"They are grape...and we are apple. How can you compare grape with an apple? We can't," he said.
Prime Minister said there were differences between Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. This included they were single racial country, therefore the challenges and the human development projects were different from Malaysia and Malaysia was a multiracial country.
Abdullah added he was not denying Singapore and Hong Kong were "the best grape", but Malaysia was an apple, they could not be compared together.
"I am not giving an excuse, It is truth," he said when addressing about 8,000 civil servants at the 8th Civil Servants' Premier Gathering (Mappa) here Monday (28 Jan).
Abdullah believed if we wanted to make comparison, it would be appropriate to compare with Klang Valley, it was inappropriate to compare with whole Malaysia.
He said Malaysia could not be compared with Taiwan as well because the population in Taiwan was higher than Malaysia.
People should show their spirits of "Malaysia, boleh!" and be confident to themselves, he continued.
"We lack of confidence on ourselves, in fact we can do better. We have proved that we are excellent in many areas, we should not belittle ourselves and feel worry," he said.
"Don't think about failing, that we cannot do this and that. It's not an option....there's no other option but success, success, success," he said.