Unlocking Malaysia’s economic future

THE global Covid-19 spread represents one of the biggest threats to the world economy since the 2008 financial crisis.

According to The Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER), the country’s real GDP may decrease by as much as 6.9%, relative to the 2020 baseline, said Dr Tan Consilz, an economist with the UOW Malaysia KDU School of Business.

“It is likely that this will be a challenging period for the sustainability of manufacturing.

“Despite the manufacturing sector continuing to run production, their future sustainability is at stake as orders have started to decline.”

Over the past few decades, UOW Malaysia KDU University College said in a press release, Malaysia has been focusing on diversifying her economy by attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs) to transform the manufacturing sector from assembling imported components to designing and producing original products for export.

Reinforcing this need for transformation, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, UOW Malaysia KDU School of Engineering, Computing & Built Environment head, Dr Yeap Gik Hong said to future-proof careers, there are a few “must-have” skills that graduates need to acquire.

These are; the ability to solve complex problems, and to think critically, creatively and innovatively.

He noted that these are attributes sorely lacking among Malaysian graduates.

To nurture problem solving and innovative thinking at UOW Malaysia KDU, selected engineering programmes have adopted a method called TRIZ, or Theory of Inventive Problem Solving.

This Russian methodology which addresses problem solving in a systematic and innovative manner, is recognised by many leading global corporations as one of the most powerful methods for driving innovation, Dr Yeap said.

The pandemic, said Malaysia TRIZ Innovation Association (MyTRIZ) vice-president Tan Eng Hoo, has forced all companies to go back to the drawing board as whatever planning done previously are no longer relevant.

One of the key steps in problem-solving is to identify available resources from within or outside the business.

The ability to leverage these resources to solve problems, is key to rejuvenating the business, he said.

“The problem-solving skills embedded within TRIZ are exactly what businesses need right now to navigate through this period.”

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