MALAYSIA has shown itself to be adept in adopting and applying foreign technologies but, sadly, lags in developing its own, according to Mimos Bhd chief executive officer Tengku Dr Azzman Shariffadeen.
We seem to have the components to innovate research institutions, venture capitals, etc but they are not linked. We need to link these components into an integrated system and create synergy between them, he said at a press interview on Thursday.
That, he added, was one of the main challenges facing Malaysia as it strives towards a knowledge-based economy and increases its competitiveness.
Technology and knowledge are major factors why some countries are moving ahead faster than others. We are moving but we're not moving as fast as our closest competitors, he said.
Citing a few competitiveness surveys by various parties, such as by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the International Institute for Management Development (IMC), Tengku Azzman warned that Malaysia's competitiveness is slipping.
At one end, we have countries like South Korea and Taiwan, which are far ahead of us; and at the other end, the likes of China, Thailand and Vietnam are emerging fast. It's bad to be caught in between, he said.
The challenge was to transform the nation's economy from material or physical production to one that is technology-based. It's not to drop physical processes but to have the knowledge intensity in whatever industry we enter into or is sustaining. And to create new industries that are not dependent on land capacity or labour, he said.
The shortage of knowledge workers has also created a global fight for talents among organisations and countries, he added.
Mimos, whose role is to be the nation's catalyst in IT development, would increase its focus on specific areas, with the goal of stretching the value of technology through application and deployment.
It would intensify and deepen its R&D activities, such as in semiconductor development. It plans to go into the development of analogue chips as they give more value added, Tengku Azzman said.
Because of the shift towards digital, there's a shortage of analogue chips and, therefore, they now fetch a higher price, he said.
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