Ten months on, after forming a new government, the nation has a clear goal that is to become a developed nation. The development is one that will benefit everyone where prosperity is shared and growth is sustainable.
“The nation is committed to economic growth with social justice,” said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad in his keynote address at Invest Malaysia 2019 event held in Kuala Lumpur today.
“On a path to becoming a developed nation, the government is committed to ensure its policies are investor friendly to both domestic and foreign investors.”
Moving forward, the prime minister stated that the government’s growth focus was in digital economy and in high-tech manufacturing and services sector.
“The government has recognised the importance of digital economy and the infrastructure required for it to grow.
“Now, both large and smaller companies need to embrace digital connectivity, and use of data analysis, and explore the possibilities to build a digital business. The government will encourage and provide incentives for investors and collaboration in turning Malaysia into a hub for digital services and communications,” said the Prime Minister.
The government is also encouraging local companies to enhance their capabilities in this area by collaborating with multinationals to become regional or global champions.
“To further strengthen the Malaysian economy fundamental, industrial upgrading by adapting technologies is vital in line with the national industry policy – Industry 4.0.”
For the manufacturing sector, he said the government would continue to attract high value added, high technology and knowledge intensive investments within the sector.
“The government would like the private sector play a bigger role in contributing to the Malaysian economy and we will continue to welcome foreign investors from all countries. The foreign investments must bring value and benefit to both parties.
The Prime Minister also reiterated that will maintain friendly ties with all its economic partners.
Meanwhile, in fighting corruption, Dr Mahathir said that investors must play their role by ensuring they do not invest in corrupt companies.
He stated that the government was preparing clear guidelines in appointment of chairman and board of directors of GLCs, adding that only persons with integrity and high moral values would be selected to lead organisations and there would not be any appointment based on recommendation.
“The Prime Minister’s Office is finalising remuneration packages of directors and senior management of government agencies which we find to be very high. Rewards in future would be based on performance,” he said.
According to Dr Mahathir, a nation’s development was not just about the Gross Domestic Product or the market capitalisation of the stock market but it’s about building a better standard of living for everyone.
“We don’t want an unequal society where capital owners take a big chunk of income, leaving workers with low income. So I urge all of you to have a stakeholders’ mindset. Pay your workers better if you make more profits.
“The pay of CEOs has been increasing multiple fold but workers wages has been slow to rise. Share your prosperity. We cannot have one group succeeding, dominating or monopolising everything while others lag behind.”
The premier also said that the gap between the haves and have-nots must be narrowed. If disparity was left unchecked it would lead to hostility and eventually confrontation.