democracy, and who have no stake in the economic system. These peasants are leading an armed revolt against the government. Does Singapore have this problem? No. First, the Singaporean Government wisely controls access to firearms. Second, no one is starving in Singapore. In fact, loathe as they are to admit it, seeing as they are still receiving General System of Preference privileges from the European Union, Singapore is now a developed country with a per capita gross domestic product of US$20,000. In Malaysia, as in Singapore, very few people are starving. In fact, the government looks on the idea that any Malaysian could be starving with considerable embarrassment.