KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia needs to utilise science, technology and innovation (STI) more effectively in order to be a competitive economy, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Prime Minister said that the country must ensure the proliferation of knowledge-intensive enterprises that leverage on science and technology to take the economy to the next level.
He said that the gap between Malaysia and developed countries is widening and the potential of catching up increasingly challenging.
Dr Mahathir added that countries at a similar development stage as Malaysia are intensively developing innovative technologies.
"These countries compete for the same markets, skilled workforce and FDIs (foreign direct investment)," he said, adding that some have high potential to surpass Malaysia.
Dr Mahathir said this in his speech at the 2018 Conferment of Fellowship of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia and the Announcement of the 2018 Top Research Scientists Malaysia event, organised by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) on Thursday (Nov 1).
Dr Mahathir said STI is crucial for Malaysia if it is to find new sources of economic growth.
He said the country must make sure that businesses which rely on science and technology are able to grow rapidly.
Following the recent launch of the National Policy on Industry 4.0, Dr Mahathir said the third national car project would be a good start to implement some of the strategies recommended.
"Out of 21 Malaysian industries, the automotive industry is classified as a pace-setter due to the level of knowledge and innovation capacity built up over the years since Malaysia first embarked on car manufacturing," Dr Mahathir said.
Dr Mahathir later confererred 29 new Fellows of the Academy.
At the event, Datuk Dr Tengku Mohd Azzman Shariffadeen was appointed Senior Fellow of ASM.
The ASM has 352 Fellows which includes 28 Senior Fellows.
A total of 24 recipients of the Top Research Scientists Malaysia 2018 award were also announced at the event.
Did you find this article insightful?