PUTRAJAYA, April 18 — Technological advancements including the 5G network system has the potential to boost business effectiveness and economic growth — eventually increasing wages for employees, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
He said this is all the more crucial to ensure economic growth covers every citizen instead of a select few.
“Economic growth does not make sense if it does not support inclusivity across all segments of society,” Dr Mahathir said during the launch of the 5G Showcase at the Putrajaya Corporation Complex.
Noting that the global economy is growing six-fold with the average per capita income almost tripling, he said the progress made to improve global living standards is tempered by the fact that global inequality is now at its highest level.
“In Malaysia, studies from the Khazanah Research Institute show that Malaysia’s income gap has doubled in the past two decades.
“These gaps in inequality, if left unchecked, will affect economic and social growth in the long run, and can lead to under-privileged health problems, poor productivity, as well as low education levels,” Dr Mahathir said.
During Budget 2019 last year, Dr Mahathir had said that development will now means “shared prosperity” between all citizens from an increase in purchasing power, and the elimination of a wide income gap between classes and ethnicities.
He added today that 5G will impact every industry vital to Malaysia’s economic growth, and urged business leaders to be more proactive in their approaches lest they lose out on the economic potential of the digital age.
“Industries like manufacturing that has contributed 22 per cent to the GDP in the last five years, remains integral to the national economy.
“Through smart manufacturing or massive machine-type communications, the government hopes that it can attract high value-added, high technology and knowledge-intensive investment in areas such as aerospace, chemicals and chemical products, machinery and equipment, medical devices, and electrical and electronics,” Dr Mahathir said.
The term 5G refers to the next generation of wireless network that promises high data rates, reduced latency, and energy saving, among others.
The showcase in Putrajaya runs starting today for the next three days. Tomorrow’s focus will be on businesses and agencies, with Saturday and Sunday for the public to visit and witness the potential 5G can have on the country.