Thursday, September 2, 2010

Clear path to prosperity

GRANDEUR: The Head of State inspects the guard of honour during the state-level 53rd Merdeka celebration.

Taib says if people disciplined and focused, S’wak can be richest state by 2030

MIRI: Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said Sarawak can be the richest state in the country by year 2030 provided it holds true to national discipline and is focused to move towards a prosperous and vibrant future.

He said with the two elements — national discipline and focus — in place the target was achievable as the groundwork for the path towards a high income economy had been laid.

“We can achieve Vision 2020 quite comfortably, and we can be the richest state in Malaysia if we can keep the stability of the country and unity among the people who are focused on building our future and train ourselves to be equal with the Americans or Europeans,” Taib said.

He was speaking during the state-level 53rd Merdeka celebration which was also attended by Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Mohd Salahuddin and wife Toh Puan Norkiah at Miri Indoor Stadium yesterday.

With the private sector as the instrumental engine of the quantum leap in economic growth, the government’s role would be confined to a regulatory one, which is initiating and marshalling the brains and talent needed for such a landscape, he said.

“The government’s role must not be too big or it will be a slow government in a market-driven economy, and excessive politicking is out of date in meeting the aspirations for the future,” he said.

“This calls for a transformation of the machinery and the people – from captain of industries to factory workers – must focus on what they could do, and not on what the government can do for a prosperous future,” he said.

Taib pointed out that the transformation of the economic powerhouses like Japan, South Korea and China could be emulated by Sarawak.

He said all these nations were known for their unity and national discipline.

He pointed out that Sarawak needed these factors in place to progress into a high income economy bracket, and the state government had rolled out the road map that is drawing investors from around the world.

“We have attracted RM30 billion worth of investments last year alone, and this is unprecedented in our history.

Every month, I talk to potential investors interested in aluminium, manganese, polysilicon, paper and pulp industries,” he said.

He said these countries in the East were focused and they worked hard to achieve their goals, while South Korea had proven to be even better than Japan, which pioneered the industrial drive.

“Last month, China overtook Japan as the world’s second biggest economic power as it becomes the manufacturing house of the world producing cheaper goods,” he pointed out.

According to the chief minister, the scenario in intellectual property has changed drastically, with South Korea having the most patents registered in the US last year, overtaking the host country and Japan.

He said to upgrade its train communication sector in the next two decades, the US went knocking on China’s door for German-bred high speed train technology by Siemens.

He said Sarawak was well aware of all this and had plans to rub shoulders with developed nations in the economic development blueprint, particularly through education and training of her people to fill up the skilled jobs in SCORE and throughout the state.

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