Speech at International Conference on IR 4.0

KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY YAB TUN DR MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD
PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA

AT THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON INDUSTRY 4.0: A GLOBAL REVOLUTION TOWARDS BUSINESS, TECHNOLOGY AND PRODUCTIVITY (MYINDUSTRIES 2019)

ON 14 OCTOBER 2019 (MONDAY), AT 3.00 PM
AT SEGI UNIVERSITY KOTA DAMANSARA

INTRODUCTION
1. It is indeed a pleasure to be invited to address and launch the International Conference on Industry 4.0: A Global Revolution in Business, Technology and Productivity or MYINDUSTRIES 2019.

2. Congratulations to SEGi University and its partners for organising this International Conference which I am sure will be meaningful and fruitful given the presence of eminent leaders from the industries, business associations and government agencies. Apart from that, the presence of international delegates will further benefit us as their inputs can be crucial in our efforts to put together strategies and policies in determining the direction of our businesses and industries as we embrace digitalisation, advanced and smart technologies.

INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION 4.0 AND THE GLOBAL MARKET
3. New technologies can be disruptive and will change the way we have been doing things, meaning we may sink if we do not change as well. On the other hand, they offer new, exciting challenges as well as immeasurable opportunities if we are capable of embracing them.

4. To be able to apply these new technologies and benefit from them, we have to prepare ourselves with a clear vision and strategy.

5. Given the accelerated speed these new technologies evolve we have no choice but to be aggressive in adopting Industrial Revolution 4.0. Our National Policy on Industry 4.0 or Industry4WRD launched a year ago, is Malaysia’s response to Industry 4.0 and beyond.

6. With the policy in place, we aim at driving Malaysia towards becoming the Industry 4.0 hub in South East Asia – an opportunity for us to regain our status as an Asian Tiger.

7. Digital transformation is expected to accelerate a sustainable future for Malaysia as the GDP per capita is also expected to rise, a result of increased productivity and employment opportunities due to Industry 4.0. Our Industry4WRD policy aims at increasing productivity in the manufacturing sector per person in Malaysia by 30% from RM106,647. This would elevate the absolute contribution of the manufacturing sector to our economy by 54% from RM254bil to RM392bil.

8. Industry 4.0 will transform the labour market into a skill-centric work environment with respect to the consolidation of Operation Technology and Information Technology (IT), data analytics, process understanding, and the ability to work with disruptive technologies.

9. Technologies such as the Internet of Things, Advanced Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Additive Manufacturing are contributing factors to generate an increase in net productivity. Hence, to make the adoption of Industry 4.0 a success, a sustainable approach has to be taken to ensure continuous growth of the economy.

10. These transformations will not take effect unless we take the first step and our strategy has to be right. We need to take the Industry 4.0 transformation seriously. That way we can remain competitive and relevant in the international equation.

MAKING GOOD USE OF EXISTING SYSTEM
11. We have 40 years of experience in the manufacturing sector. We have a good business ecosystem, supply chain, access to the global market and a talented multi-racial and multi-cultural community. We need to identify our strengths and value propositions and start capitalising on them. We have a good opportunity to progress further as we have matured businesses in all segments of industries to lead this transformation.

12. A single directed approach is needed to rejuvenate Industry 4.0. We have the Industry4WRD National Policy but a policy will produce nothing if we have no determined approach to make it a success.

13. For Malaysian businesses to remain competitive, they need to change their business strategy. We are sometimes too operational oriented to deliver results. Often, we are too conservative to take business diversifications and product development.

14. This kind of business mentality and culture has to change. Malaysian businesses need to start seriously investing much more in Research and Development (R&D) so as to increase and upgrade their products and service development, business processes and integrated technologies. We need to change our strategy from being technology traders and users to becoming technology creators.

EDUCATION SYSTEM IN MALAYSIA
15. Our universities have to start focusing on developing their R&D capabilities in solving real industry problems and case studies of increased productivity and Return on Investment (ROI). This provides a strong value proposition for the Industries.

16. There must be more research done on transforming the SMEs towards technology driven businesses. We need more customised technologies to suit the Malaysian industries and Industry 4.0 could be a new beginning for local technology developers and researchers. Of course, the Government is more than willing to listen, understand and assist the private sectors in establishing the right ecosystem for this purpose.

17. We also need to look into our education system. There is a need to transform our human capital, both the existing workforce and students, with new skills, innovative thinking and multi-disciplinary knowledge.

18. It is equally important for private firms to invest in re-skilling and up-skilling of their employees, and new entrants into the labour workforce. This is to sharpen the skillset of the workers so that they are in tandem with the new operating landscape. This will be consistent with the Industry Forward policy’s target aimed at increasing the number of high-skilled workers in the industry from 18% to 35%, by the year 2020.

19. The Malaysian education system is currently being aligned to the economic needs of the nation. The focus on the teaching of industrial skills ought to be skewed towards innovative knowledge. Graduates from the tertiary educational institutions should be able to meet the demands of the employment market.

20. The Industry4WRD policy is expected to position Malaysia as a strategic partner for smart manufacturing, a primary hub for high-tech industries, as well as a total-solution provider for the manufacturing sector in Asia Pacific by the year 2025.

21. I am happy to note that the Organisers have structured the Conference to be more of a solution providing platform to enable industries and professionals to exchange ideas on challenges, success stories and Industry 4.0 implementation strategies.

22. The post-Conference strategies is equally, if not more important, to ensure this does not end merely as a three-day event. The information gathered through the Conference needs to be analysed, studied and a feedback system needs to be established between all stakeholders for appropriate continuity and progress towards Industry 4.0.

CONCLUSION
23. I would like to express my appreciation to SEGi University and all parties who have provided their valuable inputs and support towards organising this conference. I look forward to all stakeholders to work together in order for us to be able to embrace and keep up with the rapid pace of these technological advancements.

24. On that note, it is with great pleasure I officially launch the International Conference on Industry 4.0: A Global Revolution towards Business, Technology and Productivity or MYINDUSTRIES 2019.

Thank you.

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