KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad launched the National Policy on Industry 4.0 known as Industry4WRD — a four-pronged strategy to boost Malaysia’s manufacturing sector via higher productivity, contribution, innovation and more high-skilled workers.
The four specific goals announced on Wednesday are:
1. To increase the level of productivity in the manufacturing industry per person from RM106,647 by 30%;
2. To elevate the absolute contribution of the manufacturing sector to the economy from RM254bil to RM392bil.
3. To strengthen the country’s innovation capacity and capability as reflected by the improvement in Global Innovation Index ranking from 35th spot to top 30 and;
4. To increase the number of high-skilled workers in the manufacturing sector from 18% to 35%.
The National Policy on Industry 4.0 known as Industry4WRD was Malaysia’s response to the call for digital transformation of the manufacturing sector and its related services.
“The Industry4WRD is a pivotal step as Malaysia seeks to strengthen its on-going structural reforms to become a developed nation that is equitable, sustainable and inclusive by 2025 or even earlier,” according to a statement issued by MITI.
Speaking at the launch of Industry4WRD at the MITI tower, the Prime Minister said when the government introduced Vision 2020, it had set out the challenges that Malaysia needed to overcome, to reach a developed nation status within its own time frame.
“These challenges calls for Malaysia to be innovative and forward-looking as we seek to build an economy that is competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient, based on the concept of shared prosperity.
“Given the setback that this country had gone through in the last one and a half decades, it is imperative for us to work even harder and strive with even greater tenacity, greater creativity and effectiveness to ensure very rapid and sustainable growth.
“We have lagged behind and in order to catch up, we need to run faster than our competitors. It is like a marathon, while we pace ourselves, we still need to be several steps faster or we will be consistently behind,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said contemporary economies are now dominated by modern service sector activities.
However, the most robust and resilient economies globally retain strong manufacturing sectors.
“We have always maintained that in order to grow our economy, the manufacturing sector, must remain the backbone of our economy, supported by the other sectors such as commodities, services etc.
“While Malaysia has abundant natural resources and has diversified to the services sector, it is the manufacturing sector that has played a key role in turning Malaysia into a major player in the global value chain apart from rapidly turning the country into an industrialised nation.
“In the last five years, the manufacturing sector has been contributing about 23% to the GDP. Further, about 98.5% of Malaysian SMEs are in the manufacturing sector.
“It is the manufacturing sector that allows Malaysia to consistently demonstrate dynamism and resilience to grow, while attracting foreign direct investments,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said Industry4WRD would facilitate companies to embrace 4.0 in a systematic and comprehensive manner, and be smarter and stronger driven by people, process and technology.
“The policy envisions Malaysia as a strategic partners for smart manufacturing, primary destination for hi-tech industries and total solution provider for manufacturing sector and services in the region,” he said.