Malaysia is set to be one of the primary destinations for the high-tech industry and realise the aim of being ranked among the top 30 nations in the Global Innovation Index by 2025, said Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Speaking at yesterday’s launch of Industry4WRD — the new policy on Industry 4.0 — Dr Mahathir said Malaysia has to move faster in adopting technologies with even greater tenacity, creativity and effectiveness to ensure rapid and sustainable growth.
“The Industry4WRD is a pivotal step as Malaysia seeks to strengthen its ongoing structural reforms to become a developed nation that is equitable, sustainable and inclusive by 2025 or even earlier.
“We have lagged behind and in order to catch up, we need to run faster than our competitors. It is like a marathon, while we pace ourselves, we still need to be several steps faster or we will be consistently behind,” he added.
Dr Mahathir said the new policy on Industry 4.0 would serve as a clear strategic direction for the country in charting the growth of the manufacturing sector moving forward, and later will involve all economic sectors.
“Ultimately, the policy will drive Malaysia to becoming a strategic partner for smart manufacturing and related services in Asia Pacific, primary destination for the high-tech industry as well as a total solutions provider for advanced technology,” he added.
The necessity for Malaysia to have its own policies to address the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0, is critical and the introduction of Industry4WRD marks the starting point to the wider industrial revolution for Malaysia.
He said smart manufacturing will eventually lead to the emergence of smart cities, smart grids and smart services in Malaysia.
The PM said a strong manufacturing sector would pave the way to enhanced productivity, job creation, innovation capability, high-skilled talent pool, economic prosperity and societal well-being.
“Manufacturing firms in Malaysia, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), have the potential to gain advantage from the adoption of Industry 4.0.
“With this in mind, this policy was developed to propel SMEs forward so that they can be agile and adaptable to meet the challenges posed by the Industry 4.0,” he said.
He added that as part of the Industry4WRD policy, the readiness assessment programme will further assist SMEs to measure their gaps and readiness in order to guide their adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies.
Speaking in a press conference later, Dr Mahathir said businesses should be driven by a desire for profit rather than expectations of government support.
He said businesses that rely much on federal funding and subsidies will not progress far.