PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s success as a nation since its founding can be attributed to its willingness to embrace innovation, said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Closing the inaugural International Conference on Blue Ocean Strategy, the Deputy Prime Minister urged future leaders among today’s youths to continue the spirit of creativity and innovation.
“We have come a long way from our humble beginnings in 1957. Along the way, we have slowly but surely made our mark on the international stage through the innovation of Malaysian-based companies,” he said.
The successes of Felda as an international palm oil producer and Petronas as a leading oil and gas industry player, said Dr Ahmad Zahid, are among those that have made Malaysia “one of the most competitive markets and business-friendly in the world”.
“To get to where we are today is no small feat, but at the same time, it is not a surprise. These companies demonstrated a willingness to explore new possibilities.
“The success of Malaysia and its people has always been due to a forward-looking mind-set, a mind-set of creativity. These characteristics have been present in Malaysia’s leaders over many decades and have produced many bold ideas that have advanced our nation,” he said.
In a challenge to Malaysia’s youth, Dr Ahmad Zahid told them to “carry on innovating” as the country pursues its goal of becoming an advanced nation.
“I call upon the many bright young leaders, who will take the reins of our nation in the future, to rise to the challenge. As we close this conference, I hope we will all take away a spirit of creativity, innovation, and collaboration and teach these principles to our youth,” he said.
The three-day conference saw the attendance of some 4,000 local and international participants at the Putrajaya International Conference Centre.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia has benefited so much since it decided to adopt and apply the principles of the Blue Ocean Strategy.
“Our approach to innovation has been to implement the National Blue Ocean Strategy and embed three key principles for the whole Government to follow, which are high impact, low cost and rapid execution.
“The entire nation has benefited from the work we have done through NBOS and I have seen the changes in every city and rural community that I visited across the country,” he said, adding that NBOS will continue to be the driving force behind the 11th Malaysia Plan.
Dr Ahmad Zahid also gave special mention to theorists Professor W. Chan Kim and Professor Renee Mauborne, the founders of the Blue Ocean Strategy.
“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Professor Chan Kim and Professor Mauborne, for inspiring us to put creativity and innovation at the heart of our national development,” he said, as the audience gave a standing ovation.