Speechs in the year
Tarikh/Date 	:	29/04/97 

   1.  Firstly,  I  would  like  to thank the  organisers  of
  this  Congress -- ISIS, ASLI, EPU and ICU -- for  inviting
  me  here  today to officiate the opening of this congress.
  Malaysia's  Vision 2020 is six years old.   It  is  now  a
  reality,  studied by many countries, copied  by  many  who
  also  wish  to move their nations, to unite their  peoples
  behind  a  common  destiny and to solidify  their  efforts
  behind a shared purpose.

  2.   Countries   from   Botswana  to  El   Salvador,  from 
  Colombia   to  Nigeria, from Mauritius  to  Venezuela  have
  decided  on a Vision 2020 of their own.  The Club of  Rome
  wants  a  2020  Vision  for  Europe.   The  countries   of
  Southeast  Asia  want a 2020 Vision for ASEAN.   APEC  has
  adopted a 2020 Vision for the Pacific.  2020, which  as  a
  measure of perfect vision seems to have caught on  and  is
  now  the  definitive  time  for  everyone  to  achieve   a
  development  objective.   As for us  in  Malaysia  Wawasan
  2020  has  definitely galvanised the effort of  the  whole
  nation   and  helped  it  to  achieve  unprecedented   and
  continuous growth.  In the first 6 years we have grown  at
  8.6  percent, higher than the targeted growth of 7 percent
  per  annum  which would result in doubling our  GDP  every

  3.  Our  growth  run  has  not  been without  flaws.   But
  certainly  it  has achieved much of what  we  set  out  to
  achieve.   We have more than full employment.  Wealth  has
  not  just trickled down but has spread and permeated every
  strata  of  our  society so that poverty has  been  almost
  completely  eradicated  and  incomes  increased  for  all.
  Without  having to resort to industrial action wages  have
  risen,   doubled  or  more  in  many  cases.   Even   more
  remarkable  is the low rate of inflation which  has  meant
  better  purchasing  power without increases  in  cost  and
  lowering  of  our competitiveness.  Economically  we  have
  done well indeed, better even than our vision.

  4.  From  the  very  beginning, from the time when  Vision
  2020   was   announced  it  seemed  to  have  caught   the
  imagination  of Malaysians in every walk of life.   It  is
  not  that  it is just a catchy phrase, it seems  that  the
  vision is an objective that is easy to visualise.  We  all
  know  what  a  developed country is like.   When  we  were
  colonised  we had dreamed of being like them - independent
  and  rich.   But  having  achieved  independence,  we  had
  remained   poor   and   continued   to   suffer    certain
  indignities.  Vision 2020 promised not  just  equality  of
  wealth  but also dignity and honour as a nation and  as  a
  people.   And  so we readily embraced the  Vision  and  we
  have put our hearts and soul into its realisation.

  5.  Wawasan  2020  was  what  our people,  deep  in  their
  hearts,  had  always  wanted.   It  articulated  the  best
  aspirations  of our citizens.  It is in harmony  with  the
  best  traditions of our very Malaysian way  of  life.   It
  said  what  needed  to  be said.   It  laid  to  rest  the
  gremlins that lurked within the darkest corridors  of  our
  history. It settled many of the unresolved issues  of  the
  past.   It took from our backs some very heavy baggage  of
  history  which  had greatly hindered us in  the  past.  It
  shifted  the  mind-set of our nation from less  productive
  pastures  to  the making of a more promising  future.   It
  pointed  to  where we needed to go as a nation.   It  made
  perfectly  clear  what  we needed  to  do  in  our  second
  generation as an independent country so that this  present
  generation  of  Malaysians will be the last generation  of
  Malaysians   to   live  in  a  society  that   is   called
  `developing'.   By  2020, we must be  `a  fully  developed

  6.  Vision  2020  makes it perfectly clear B and  we  must
  have it perfectly clear in our minds -- that we must be  a
  "developed  country in our own mould".   Modernisation  is
  not  Westernisation or Japanisation or  Easternisation  or
  Asianisation.   The land that must be fully  developed  by
  2020  must  be uniquely modern, i.e. in keeping  with  the
  progress  that the world has made in every field  by  then
  and yet remain uniquely Malaysian.

  7.  From  the  very  beginning, Vision 2020 also makes  it
  abundantly and explicitly clear that "Malaysia should  not
  be  developed only in the economic sense.  It  must  be  a
  nation  that  is fully developed along all the dimensions:
  "economically,    politically,   socially,    spiritually,
  psychologically and culturally."

  8.  Vision   2020   stresses,  development  "in  terms  of
  national  unity  and  social cohesion,  in  terms  of  our
  economy,  in terms of social justice, political stability,
  system   of  government,  quality  of  life,  social   and
  spiritual values, national pride and confidence."

  9.  Vision  2020  therefore sets out not only an  economic
  agenda,  not  only a social agenda, not only  a  political
  agenda,  not  only  a  psychological agenda,  not  only  a
  science   and   technology  agenda.    It   sets   out   a
  comprehensive, and rounded agenda for the nation.  Let  me
  remind  you once more of the nine strategic objectives  or
  challenges set out by Vision 2020:

*      The first of these is the challenge of establishing  a
  united  Malaysian nation with a sense of common and shared
  destiny.   This  must  be a nation at peace  with  itself,
  territorially   and  ethnically  integrated,   living   in
  harmony  and  full and fair partnership, made  up  of  one
  `Bangsa  Malaysia' with political loyalty  and  dedication
  to the nation.

*        The   second   is  the  challenge  of   creating   a
  psychologically   liberated,   secure,    and    developed
  Malaysian  Society  with faith and confidence  in  itself,
  justifiably  proud  of  what  it  is,  of  what   it   has
  accomplished,  robust  enough  to  face  all   manner   of
  adversity.  This  Malaysian Society must be  distinguished
  by  the  pursuit  of excellence, fully aware  of  all  its
  potentials,  psychologically  subservient  to  none,   and
  respected by the peoples of other nations.

*     The  third  challenge we have always faced is  that  of
  fostering  and  developing  a mature  democratic  society,
  practising   a  form  of  mature,  consensual,  community-
  oriented Malaysian democracy that can be a model for  many
  developing countries.

*       The  fourth is the challenge of establishing a  fully
  moral  and  ethical society, whose citizens are strong  in
  religious  and  spiritual  values  and  imbued  with   the
  highest of ethical standards.

*      The  fifth challenge that we have always faced is  the
  challenge of establishing a matured, liberal and  tolerant
  society in which Malaysians of all colours and creeds  are
  free  to practise and profess their customs, cultures  and
  religious beliefs and yet feeling that they belong to  one

*        The  sixth  is  the  challenge  of  establishing   a
  scientific  and  progressive society, a  society  that  is
  innovative  and forward-looking, one that is  not  only  a
  consumer  of  technology but also a  contributor   to  the
  scientific and technological civilisation of the future.

*        The   seventh   challenge  is   the   challenge   of
  establishing a fully caring society and a caring  culture,
  a  social  system in which society will come before  self,
  in  which  the  welfare  of the people  will  revolve  not
  around  the  state or the individual but around  a  strong
  and resilient family system.

*       The   eighth   is  the  challenge  of   ensuring   an
  economically  just society in which there is  a  fair  and
  equitable  distribution of the wealth of  the  nation,  in
  which  there  is a full partnership in economic  progress.
  Such a society cannot be in place so long as there is  the
  identification  of  race with economic function,  and  the
  identification of economic backwardness with race.

*      The ninth challenge is the challenge of establishing a
  prosperous  society,  with  an  economy  that   is   fully
  competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.

  10.  Six  years  ago, when Vision 2020  was  launched,  we
  gave  the primary emphasis to the economic agenda, to  the
  eighth  and  ninth strategic objectives: to the  challenge
  of  establishing an economically just society, and to  the
  challenge  of  ensuring  Aa prosperous  society,  with  an
  economy  that  is fully competitive, dynamic,  robust  and

  11.  "Most  obviously," Vision 2020 says, "the  priorities
  of   any   moment   in   time  must  meet   the   specific
  circumstances  of  that moment in  time."   In  the  early
  Nineties,  we  had the unique opportunity  to  make  giant
  strides  with regard to our economic agenda.  We  put  our
  heart   and   soul  into  our  economic  agenda.    Having
  succeeded  so well, so fast and so resoundingly,  this  is
  not  the  time to falter, to call a halt.  Now is not  the
  time to stop our massive economic momentum.

  12.  Let me be perfectly clear: the massive commitment  to
  the  pursuit  of our economic agenda of the past  must  be
  sustained  into the future. Indeed, we must  proceed  with
  even  greater tenacity, even greater creativity, and  even
  greater effectiveness.

  13.  We  must  proceed  with even greater  tenacity,  with
  even     greater    creativity,    with    even    greater

        *  to eradicate absolute poverty absolutely;
        *  to  ensure a fair and equitable distribution of
           the wealth of the nation;
        *  to ensure full partnership in economic progress;
        *  to ensure a society where there no longer will be
           identification of race with economic function; and
        *  the  identification  of economic  backwardness 
           with race.

  14.  The New Economic Policy is no more.  But we must  not
  neglect  the  challenge of economic social justice  today.
  And  we  must  not neglect the demands of economic  social
  justice in the days to come.  Those who are backward  must
  be  helped.   No-one  must be left behind.   We  must  all
  advance together.  We must all reap the benefits of  rapid
  growth  and  advancing modernity.  If we ever  forget  the
  eighth   objective  of  Vision  2020,  our  struggle   for
  economic  social justice, we do so at our own  peril.  Let
  me  repeat:  if we ever forget our struggle  for  economic
  social justice, we do so at our own peril.

  15.  We  must  also  proceed with even  greater  tenacity,
  with   even   greater   creativity,  with   even   greater

  *     to  ensure  very rapid and sustainable  growth;
  *     to   guarantee  an  economy  that  is   fully
        competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient  B  fast
        on its feet and able to outperform our rivals.

  16.  Starting from the early eighties, we re-invented  the
  Malaysian  economy.  Let us not forget that  not  so  long
  ago  we depended on rubber and tin, and then on rubber and
  palm oil.  Where would we be today if we still relied  for
  our  livelihood  on rubber and tin or on rubber  and  palm
  oil  or  on  natural  resources alone including  petroleum
  which  together make up only 16.9 percent of total  export

  17.  We  had no choice.  Over the last fifteen  years,  we
  have  had  to reform and re-make our economy in  the  most
  fundamental of ways.

  18.  We  introduced `Look East', privatisation, productive
  deregulation.  We made the private sector, not the  public
  sector, the primary engine of growth.  We accelerated  our
  industrialisation  drive.  We worked hard  to  expand  our
  medium  and  small scale industries.  We turned forcefully
  to  export-led growth, thus relying on the whole world  as
  our  marketplace.  We opened and liberalised our  economy.
  We  pushed  hard  for foreign investment,  whilst  pushing
  even  harder for domestic investment.  We emphasised human
  resource development. Let me remind everyone once and  for
  all  that  Vision 2020 states unequivocally:  "nothing  is
  more  important  than  the development of human  resources
  ... Our people is our ultimate resource."

  19.   We   understood  that  infrastructure  had   to   be
  developed and fortified, that entrepreneurship had  to  be
  enriched  and  strengthened.   We  held  firmly   to   the
  tightest  control on inflation.  We even talked  seriously
  of  zero  inflation  and  we are still  pursuing  it.   If
  inflation can be reduced, surely it can be prevented  from
  growing  altogether.  We need to believe in zero inflation
  and  that we can work towards it.  We cannot work  towards
  something  that  we  don't  believe  is  achievable.    We
  ensured  a  proper and stable exchange  rate.   We  worked
  hard  on industrial technology development.  We understood
  the  necessity  for modernisation of the agricultural  and
  services  sector.   We stressed the need  to  develop  the
  rural  areas, to ensure sustainable development.  We knew,
  or  we  should  know, that we must become an  information-
  rich  society.  We realised that we had to have an  active
  diplomatic  agenda  to back our vigorous  economic  drive.
  And  so we travelled far and wide in search of friends and
  markets.    And   we   pressed  the  need   for   Malaysia
  Incorporated,  of cooperation between the  Government  and
  the  private  sector, and now the unions as well,  in  the
  task of developing the nation for the people.

  20.  These  were  key  elements of the  `Winning  Formula'
  which  B despite all the difficulties, faults and failures
  --  has  helped to bring us to where we are today.   These
  reforms  have basically proven their worth.  They must  be
  sustained.  And they have to be augmented.  Many have  not
  gone  far enough.  Many have yet to  bear fruit.  And many
  new  strategies  and  ideas have  yet  to  be  discovered,
  developed and pursued.

  21.  Let  us  also be clear that a nation  that  does  not
  constantly reform itself and be willing to try  new  ideas
  and  strategies; an economy that is unable to quickly  re-
  invent  itself and then to quickly re-invent itself again,
  will  soon be left behind in today's fast-moving world,  a
  world   buffeted  by  new  ideas  and  concepts  such   as
  globalisation,   borderless   economies,   disregard   for
  sovereignty of nations and unlimited as well as  confusing

  22.  Our  national market is not continental in size.   It
  certainly  is  not big enough to enable us to  grow  at  a
  pace  to  catch up with the developed world.  We need  the
  world market but we have to pay a price to gain access  to
  it.  We  have to stop protecting our market.  We  have  to
  open it up in order to gain reciprocal access.  If we  are
  not  going  to be overwhelmed by the economic giants  from
  outside,  we  have  to learn to be very competitive.   Our
  corporations will also have to grow big and to think big.

  23.  I  would  like  to  elaborate here  our  strategy  to
  remain  competitive.  It is really quite simple.  We  want
  to  keep our cost low without sacrificing the standard  of
  living  of  our people, which must rise as we grow.   That
  way we will remain competitive.

  24.  The first essential is to contain inflation.   A  lot
  of  things have to be done to contain inflation.  We  have
  to  continue controlling  the prices of essential   goods.
  We  oversee  pricing generally in order that the so-called
  unavoidable  increases are truly unavoidable and  kept  to
  the minimum.

  25.  But  the  next important thing is to  increase  wages
  only   on  the  basis  of  an  increase  in  productivity.
  Whether  the  productivity is due to  the  effort  of  the
  employees   or  to  the  improvement  in  the  method   of
  production  or  increases  in  capital,  the  workers  are
  entitled  to  an increase in wages commensurate  with  the
  true  cost  of  the increase in productivity.   Of  course
  others too are entitled to any increase in returns due  to
  higher  productivity  whether due to  workers  efforts  or
  management or capital injection.

  26.  If  costs  are allowed to go up without  commensurate
  productivity, then we will lose competitiveness and  there
  will  be  inflation.  When there is inflation any increase
  in  income,  whether  of employees or  investors,  becomes
  meaningless,  as the purchasing power of  the  new  income
  would not increase.  Indeed it may even buy less than  the
  old  income.   This has happened in many  countries  where
  people earn more but could afford less.

  27.  This  simple fact must be understood by  everyone  if
  we  are  to  remain competitive, to ensure  higher  living
  standards   for   everyone,  and  to  develop   and   grow
  economically.   In many developed countries  incomes  have
  been   allowed   to  increase  without  an   increase   in
  productivity,  resulting  in widespread  unemployment  and
  regression  of  the economy.  Fortunately for  them,  they
  have  assets  such  as a rich domestic market,  technology
  and  access to huge capital and skilled manpower.   We  do
  not  have  any  of  these.  If we adopt  their  profligate
  ways,  we  will regress economically.  In other words  our
  workers,  executives and investors will all become  poorer
  and  poorer.   I am sorry to be belabouring this  but  far
  too  many  people  are fond of having more  money  without
  thinking of what the money can buy.

  28.  If  the  Government seems to  be  unduly  strict  and
  unwilling  to  accede to various demands made  by  various
  quarters,  it  is  because  we  want  to  serve  the  best
  interest of the people and the nation.  We do not want  to
  have  a  fling only to pay for it with prolonged  poverty.
  In  order  to  progress towards Vision  2020  we  have  to
  manage the economy for steady and continuous growth.

  29.  We  must  grow at 7 percent per annum  for  30  years
  1990  - 2020.  To achieve this average we must go for high
  growth  in the early years.  As the economy matures growth
  will slow down.  But even if the growth slows down in  the
  last  ten  years, the average of 7 percent would still  be

  30.  This  is  our  strategy and the  whole  nation,  from
  workers to top executives and the so-called tycoons,  must
  understand  the  national strategy.   The  Government  can
  only  plan  and  guide.  It is the  people  who  make  the
  economy perform.  And we must perform and perform well  if
  we want Vision 2020 to become a reality.

  31.  Twenty  years  ago, we were still highly  reliant  on
  agriculture and on mining.  We set our hearts on  becoming
  an  industrialised country.  Today, we  are  high  on  the
  rungs  of  the world's industrialised economies.  Industry
  accounts  for  44 percent of our total GDP.   Manufactured
  products  account for more than 80 percent  of  our  total
  exports.   More  than  34  percent  of  our  workforce  is
  employed in the industrial sector.

  32.  For  several  years now we have  been  achieving  the
  highest growth rate for exports.  Since 80 percent of  our
  exports  is  made up of manufactured goods and  each  year
  the   manufactured  goods  portion  of  the   export   had
  increased, it follows that it is the manufacturing  sector
  which  contributes most to our export earnings.   We  have
  indeed  become an industrialised nation.  While we  should
  be  happy  with this performance, we should look seriously
  at  other sectors.  For example why is our services sector
  not contributing enough to our GDP growth?

  33.   We   should  of  course  continue  to   expand   our
  manufacturing  capability  by improving  productivity  per
  capita.  This we can do through automation, use of  robots
  etc.   But  we  must maximise our export earnings  through
  maximising  the use of our ports, shipping and  insurance.
  The   Government  has  readied  the  infrastructure.    It
  remains  for  the  importers and exporters  to  use  these
  facilities.  A few more percentage points can be added  to
  our economic growth through this.

  34.  We  can congratulate ourselves for the progress  that
  we  have made.  But we cannot lie back and let the economy
  take   its  course.   To  continue  growing  we  must   be
  constantly vigilant and alert to the changes taking  place
  around  us.   We  are now moving into the  post-industrial
  age.   We are in fact shifting from the Industrial society
  into  a  borderless Information age, a globalised  economy
  where  borders can no longer protect us from the predatory
  economies of the world.

  35.  We are going to lose some and win some.  But we  must
  try  to win more than we lose.  It is for this reason that
  we  decided  to make a bold move into the Information  Age
  by  launching  the Multimedia Super Corridor.   The  whole
  approach  is  radical.   If  we  have  to  take  down  our
  national   boundaries  anyhow,  we  might  as   well   get
  something  from  what will be coming  in.   The  MSC  will
  function  under  a different set of rules  and  laws.   We
  will  make  mistakes. But by confining the  changes  to  a
  specific  area  we will be able to limit  the  damage  and
  select what we can accept for the rest of the country.

  36.  At  no  moment in time should we forget the political
  agenda  set out in Vision 2020: a united Malaysian  nation
  and  a  developed and mature democratic society.   Massive
  and  rapid growth is a wonderful buffer.  Like a river  in
  flood,  it  hides  the rocks on the river  bed.   We  must
  never  be complacent for a united nation is the foundation
  on  which  the  Malaysian  house  is  built.   If  we  are
  disunited  and at odds with each other, all that  we  have
  done will come to nought.

  37.  We  must  be  mindful  of  the  fact  that  democracy
  flourishes  best when it is founded upon healthy  economic
  growth  and social progress.  Just as clearly,  without  a
  productive   Malaysian  democracy  we  will   be   greatly

  38.  For  more  than  400 years after 1511,  we  were  not
  masters  of  our  own fate, believers in our  capacity  to
  excel.  We have in recent years shown to others, and  more
  importantly, to ourselves that `Malaysia Boleh'.  We  must
  always  be  humble.   Humility and reality  tells  us  our
  journey is far from completed.

  39.  At  no moment in time should we take for granted  the
  need  to  progress  with the task of  creating  a  matured
  liberal and tolerant society which not only tolerates  but
  can also appreciate and celebrate the ways of others.

  40.  As  I  have stressed, we must proceed and not  falter
  over  our  economic  agenda.  The  race  to  our  economic
  future  has  only  just  begun in earnest.   We  must  act
  forcefully  to capture that future.  We cannot afford  not
  to seize the moment.

  41.  But  at this particular `moment in time',  I  believe
  that  we must resolve to also take giant steps forward  on
  our social agenda.

  42.  In  particular, I believe that two  social  strategic
  objectives  require  our urgent, intensive  and  extensive
  attention.   It  is time to move vigorously  forward  with
  regard  to  ensuring >a fully moral and  ethical  society,
  whose  citizens  are  strong in  religious  and  spiritual
  values  and imbued with the highest of ethical standards=.
  And  I  believe that it is time to move forcefully forward
  with  regard  to  ensuring a fully caring  society  and  a
  caring  culture  founded on a strong and resilient  family

  43.   Of  course  we  must  always  be  on  guard  against
  corruption.  Today, as ever, we should take not  an  ounce
  of  comfort  from  surveys which show  that  by  so-called
  `Asian'  standards  or  developing  country  standards  or
  `world'  standards we are not too badly off;  or  that  we
  are   said  to  be  no  more  corrupt  than  quite  a  few
  `developed'  countries.  Thank God corruption in  Malaysia
  is not, as it is in most countries, a way of life.

  44.  But  at  this particular `moment in time' what  seems
  particularly  pressing is the need to ensure  the  correct
  balance  between  material and spiritual development.   We
  must  make  sure that we do not fall into  the  dark  hole
  that  many  countries  which are called  "developed"  have
  fallen  into.   We  do not want to be a wasteful  consumer
  society where unbridled materialism runs riot.

  45.  Urbanisation has brought with it drastic  changes  in
  the  way of life of many Malaysians.  They are not all bad
  but  invariably  there is a weakening of family  ties  and
  restraints.   We  see  an  increase  in  drug   addiction,
  crimes,  promiscuity and high divorce rates, broken  homes
  and abandoned babies.

  46.  Developed  nations  tend  to  consider  these  social
  breakdowns  as  inevitable and to  accept  them.   But  we
  cannot.  We have to try to retain our values and to  fight
  these  social evils.  Even if we do not succeed completely
  we  should try to reduce the incidence.  We must emphasise
  the   need   for  religion  and  good  spiritual   values.
  Malaysians  must cling to good moral and ethical  systems.
  Otherwise we will lose our sense of direction and with  it
  we will not achieve or vision.

  47.  We  must not politicise.  We must not ethnicise.   We
  must  not finger point.  Generational outrage is  not  the
  answer.   Generational prejudice will not point  the  way.
  The  old must not denounce the young.  The young must  not
  blame the old.

  48.  We  must  find  solutions, not scapegoats.   We  must
  ensure   progress  not  the  grandeur  of   dreams.    Our
  responses must be bold but balanced.  We must be  resolute
  but  rational.  There is need for a great deal of sympathy
  and  even more empathy.  We must be pragmatic and do  what
  works. Truth must be deduced from facts.  And we must  act
  on the basis of fact, not fiction.

  49.   Six   years  ago,  we  adopted  our  Vision.     The
  destination  is  well set.  Our mission  is   clear.   The
  consensus  is  wide.   The unity of the  Malaysian  people
  behind   Vision   2020   is  profound   and   historically

  50.  Today  we  meet  not to revise this  Vision,  not  to
  unravel what is so close to the hearts of our people,  but
  to   discuss  how  we  can  progress  as  quickly  and  as
  productively as possible to the targets set for 2020.   To
  reach 2020, if possible, before 2020.

  51.  I  hope  that you will come up with a  long  list  of
  ideas  B  that can help to shed greater light on the steps
  that must be taken.

  52.  I  wish  you  a  fruitful and productive  debate  and