What The Private Sector Must Contribute
I have outlined what I think are the key economic policies that should be in place to accelerate our drive towards prosperity and a competitive economy. Let me now stress the role that the private sector must play.
This nation cannot rely on the private sector as the primary engine of growth if our private sector is inefficient and lethargic. You must be strong and dynamic, robust and self-reliant, competent and honest.
Malaysia cannot deregulate if bankers eventually behave like banksters, if the freedom afforded to enterprise becomes merely licence to exploit without any sense of social responsibility. Our companies must have a high sense of corporate duty. Our struggle to ensure social justice – to uplift the position and competitiveness of the Bumiputeras and to achieve the other social objectives – must be your struggle too.
Privatisation must not proceed if its objectives are defeated by those who think only of personal profit without social responsibility. The Accelerated Industrialisation Drive and the attempt to rapidly develop our small and medium scale industries must be driven by the enterprise of our entrepreneurs. They must be prepared to think longer term, to venture forth into the competitive world markets. The attraction of foreign investment should not be the responsibility of the Government alone. The private sector too must engage the foreign investor in mutually beneficial partnership and joint ventures for this will help him to integrate more fully into the Malaysian economy. And the responsibility of domestic investors must be greater than that of their foreign counter – parts because Malaysia is our country, not theirs. We can ask ourselves to make a sacrifice for our country but we cannot expect foreigners to do it for us.
In the development of our human resources, our private sector has the most important of roles to play. Train your own manpower. Equip them for their changing tasks. Look after their interests. Upgrade their skills. Manage them well. And reward them for their contribution.
There is obviously a lot for everyone to do. Unfortunately there is no simple one shot formula for developing a nation. Many, many things must be done by many, many people. And they must be done as correctly as possible. We must be prepared to be self-critical and to be willing to make corrections. But God Willing we can succeed.