KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia could well take a leaf from South Korea, which thrives on innovation and competitiveness, to emerge as one of the world’s most progressive economies, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said that encouraging competitiveness and ideas that continued to push the envelope was an impetus in fuelling a productive and progressive community.
“A forward thinking nation must be one that is well-governed and strong in science and technology that prepares the youth for the labour market, and fosters the links between education, research, industry and sustainability.”
He said this in his speech at the ‘Malam Budaya Cipta’ held in conjunction with the International Invention and Innovation Exhibition (ITEX) 2015 here Friday night.
Citing South Korea as an example, Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said the country had evidently taken giant leaps over the years as a leading innovator for electronics and telecommunications products.
“Its intensity in building a fully-wired society is what it does better than any other country,” said Muhyiddin who also alluded to Taiwan’s university admission processes that would factor in students’ imagination and the ability to innovate.
Back in Malaysia, he said, the country was on a national strategic drive towards a more knowledge-intensive economy. “There is a clear need for traditional and non-traditional businesses to innovate to create significant impact on the gross national income and gross domestic product,” the deputy prime minister said.
He pointed out that in the Global Innovation Index 2014, Malaysia ranked 33 out of 143 countries, which he described as a commendable position.
“I am a firm believer that innovation is crucial to long-term economic growth,” he said, stressing that making innovation-driven growth happen required action on a wide range of policy areas, including education.