KUALA LUMPUR: The Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI) has pointed out that policy constraints need to be reviewed or removed to enhance Malaysia’s productivity.
ASLI Centre of Public Policy Studies chairman Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said focus should be given on key areas including national competitive policies and practices, educational quality and standards as well as corruption and fiscal inefficiencies to raise national productivity.
“Our national competitive policies and practices have to be structurally transformed to actively promote high productivity at all levels of our society.
“If we continue with our protective and preferential policies and practices, it will be an unrealistic contradiction of terms, to aim for higher productivity in a poor competitive environment,” he said in a statement.
Navaratman was responding to the Productivity Report 2015/2016 published by the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) and released by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed on June 16.
He also pointed out that educational quality and standards in Malaysia are comparatively low by international bench marking, as the command of English as an international language has been steadily declining.
The country has to take more drastic measures to enhance the low education standards or continue to lose out, he noted.
He also stressed that corruption and fiscal inefficiencies are increasing in government and in the private sector as well, and these negative trends will erode productivity and competitiveness.
“We continue to speak about these weaknesses, but don’t do much about improving the productivity, innovation and competition, except in more form than substance.
“There is too much rhetoric, but much less positive results to show in the form of less corruption and more productivity,” he added.
Navaratnam said a holistic national effort led and driven by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, through the National Productivity Council, needs to be taken, with new policies adopted and strictly followed by the whole Cabinet and all Menteris Besar in the states.
The report said Malaysia’a labour productivity grew by 3.3 per cent to RM74,538 per labour hour last year from RM73,091 in 2014.
Under the 11th Malaysia Plan, the government aims to achieve growth of 3.7 per cent in the next five years. — Bernama/Borneo Post