Size of Domestic IT Market
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- National ICT Policy
- The Multimedia Super Corridor
- MSC Vision
- ICT Diffusion
- Success Factors
Initiatives and Applications
Multimedia Development Corporation
- Malaysian Privacy
- Vision 2020
Malaysia transformation into a knowledge society is
driven by the prime ministers objectives for the country. The Multimedia
Super Corridor is the key project to bring about change in the country.
The Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) is Malaysia’s most
exciting initiative for the global information and communication technology
Conceptualized in 1996, the MSC has since grown into a
thriving dynamic ICT hub, hosting more than 900 multinationals,
foreign-owned and home-grown Malaysian companies focused on multimedia and
communications products, solutions, services and; research and development.
With this unique corridor, Malaysia continues to
attract leading ICT organizations to locate their company in the MSC to
conduct research, develop new products and technologies and export
from this base. The MSC is also an ideal growth environment for Malaysian
small and medium enterprises to transform themselves into world-class companies. Furthermore,
the MSC welcomes foreign countries to use their highly advanced
facilities as a global test bed for ICT applications and a hub for their
regional operations in Asia.
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The MSC is a dedicated 15 x 50 km corridor, stretching
from the Petronas Twin Towers in the north to the Kuala Lumpur International
Airport in the south. It encompasses Cyberjaya (the Technology Core) and
Putrajaya (the new administrative capital of Malaysia). Implementation of
the MSC is divided into three phases from 1996-2020.
In Phase 1 (1996-2003), the MSC was successfully
created. Every milestone set for Phase 1 were surpassed. In Phase 2, a web
of similar corridors will be established in Malaysia, and a global framework
of cyberlaws will be passed; furthermore at least four of five intelligent
cities will be linked to other global cities worldwide. In Phase 3, Malaysia
will evolve into one Multimedia Super Corridor. An International Cybercourt
of Justice will be established in the MSC and 12 intelligent cities will be
linked to the global information highway.
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In 2003, Malaysia ranked 26th in the world in network
readiness—above several more developed nations. The creation of the
Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), the establishment of industry regulators,
research in ICT access, and the application of ICT to transform Malaysia
into a knowledge-based society has led to the diffusion of technology.
Malaysia is strong in the pervasiveness, geographical
dispersion and organizational setting for ICT. Its weaknesses are in the
absorption, connectivity infrastructure and sophistication of use.
All sectors of the
Malaysian economy creating value and wealth through successful
participation in the emerging knowledge-driven global economy.
The public, private
and community sectors providing people-oriented, customer-focused
Delivery mode of
public goods and services
communities dynamically participating in the process of governance to
enhance the quality of life of Malaysians.
governance for quality of life
Formal and informal
networks providing the opportunity and cultivating an ethos of life-long
learning for individual, organizational institutional and societal
A life-long learning
institutions focused on enhancing national identity, integrity and
societal stability in the face of borderless challenges to our
To further the diffusion of ICT, Malaysia has developed
a universal service plan with the following primary objectives:
All communities in
Malaysia should have reasonable
collective access to basic telephony services. Reasonable collective access
to basic telephony services may be achieved by ensuring that each community
has reasonable access to a public payphone at which a basic telephony
service is available.
All communities in
Malaysia should have reasonable
collective access to Internet services. Reasonable collective access to
Internet services may be achieved by ensuring that community centers (such
as libraries and schools) receive (upon request within a reasonable time
frame) a telephone connection with a minimum data channel of 128 kbps.
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The Malaysian government has equipped core areas in the
MSC with high-capacity global telecommunications and logistics networks.
Emphasis has been placed on eco-friendly, and sophisticated urban structures
for businesses, homes, education and recreation. The MSC is also supported
by secure cyberlaws, strategic policies; and a range of financial and
non-financial incentives for investors.
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There are several compelling factors for investors and
ICT entrepreneurs to conduct their business in the MSC. Among them are:
- Comprehensive package for investors
- Strong socio-economic fundamentals
- Firm commitment from the Malaysian Government
- Accelerated human resource training and development
- Competitive costs of doing business
- Ready access to the Asia-Pacific markets
- Widespread usage of English
- Superlative quality of life
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Many innovative flagship applications have been
developed in the MSC top accelerate its growth. They are focused on the
development of smart schools, telehealth, e-business, smart card technology,
electronic government, entrepreneurs.
By engaging the participation of global producers, the creative
multimedia cluster of the MSC is was created. The multimedia cluster aims to
catalyze the development of creative
content. Furthermore, Cyberjaya is finding its niche as a regional
outsourcing and shared services haven for international companies.
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Mandated to oversee the development of the MSC is the
Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC) based in Cyberjaya. Initially a
Government-owned corporation but now incorporated under the Companies Act,
MDC facilitates applications by multinational and local companies to
re-locate to the MSC. It globally markets the MSC, shapes MSC-specific laws,
policies and practices by advising Malaysian Government and standardises
MSC’s information infrastructure and urban development.
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The increasing use of ICT has also raised the issue of
security and privacy. Incidence of hacking, "virus" attacks and misuse of
information, are not only commonplace but also on the rise. Malaysia is in
the midst of formulating a national ICT security policy and developing
systems and standards for nationwide compliance. However, due to it’s cross
border implications, Malaysia cannot do this alone. It is therefore
imperative for create forums such as the WTDC (World Telecommunications
Development Conference) to formulate guidelines and
frameworks, to assist member countries to deal with the security and privacy
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The following is a complete text of the Working Paper -
The Way Forward presented by His Excellency YAB Dato' Seri Dr Mahathir
Mohamad at the Malaysian Business Council.
Minister's Office, Malaysia.
Information and Management System Unit.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The purpose of this paper is to present before you some
thoughts on the future course of our nation and how we should go about to
attain our objective of developing Malaysia into an industrialized country.
The purpose of this paper is
to present before you some thoughts on the future course of our nation and
how we should go about to attain our objective of developing Malaysia into
an industrialized country. Also outlined are some measures that should be in
place in the shorter term so that the foundations can be laid for the long
journey towards that ultimate objective.
- Hopefully the Malaysian who
is born today and in the years to come will be the last generation of
our citizens who will be living in a country that is called
'developing'. The ultimate objective that we should aim for is a
Malaysia that is a fully developed country by the year 2020.
- What, you might rightly ask,
is 'a fully developed country? Do we want to be like any particular
country of the present 19 countries that are generally regarded as
'developed countries'? Do we want to be like the United Kingdom, like
Canada, like Holland, like Sweden, like Finland, like Japan? To be sure,
each of the 19, out of a world community of more than 160 states, has
its strengths. But each also has its fair share of weaknesses. Without
being a duplicate of any of them we can still be developed. We should be
a developed country in our own mould.
- Malaysia should not be
developed only in the economic sense. It must be a nation that is fully
developed along all the dimensions: economically, politically, socially,
spiritually, psychologically and culturally. We must be fully developed
in terms of national unity and social cohesion, in terms of our economy,
in terms of social justice, political stability, system of government,
quality of life, social and spiritual values, national pride and
Malaysia as a Fully Developed Country - One Definition
- By the year 2020, Malaysia
can be a united nation, with a confident Malaysian society, infused by
strong moral and ethical values, living in a society that is democratic,
liberal and tolerant, caring, economically just and equitable,
progressive and prosperous, and in full possession of an economy that is
competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.
- There can be no fully
developed Malaysia until we have finally overcome the nine central
strategic challenges that have confronted us from the moment of our
birth as an independent nation.
- The first of these is the
challenges of establishing a united Malaysian nation with a sense of
common and shared destiny. This must be a nation at peace with itself,
territorially and ethnically integrated, living in harmony and full and
fair partnership, made up of one 'Bangsa Malaysia' with political
loyalty and dedication to the nation.
- The second is the challenge
of creating a psychologically liberated, secure, and developed Malaysian
Society with faith and confidence in itself, justifiably proud of what
it is, of what it has accomplished, robust enough to face all manner of
adversity. This Malaysian Society must be distinguished by the pursuit
of excellence, fully aware of all its potentials, psychologically
subservient to none, and respected by the peoples of other nations.
- The third challenge we have
always faced is that of fostering and developing a mature democratic
society, practicing a form of mature consensual, community-oriented
Malaysian democracy that can be a model for many developing countries.
- The fourth is the challenge
of establishing a fully moral and ethical society, whose citizens are
strong in religious and spiritual values and imbued with the highest of
- The fifth challenge that we
have always faced is the challenge of establishing a matured, liberal
and tolerant society in which Malaysians of all colors and creeds are
free to practice and profess their customs, cultures and religious
beliefs and yet feeling that they belong to one nation.
- The sixth is the challenge of
establishing a scientific and progressive society, a society that is
innovative and forward-looking, one that is not only a consumer of
technology but also a contributor to the scientific and technological
civilization of the future.
- The seventh challenge is the
challenge of establishing a fully caring society and a caring culture, a
social system in which society will come before self, in which the
welfare of the people will revolve not around the state or the
individual but around a strong and resilient family system.
- The eighth is the challenge
of ensuring an economically just society. This is a society in which
there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation,
in which there is full partnership in economic progress. Such a society
cannot be in place so long as there is the identification of race with
economic function, and the identification of economic backwardness with
- The ninth challenge is the
challenge of establishing a prosperous society, with an economy that is
fully competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.
- We have already come a long
way towards the fulfillment of these objectives. The nine central
objectives listed need not be our order of priorities over the next
three decades. Most obviously, the priorities of any moment in time must
meet the specific circumstances of that moment in time.
- But it would be surprising if
the first strategic challenge which I have mentioned - the establishment
of a united Malaysian nation - is not likely to be the most fundamental,
the most basic.
- Since much of what I will say
this morning will concentrate on economic development, let me stress yet
again that the comprehensive development towards the developed society
that we want -however each of us may wish to define it -cannot mean
material and economic advancement only. Far from it. Economic
development must not become the be-all and the end-all of our national
- Since this Council must
concentrate on the issues of economic development and economic social
justice, which for this nation must go hand in hand for the foreseeable
future, let me expand on the perception of the central strategic
challenges with regard to these two vital objectives.
- At this point it is well to
define in greater detail the objective of establishing an economically
- Of the two prongs of the NEP
no one is against the eradication of absolute poverty -regardless of
race, and irrespective of geographical location. All Malaysians, whether
they live in the rural or the urban areas, whether they are in the
south, north, east or west, must be moved above the line of absolute
- This nation must be able to
provide enough food on the table so that not a solitary Malaysian is
subjected to the travesty of gross under-nourishment. We must provide
enough by way of essential shelter, access to health facilities, and all
the basic essentials. A developed Malaysia must have a wide and vigorous
middle class and must provide full opportunities for those in the bottom
third to climb their way out of the pit of relative poverty.
- The second prong, that of
removing the identification of race with major economic function is also
acceptable except that somehow it is thought possible to achieve this
without any shuffling of position. If we want to build an equitable
society than we must accept some affirmative action. This will mean that
in all the major and important sectors of employment, there should be a
good mix of the ethnic groups that make up the Malaysian nation. By
legitimate means we must ensure a fair balance with regard to the
professions and all the major categories of employment. Certainly we
must be as interested in quality and merit. But we must ensure the
healthy development of a viable and robust Bumiputera commercial and
- A developed Malaysia should
not have a society in which economic backwardness is identified with
race. This does not imply individual income equality, a situation in
which all Malaysians will have the same income. This is impossibility
because by sheer dint of our own individual effort, our own individual
upbringing and our individual preferences, we will all have different
economic worth, and will be financially rewarded differently. An
equality of individual income as propounded by socialists and communists
is not only not possible, it is not desirable and is a formula for
- But I do believe that the
narrowing of the ethnic income gap, through the legitimate provision of
opportunities, through a closer parity of social services and
infrastructure, through the development of the appropriate economic
cultures and through full human resource development, is both necessary
and desirable. We must aspire by the year 2020 to reach a stage where
no-one can say that a particular ethnic group is inherently economically
backward and another is economically inherently advanced. Such a
situation is what we must work for efficiently, effectively, with
fairness and with dedication.
- "A full partnership in
economic progress" cannot mean full partnership in poverty. It must mean
a fair balance with regard to the participation and contribution of all
our ethnic groups - including the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak - in
the high-growth, modern sectors of our economy. It must mean a fair
distribution with regard to the control , management and ownership of
the modern economy.
- In order to achieve this
economically just society, we must escalate dramatically our programs
for national human resource development. There is a need to ensure the
creation of an economically resilient and fully competitive Bumiputera
community so as to be at par with the NonBumiputera community. There is
need for a mental revolution and a cultural transformation. Much of the
work of pulling ourselves up by our boot-straps must be done ourselves.
In working for the correction of the economic imbalances, there has to
be the fullest emphasis on making the needed advances at speed and with
the most productive results - at the lowest possible economic and
- With regard to the
establishment of a prosperous society, we can set many aspirational
goals. I believe that we should set the realistic (as opposed to
aspirational) target of almost doubling our real gross domestic product
every t en years between 1990 and 2020 AD. If we do this, our GDP should
be about eight times larger by the year 2020 than it was in 1990. Our
GDP in 1990 was 115 billion Ringgit. Our GDP in 2020 should therefore be
about 920 billion Ringgit in real (1990 Ringgit) terms.
- This rapid growth will
require that we grow by an average of about 7 per cent (in real terms)
annually over the next 30 years. Admittedly this is on optimistic
projection but we should set our sights high if we are to motivate
ourselves into striving hard. We must guard against 'growth fixation',
the danger of pushing for growth figures oblivious to the needed
commitment to ensure stability, to keep inflation low, to guarantee
sustainability, to develop our quality of life and standard of living,
and the achievement of our other social objectives. It will be a
difficult task, with many peaks and low points. But I believe that this
can be done.
- In the 1960s, we grew by an
annual average of 5.1 per cent; in the 1970s, the first decade of the
NEP, Malaysia grew by an average of 7.8 per cent; in the 1980s, because
of the recession years, we grew by an annual average of 5.9 per cent.
- If we take the last thirty
years, our GDP rose annually in real terms by an average of 6.3 per
cent. If we take the last twenty years, we grew by an annual average of
6.9 per cent. What is needed is an additional 0.1 per cent growth.
Surely if we all pull together God willing this 0.1% can be achieved.
- If we do succeed, and
assuming roughly a 2.5 per cent annual rate of population growth, by the
year 2020, Malaysians will be four times richer (in real terms) than
they were in 1990. That is the measure of the prosperous society we wish
and hopefully we can achieve.
- The second leg of our
economic objective should be to secure the establishment of a
competitive economy. Such an economy must be able to sustain itself over
the longer term, must be dynamic, robust and resilient. It must mean,
among other things: A diversified and balanced economy with a mature and
widely based industrial sector, a modern and mature agriculture sector
and an efficient and productive and an equally mature services sector;
an economy that is quick on its feet, able to quickly adapt to changing
patterns of supply, demand and competition; an economy that is
technologically proficient, fully able to adapt, innovate and invent,
that is increasingly technology intensive, moving in the direction of
higher and higher levels of technology; an economy that has strong and
cohesive industrial linkages throughout the system; an economy driven by
brain-power, skills and diligence in possession of a wealth of
information, with the knowledge of what to do and how to do it; an
economy with high and escalating productivity with regard to every
factor of production; an entrepreneurial economy that is self - reliant,
outward - looking and enterprising; an economy sustained by an exemplary
work ethic, quality consciousness and the quest for excellence; an
economy characterized by low inflation and a low cost of living; an
economy that is subjected to the full discipline and rigor of market
- Most of us in this present
Council will not be there on the morning of January 1, 2020 Not many, I
think. The great bulk of the work that must be done to ensure a fully
developed country called Malaysia a generation from now will obviously
be done by the leaders who follow us, by our children and
grand-children. But we should make sure that we have done our duty in
guiding them with regard to what we should work to become. And let us
lay the secure foundations that they must build upon.
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Some Key Public Sector Economic Policies for the Foreseeable Future
- Since the early 1980s, we
have stressed that this country will rely on the private sector as the
primary engine of economic growth. In a way we were ahead of the rest of
the world, even the developed countries in entrusting economic growth to
the private sector.
- In the early years, our
fledgling private sector could not fully respond to the challenge that
was issued. Then came the unpredictable and difficult recession and
slowdown years. However in the last three years the private sector has
bloomed and responded. The policy is now bearing fruit. The outcome: in
1988, we grew in real terms by 8.9 per cent; in 1989, by 8.8 per cent;
in 1990, by 9.4 per cent without expansionary budgeting by the
Government. Even the tiger economies of North East Asia have not done so
- No nation can afford to
abandon a winning formula. And this nation will not. For the foreseeable
future, Malaysia will continue to drive the private sector, to rely on
it as the primary engine of growth.
- In the meantime the
Government will continue to downsize of its role in the field of
economic production and business. The State cannot of course retreat
totally from the economic life of Malaysia. It will not abdicate its
responsibility for overseeing and providing the legal and regulatory
framework for rapid economic and social development.
- The Government will be pro -
active to ensure healthy fiscal and monetary management and the smooth
functioning of the Malaysian economy. It will escalate the development
of the necessary physical infrastructure and the most conducive business
environment - consistent with its other social priorities. And where
absolutely necessary the Government will not be so completely bound by
its commitment to withdrawal from the economic role, that it will not
intervene. It will play its role judiciously and actively.
- The process of de-regulation
will continue. There can be no doubt that regulations are an essential
part of the governance of society, of which the economy is a part. A
state without laws and regulations is a state flirting with anarchy.
Without order, there can be little business and no development. What is
not required is over regulation although it may not be easy to decide
when the Government is over regulating.
- Wisdom lies of course in the
ability to distinguish between those laws and regulations which are
productive of our societal objectives and those that are not; and it
lies in making the right judgments with regard to the trade - offs. Thus
Governments will be neither foolish nor irresponsible, and will cater to
the needs of the wider society as well as the requirements of rapid
growth and a competitive, robust and resilient economy. It will be
guided by the knowledge that the freeing of enterprise too - not only
laws and regulations, and state intervention - can contribute to the
achievement of the wider social objectives. In this light and given the
fact that there are clear areas of unproductive regulation which need to
be phased out, you can expect the process of productive de- regulation
to continue. The recent move of Bank Negara to de-regulate the BLR
regime is an example in point.
- Privatization will continue
to be an important cornerstone of our national development and national
efficiency strategy. This policy is not founded on ideological belief.
It is aimed specifically at enhancing competitiveness, efficiency and
productivity in the economy, at reducing the administrative and
financial burdens on the Government and at expediting the attainment of
national distributional goals.
- In implementing our
privatization policy, the Government is fully aware of the need to
protect public interest, to ensure that the poor are provided access to
essential services, to guarantee that quality services are provided at
minimum cost, to avoid unproductive monopolistic practices and to ensure
the welfare of workers.
- There will be problems. No
endeavor comes without a price tag. But it is clear enough that this
policy has thus far generated positive results and we can expect its
implementation to be accelerated in the future. With the completion of
the Privatization Master Plan Study, I believe that many of the
bottlenecks and rigidities that obstruct the progress of the needed
privatization will be removed, thus accelerating its smooth
- There will be in the years
ahead an Accelerated Industrialization Drive, a drive that is not based
on a fascination with industry but on the simple truth that if we want
to develop rapidly -in a situation where the developed economies will be
moving out of industrialization into a post - industrial stage - this is
the way to go. If we are to industrialize rapidly, we will need to
capitalize on our national strengths and forcefully tackle our
- In pursuit of this policy,
the Government will need to deal with the problem of a narrow
manufacturing base. In 1988, 63 per cent of total Malaysian manufactured
exports came from the electrical and electronic and textile industries.
Electronics alone accounted for 50 per cent of total manufactured
exports. We must diversify.
- Despite the most rapid
development in the free trade zones insignificant demand has been
generated for local intermediate products. We will have to deal with the
problem of weak industrial linkages.
- There is inadequate
development of indigenous technology. There is too little value- added,
too much simple assembly and production. There is also a need to counter
rising production costs brought about by rising costs of labor, raw
materials and overheads by improving efficiency and productivity. There
is a serious shortage of skilled manpower. All these and many more
issues will need to be addressed.
- Small and medium scale
industries have an important role to play in generating employment
opportunities, in strengthening industrial linkages, in penetrating
markets and generating export earnings. They have a crucial role as a
spawning ground for the birth of tomorrow's entrepreneurs.
- The Government will devise
appropriate assistance schemes and will seek to raise the level of
management expertise, technological know-how and skills of the employees
in this very important and in many ways neglected sector of our economy.
- The SMIs will be one of the
primary foundations for our future industrial thrust. The Government is
fully committed to its healthiest development.
- Just as we must diversify the
products we export so must we diversify the markets we export to.
Malaysian exporters must look also at the non - traditional markets. It
will require new knowledge, new networks, new contacts and new
approaches towards dealing with unfamiliar laws, rules and regulation.
It will be uncomfortable but it would be a mistake to consider that it
is not worth the discomfort to deal with these markets. Alone they may
be small but cumulatively the market of the developing Asian, African
and Latin America countries are big. If the developed countries find it
worth while to export to these markets then it must be worth while for
us also. The Government will help but the private sector must play their
part. Reliance on export- led growth is still the way to rapid growth.
- Entry into the world market
pits our companies against all comers and subjects them to the full
force of international competition. This is a challenge we must accept
not simply because the domestic market is too small but because in the
long run it will actually enrich our domestic market and reduce our
dependence on export.
- We must persist with
export-led growth despite the global slowdown, despite the rise of
protectionism, trade blocs and managed trade. When the going is tougher,
we must not turn inward. We simply have no choice but to be more lean,
more resourceful, more productive and generally more competitive, more
able to take on the world. 56. The liberalization of the Malaysian
economy has had beneficial result and contributed towards a more dynamic
- Obviously, liberalization
must be undertaken responsibly and in stages so as not to create
economic uncertainty and impose excessive structural adjustment costs.
We should take into the fullest consideration Malaysia's capacity to
undertake liberalization. We should not dismiss the infant industry
argument, but we should not bow to illegitimate pressure.
- At the same time, productive
liberalization ensures that our private sector will be less reliant on
artificial profits and on protection, which benefits some producers at
the expense of consumers and other producers. Infants must grow up. They
must grow up to be sturdy and strong. And this cannot be done if they
- For reasons that are obvious,
the Government will continue to foster the inflow of foreign investment.
This is essential for Malaysia's Accelerated Industrialization Drive.
Again, we will not abandon a winning strategy. But we will fine-tune it
to ensure that measures are in place to ensure that Malaysia maximizes
the net benefit from the inflow of foreign investment.
- In the past, the domestic
private sector has largely failed to meet the targets set in successive
Malaysia Plans. Apparently domestic investors feel that the Government
has not devoted enough effort to the fostering of domestic investment as
we have devoted to those from overseas. This is not completely true but
we will redress the situation as we get better feed back.
- Small and medium scale
enterprises must be assisted to grow bigger. Surplus savings and
domestic capital must be more productively channeled into investments.
Entrepreneurs must be spawned. Where necessary, technological and
training help must be extended; and infrastructure support must be
- It is worthwhile to stress
again that the development that we need cannot take place without the
infrastructure underpinning. We must keep one step ahead of demand and
need. In the recent Budget, we clearly stated what we will do in the
shorter term. The Sixth Malaysia Plan will make clear what we will do in
the medium term while the second outline perspective Plan will indicate
the direction over the long term. The Government is fully aware of the
infrastructure bottlenecks and of the need for massive investments in
the years to come. We will not let growth to be retarded by excessive
congestion and investment indigestion, as has happened in many
- In our drive to move
vigorously ahead nothing is more important then the development of human
- From the experience in the
last two decades of all the economic miracles of the countries that have
been poor in terms of "natural resources", it is blindingly clear that
the most important resource of any nation must be the talents, skills,
creativity and will of its people. What we have between our ears, at our
elbow and in our heart is much more important than what we have below
our feet and around us. Our people is our ultimate resource. Without a
doubt, in the 1990s and beyond, Malaysia must give the fullest emphasis
possible to the development of this ultimate resource.
- Malaysia has one of the best
educational systems in the Third World. But for the journey that we must
make over our second generation, new standards have to be set and new
- We cannot but aspire to the
highest standards with regard to the skills of our people, to their
devotion to know-how and knowledge upgrading and self-improvement, to
their language competence, to their work attitudes and discipline, to
their managerial abilities, to their achievement motivation, their
attitude towards excellence and to the fostering of the entrepreneurial
- We cannot afford to neglect
the importance of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial development,
which goes, of course beyond training and education. We must ensure the
correct mix with regard to professionals, sub-professionals, craftsmen
and artisans, and the correct balance with regard to those with
competence in science and technology, the arts and social sciences.
- In the development of human
resources we cannot afford to neglect half the population i.e. the
Bumiputeras. If they are not brought into the mainstream, if their
potentials are not fully developed, if they are allowed to be a
milestone around the national neck, then our progress is going to be
retarded by that much. No nation can achieve full progress with only
half its human resources harnessed. What may be considered a burden now
can, with the correct attitude and management be the force that lightens
our burden and hasten our progress. The Bumiputeras must play their part
fully in the achievement of the national goal.
- Inflation is the bane of all
economic planners. Fortunately except during the first oil shock when
inflation went up to 17%, Malaysia has managed to keep inflation low. We
must continue to keep it low. The Government, the business sector, and
the people must be committed to keeping it low. The only real way to
combat inflation is to live within one's means. If we cannot afford we
just don't buy. In Malaysia this is possible for we can produce
practically all we need in terms of food, shelter and clothing. When
recently we had a recession, life was bearable because we were able to
buy our needs at roughly the same price i.e. we had practically no
inflation. Now that we have more money, demand pull is slowly forcing
prices up. So although we may be more prosperous now, although we may be
financially wealthier now, but in terms of purchasing power we are not
as well-off as we should be.
- The public must understand
what causes inflation and must be disciplined enough to combat it . In
some countries when inflation rates go up to thousands of per cent per
year, Governments have been changed again and again without inflation
being contained. The reason is that the people are not disciplined and
prepared to restrain themselves. No Government can put a stop to
inflation unless the people are prepared to accept the discomfort of
- In the fight against
inflation nothing is more effective than education and discipline among
- In an interdependent trading
world, the exchange rate plays a vital role. Too cheap a currency will
increase import bills and debt payment but it will make exports
competitive. But the full benefit of a low exchange rate on export can
be negated by the cost of imported material which go into the exported
products. A high currency value will "enrich" our people, particularly
in terms of buying imported luxuries but our exports will not be
competitive and the economy will eventually be adversely affected.
- Clearly the management of the
exchange rate is of extreme importance to the progress of our nation.
There is only a limited ability to manipulate. In the final analysis it
is how we balance our trade that will determine how our currency is
valued. Malaysia must learn to be competitive through higher
productivity rather than through manipulating exchange rates. Again the
people must understand their role, particularly with regard to
- In a world of high technology
Malaysia cannot afford to lag behind. We cannot be in the front line of
modern technology but we must always try to catch up at least in those
fields where we may have certain advantages. We have already adopted a
National Plan of Action for Industrial Technology Development. This is
the easy part. We must now proceed expeditiously to the enormously
difficult task of implementation.
- The Government will certainly
provide the necessary commitment and leadership to this national
endeavor. The institutional and support infrastructure will be put in
place to ensure rapid, realistic, focused and market - driven
development of our technological capabilities. But let us never forget
that technology is not for the laboratory but the factory floor and the
market. The private sector and our people must respond. Far too often
the results of research are ignored in favor of the tried and tested
money spinners. It has been said that the secret of Japan's success is
its skill in applying research results to marketable products. If we
don't do this we are going to be left behind whatever may be the level
of our technology.
- While increasing our
industrial manufacturing sector, Malaysia must make sure that our
agriculture and services sector will not be neglected. We must advance.
We must strive for efficiency, modernity and competitiveness. These
should be the key guiding principles of our national policy towards
agriculture, tourism and the fullest development of the entire services
- Nor can we afford to neglect
the rural sector of our economy and society. In the years ahead, we must
work for a second rural development transformation, restructuring the
villages so as to be compatible with both agriculture and modern
industry. Less and less farmers should produce more and more food, thus
releasing manpower for an industrial society.
- While doing all these we must
also ensure that our valuable natural resources are not wasted. Our land
must remain productive and fertile, our atmosphere clear and clean, our
water unpolluted, our forest resources capable of regeneration, able to
yield the needs of our national development. The beauty of our land must
not be desecrated - for it s own sake and for our economic advancement.
- In the information age that
we are living in the Malaysian society must be information rich. It can
be no accident that there is today no wealthy, developed country that is
information -poor and no information-rich country that is poor and
- There was a time when land
was the most fundamental basis of prosperity and wealth. Then came the
second wave, the age of industrialization. Smokestacks rose where the
fields were once cultivated. Now, increasingly, knowledge will not only
be the basis of power but also prosperity. Again we must keep up.
Already Malaysians are among the biggest users of computers in the
region. Computer literacy is a must if we want to progress and develop.
No effort must be spared in the creation of an information rich
- In international relations,
the emphasis should be less on politics and ideology but more on
economic imperatives. Small though we may be we must strive to influence
the course of international trade. To grow we have to export. Our
domestic market is far too small. It is important to us that free trade
is maintained. The trend towards the formation of trading blocs will
damage our progress and we must oppose it. We must therefore play our
part and not passively accept the dictates of those powerful nations who
may not even notice what their decision have done to us.
- A country without adequate
economic defense capabilities and the ability to marshal influence and
create coalitions in the international economic arena is an economically
defenseless nation and an economically powerless state. This Malaysia
cannot afford to be.
- There are many other policies
that must be in place if we are to make the 1990s the most economically
productive decade in our history. Let me end by mentioning just one
more: the necessity of making Malaysia Incorporated a flourishing
- Let me stress not all
collaboration between our public and private sector is justifiable or
productive. In many areas there must be a long arm's length approach.
But there can be no doubt that a productive partnership will take us a
long way towards our aspirations.
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What the Private Sector Must Contribute
- I have outlined what I think
are the key economic policies that should be in place to accelerate our
drive towards prosperity and a competitive economy. Let me now stress
the role that the private sector must play.
- This nation cannot rely on
the private sector as the primary engine of growth if our private sector
is inefficient and lethargic. You must be strong and dynamic, robust and
self-reliant, competent and honest.
- Malaysia cannot deregulate if
bankers eventually behave like banksters, if the freedom afforded to
enterprise becomes merely license to exploit without any sense of social
responsibility. Our companies must have a high sense of corporate duty.
Our struggle to ensure social justice - to uplift the position and
competitiveness of the Bumiputeras and to achieve the other social
objectives - must be your struggle too.
- Privatization must not
proceed if its objectives are defeated by those who think only of
personal profit without social responsibility. The Accelerated
Industrialization Drive and the attempt to rapidly develop our small and
medium scale industries must be driven by the enterprise of our
entrepreneurs. They must be prepared to think longer term, to venture
forth into the competitive world markets. The attraction of foreign
investment should not be the responsibility of the Government alone. The
private sector too must engage the foreign investor in mutually
beneficial partnership and joint ventures for this will help him to
integrate more fully into the Malaysian economy. And the responsibility
of domestic investors must be greater than that of their foreign counter
- parts because Malaysia is our country, not theirs. We can ask
ourselves to make a sacrifice for our country but we cannot expect
foreigners to do it for us.
- In the development of our
human resources, our private sector has the most important of roles to
play. Train your own manpower. Equip them for their changing tasks. Look
after their interests. Upgrade their skills. Manage them well. And
reward them for their contribution.
- There is obviously a lot for
everyone to do. Unfortunately there is no simple one shot formula for
developing a nation. Many, many things must be done by many, many
people. And they must be done as correctly as possible. We must be
prepared to be self-critical and to be willing to make corrections. But
God willing we can succeed.
Minister's Office, Malaysia.
Information and Management System Unit.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The investment level of Malaysian business and foreign
investment in the MSC would denote a success of Malaysia national ICT
policy. However, the Vision 2020 goal is to transform Malaysia into a
developed nation. Despite early success involving increased commerce, and
e-government transactions, only time will tell if the MSC is successful. The
following long-term metrics should be considered:
- Malaysian consumer adoption of technology
- Development and enforcement of intellectual property
- Incubators of technologies
- Transfer of technology
- Niche market development