September 29, 2009
Mahathir says change strategy to achieve Vision 2020
Malaysia might not be able to achieve its Vision 2020 on time, if it does not change its strategy and remains dependent on foreign direct investments, says former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said Malaysia should focus on developing major local companies that have the potential to produce their own brands and compete in the global market
“The government must identify these companies and help them grow by lending them money with low interest rate.
“The profit they make will go back to us, the workers and the country,” he said during the 14th Civil Service Conference here today.
He also said workers at all levels must be paid higher wages but by doing so they must be more productive. “Then only the industry can produce in greater volumes, gain more profit and contribute to the country’s revenue,” he said.
Mahathir said Malaysia should become a medium or high cost country because it cannot compete with countries such as China and Taiwan who could offer lower cost manpower and resources to foreign investors.
Speaking to reporters following the event, he said Malaysia was capable of becoming a developed country but might exceed the set time of 2020 due to the global economic downturn which has affected the country.
“However, if we focus on developing local companies and not depend on foreign investments, it will not be impossible to achieve it in the given time,” he said.
He also said the fixing of minimum wages and increasing pay will not pay off if there was no restructuring as it could make the situation worse especially if productivity levels remain low.
On the 1Malaysia concept introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Mahathir said the people, especially the younger generation must be given the opportunity to mingle and study together and build up friendships with different races. “During my time we had more opportunities to make friends with other races,” he said.