KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia unveiled a new national economic blueprint on Saturday as the country tackles its longstanding problems of corruption and economic inequality.
“We want to make sure economic opportunities and economic outcomes are distributed fairly to all Malaysians,” said Prime Minister Mahathir Muhamad.
The new plan, Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, is the continuation of a strategy that was launched by the 93-year-old leader 30 years ago.
Mahathir criticized the previous government for “liberalizing the country’s economy too soon,” and “relentlessly pursuing GDP (gross domestic product) and a high-income economy,” resulting in an overreliance on cheap, foreign labor.
“The effects of the economic structure over the past two decades have actually created inequality among the people, whether from income group, ethnicity, region or supply chain,” he said.
Some 40 percent of the country’s GDP is accumulated in the capital city, further widening the urban-rural gap.
To move in tandem with the global market, the vision focuses on growth in the future economy such as the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and the digital economy.
Mahathir expressed hope that with the new vision, Malaysia will become more competitive globally and have equitable growth.
“In this way, we will restore confidence in the market and in investors, and be able to position Malaysia as the new Asian Tiger,” he said.
Mahathir added that the new vision will “eliminate corruption and abuse of power,” and that his Cabinet has been meeting every month to address the issue.