• "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 programmes 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 societal cost.
  • 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 ten 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, movi ng 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 r egard 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 characterised by low inflation and a low cost of living; an economy that is subjected to the full discipline and rigour of market forces.
  • 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.

 

Previous Page

Home

Next Page

Home