Malaysia Inc concept to be revived to spur growth

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday that his administration will revive the concept of Malaysia Inc, which he had first introduced in his previous tenure as premier.

"We are reviving the concept of Malaysia Incorporated," Tun Dr Mahathir said in a speech at the 72nd annual general meeting of the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM). "Malaysia will be regarded as one huge corporation where the government and private sector work to ensure the success of our cooperation."

Dr Mahathir introduced the Malaysia Inc concept when he first served as prime minister between 1981 and 2003 on the belief that economic growth and overall development can be facilitated by strong collaboration between the private and public sectors.

He said reviving Malaysia Inc will be something that the government will implement in the near future.

"Today, Malaysia is still in the process of recovering. It takes time. Not too long, but it takes time for us to achieve a complete reversal of the wrongs committed in the past," he said. "But rest assured, we are determined to do so, and we need feedback from the business community so that what revision we do will be good for the country and business community."

He added: "When I became the prime minister in 1981, there was little work to do. All I needed to do was to fill in empty slots with people who already had experience to run the government.

"Today, we have to rebuild the government because so many things have been destroyed. It is very difficult and time-consuming for us to run the government during the initial stages. With this, we need your support and have faith in us. Give us time to correct the mistakes in the past."

Dr Mahathir praised the country's business community for its efforts to help Malaysia achieve continued development.

"We accept that the business community will be the greatest contributor to enrich this country, and now we see ACCCIM, which was an association of Chinese chamber members, expanding to cooperate with other chambers, including the Malay, Indian and international business chambers," he said.

In his speech, the Prime Minister also gave the assurance that Malaysia will continue to be a business-friendly nation, and will not be corrupt, in a bid to attract more inflows of foreign and domestic direct investments.

He said the new government plans to enhance anti-corruption practices to ensure a clean business environment and fair play.

"This government is a new government, and it will be business-friendly. It will not be corrupt. I know some business people are worried that if they deal with a person who is corrupt, some retaliation might occur by the person concerned or his colleagues.

"We will protect you from any retaliation. We want a clean government and I believe, so do you."

Dr Mahathir added that Malaysia, a trade-dependent country, must never reject foreign direct investments as there would always be new inventions and products that the country has no knowledge of.

"Today, we see many factories in Malaysia (which are) started, owned and operated by Malaysians without any foreign investments, but we still need foreign investments because we know that there are new technologies being developed and must be mastered if we are going to compete with the rest of the world," he said.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2018, with the headline Malaysia Inc concept to be revived to spur growth. Subscribe