There are some information you can google around.
This is one of the mathematics question of Singapore's PLSE 2009
(which is standard 6 UPSR in Malaysia, though the quality is not comparable.)
Jim bought some chocolates and gave half of it to Ken. Ken bought some sweets and gave half of it to Jim. Jim ate 12 sweets and Ken ate 18 chocolates. The ratio of Jim's sweets to chocolates became 1 : 7 and the ratio of Ken's sweets to chocolates became 1:4. How many sweets did Ken buy?. Ans: 68 sweets
Algebra? I remembered that algebra is only taught in middle school in Malaysia, and it has been about 10 years ago for me. And can you answer the question above? If you cant, then you failed the Singaporean's standard 6 exam.
Do some readings:
And also go to google books and search the title:
How Chinese learn mathematics: perspectives from insiders
Mathematics curriculum in Pacific rim countries--China, Japan, Korea, and Singapore
To really success in mathematics:
1. hardworking - no need explanation for this word
2. good teacher - teachers in malaysia? how many of them can answer your question directly and instantly?
3. syllabus - syllabus in malaysia really [muted]
I have my friends, also top students, studying higher education at singapore. They say those chinese (who really come from China) in their schools always score full marks, if not then highest marks in the exams, and those chinese seldom study mathematics in school (in singapore). Can you see the differences?