Monday, October 01, 2007

Budget 2008: Knowledge Economy

Knowledge economy is a big subject. My Oriental Daily column is limited to 700 characters. Hence I tackled the subject in my article last week from the type of investment the country appears to be attracting.

For the past 10 years, the Government has proclaimed that Malaysia needs to be come a knowledge economy. However, besides the "statement of intent" made in the Budget 2008, no particular policy raised appears to leads towards a knowledge economy, particularly from the foreign investment perspective.

As a developing country, we are dependent on technological investments from developed countries to catalyse and expedite our progression towards a knowledge economy. In the 1980s, it was investments from Intel, Motorola, Dell, Western Digital, Sharp and their likes that propelled us to become a manufacturing force to be reckoned with. However, in recent years, we have not seen much of such investments coming into Malaysia.

Instead we are getting investments from the oil-rich countries. These investments are certainly welcome. However, at some point in time, after the "boom" created via investments in the property and construction sector reaches the next phase, where will the factories and businesses that will "occupy" these properties come from? Without attracting the knowledge-based investments which will bring not just a construction boom, but also employment, skills and technological know-how, as well as the creation of entirely new secondary supporting industries, how can we "move on" to become a knowledge-based economy and set ourselves apart from the likes of Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and China?

These were some of the questions I raised my article "知识经济开空头支票" or "Empty Promises on the Knowledge Economy" last week.





马来西亚曾吸引全球著名的科技巨贾,包括英特尔(Intel) 、摩托罗拉(Motorola)、戴尔(Dell)到我国研发及生产最新的科技。这类外来投资不只





Anonymous said...

The great swing of the USA to control the world economy is greatly influenced by 'knowledge economy' such as the achievement of Microsoft in dominating the computer technology
and pharmaceutical production by pharmaceutical megacompanies.

This is achieved by the country that believe and support such knowledge economy activities. They have the brains and resources which have been proven historically to explain their success.

Japan is aother country which have manpower with brains to innovate to make Japan what it is today.

Knowledge based economy can only thrived where the best brains are encouraged to develop and these brains are rewarded for the ideas developed. The best brains do not come just like that. It is developed by providing the positive environment where its growth is encouraged such as providing a very good or excellent education and high quality infra structures. These activities require investments in terms of time and capital and where the spirit of competition and meritocracy is encouraged.

I fear this is not the case in our country which is abound with mediocrity and politics which will stifle the development of knowledge economy. From the seventies there were no real technology transfers, no real genuine concern to develop knowledge based. There were really no succesful knowledge transfers though it might seem on the ' memorandum of understanding' such knowledge transfers were executed.

Our nation as a whole is more a provider of ' lip services; rather than the execution or implementation. We believe in short cuts and borrowing some other countries technologies and claiming it as our own. When in reality we are just no more than the extended arm of their distribution network for them to dump their goods here. So what? They dont mind we ' claiming' their technology as 'ours' They know very well their technology has never really lefy their country. They are merely allowing us to use 'local names' for their brands. They must be laughing their way to the bank.

We made such a big hype sending our cosmonouts who in their eyes are just paying passengers to help pay or put money into their coffers. Do we really designed or built our rockets? Nope!! Do we design and built Boeings and Airbus? Nope! Yet the lowest morality we can do is use their technology, pay for them and we croon here and there as if we design and build those technologies. Just pay more millions so that they will allow us to stick our Malaysia logo on the outside walls of the rockets!

How long will this ridiculous trends continue? Only God knows.....Only those in the politics knows

Anonymous said...

I think even you underestimate the problem severely in knowledge economy.

The problem is not that we are not attracting investments in knowledge economy but its few and also mediocre kind.

What does that mean? It means that a small group of elite bumiputras will be able to take advantage of it while things still remain the same for the average. What that means is our biggest elephant in the room, the NEP, not only does not take us further but the fact, makes things worst with increasing gap between UMNOputras and others.

Lets take the latest example, the WPI, it will attract a few knowledge jobs but in large part the biggest beneficiaries are the contractors and highway etc. Whatever significant knowledge based business will be taken up UMNOputras/non-bumis putting a bigger gap between the poor bumis and the rest of the country.