LANGKAWI: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today that the concept of ‘Malaysia Incorporated’ (Malaysia Inc), which integrates the objectives of the private and public sectors, is now more important than ever to achieve the country’s big and ambitious goals.
In his speech at the launch of the 5G Demonstration Projects here, Dr Mahathir said that the concept introduced by him during his first stint as Prime Minister still applies to this day.
“Because of collaboration (between the public and private sectors), I am pleased to see that through the 5G Demonstration Projects, we have identified 100 use cases, of which today, we have 72 5G use cases in 56 Live 5G sites across six states that include Kedah, Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Selangor, Terengganu and Penang,” he said.
“From the rise of smartphones in 2007, which changed the way we live, to the growth of shale oil in 2014, which triggered one of the largest oil price shocks in history, and to the mighty rise of numerous tech brands like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Huawei.
“The common denominator was technology,” he noted.
In developing countries, manufacturing continues to be the avenue that leads economies from subsistence agriculture, to rising incomes and high living standards.
Similarly, the manufacturing sector has played a key role in turning Malaysia into a major player in the global value chain, Dr Mahathir said.
For the past five years, the manufacturing industry contributed 22 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product.
“Therefore, as the Fourth Industrial Revolution engulfs us, the question we must ask ourselves is – are we ready for it? How do we leverage this transformative technology to enhance productivity and growth?” he asked.
Dr Mahathir said that countries like China, the United States and South Korea are already rolling out 5G that will not only provide better experiences for existing applications, but also accelerate use cases such as autonomous cars and remote surgeries that were not possible with previous generations of mobile networks.
Citing data by Euromonitor International, he said by 2023, the total sales of Internet retailing in Malaysia will surge to RM30.03 billion.
Out of this, RM18 billion will be purchases made through smartphones.
This is about three times more than the projected Internet sales of RM11.41 billion in 2019.
“Businesses must, however, ensure that technology is able to complement the workforce to become more effective, knowledgeable, and productive.
“Technology that displaces humans runs contrary to the aspiration of the country as outlined in the government’s Shared Prosperity Vision 2030,” he said.