60 years: Malaysia will roar again as Asian Tiger
12 Sep 2023
Even though the global economic and regional geopolitics are still shrouded by uncertainty, Malaysia is seen to be able to strengthen its position as the ‘Star of the East’ that shines brightly with rapid and extraordinary development.
Since the formation of Malaysia in 1963, various developments, especially in economic, social, political, cultural, science, technology, digital, environmental and modern infrastructure have been achieved.
With a target to be in the top 12 in the Global Competitiveness Index in 2033, Malaysia, which turns 60 on Sept 16, will roar again as an Asian Tiger with the development of a new dimension, especially under administration of the Unity Government.
Universiti Malaysia Terengganu Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Development deputy dean (Talent and Research) Assoc Prof Dr Nazli Aziz said throughout these 60 years, Malaysia has transitioned from an agro-based to an industrial and service-based country following its economic openness in the global level.
“Openness in the trade and investment sector is instrumental to the development of the country which creates job opportunities and growth of the Malaysian economy. About 40 per cent of jobs in the country are closely related to export activities,” he told Bernama when contacted.
In the context of the existence of Sabah and Sarawak which form the Federation of Malaysia, Nazli said the main impact was the expansion of the country’s land, water and air territory which enables Malaysia to increase the diversity of its economic activities such as the fisheries, shipping, mining, tourism and other sectors based on the blue economy.
From the social development point of view, he explained that the unification of Sabah and Sarawak proved that peace could be achieved in a country that has various races and religions.
He also believed that the development of an effective and efficient infrastructure and public transport network was one of the parameters of a country’s rapid progress.
“In the regional context, Malaysia is more advanced and organised compared to other ASEAN member countries, except for Singapore, if measured by the country’s ability to provide infrastructure and public transport facilities to the people,” he said.
Meanwhile, Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia Prof Datuk Dr Jayum Jawan said Malaysia, in general, had experienced changes in various aspects covering the economy, socio-culture and politics during the 60 years of its establishment.
He said the change and development was driven by the wealth of our natural resources such as logs as well as oil and gas.
The Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Political Science professor also believes that the Unity Government is concerned about bridging the gap between Borneo and the peninsula with several efforts already underway as a basis for boosting the development of Sabah and Sarawak.
“Sarawak has been given the second highest position, which is the position of DPM (Deputy Prime Minister). DPM from Sarawak has been given a mandate to study and help the Unity Government to restore Sabah and Sarawak’s position to their rightful status, in line with the Malaysia Agreement 1963,” he added.