KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said that Malaysia has made progress despite not achieving what was envisioned under Vision 2020 targets, by which Malaysia had aspired to become a developed nation.
Dr Mahathir said that the low cost of living and tax-free shopping destinations, as well as Malaysia’s position as a major tourism destination in the region, are proof of the country’s achievements.
“Next year, 2020, will be ‘Visit Malaysia’ year again. Well, as you know, we had fixed that 2020 should be the year we become a developed country. Unfortunately, we are not able to achieve that, but nevertheless, Malaysia has made tremendous progress, and there are many, many places now in Malaysia that are worth visiting by tourists.
“In fact, Kuala Lumpur itself is a beautiful city, even if I say so myself. But it is true that Kuala Lumpur has got many attractive places. Lots of restaurants from all over the world, all kinds of food, and there are certain shopping complexes that are very attractive which you can find everything that is sold in the world, is also sold here,” he said during press conference, after officiating the World Trade Conference (WTC) 2019, here.
Dr Mahathir said that the cost of living in Malaysia is also lower, making things cheaper than other tax-free destinations.
In June last year, Dr Mahathir said his original aspiration for the country to reach self-sufficient, industrialised nationhood cannot be achieved by 2020.
However, he added that with the right policies, his vision for Malaysia can reach its target by 2025.
“When I stepped down in 2003, I believed we could have achieved Vision 2020 but the succeeding PMs changed the policies and methods we had used to grow the country,” Dr Mahathir had said at the 24th Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia in Tokyo, Japan.
The nonagenarian blamed the delay in implementing his Vision 2020 on “bad policies” adopted by the previous Barisan Nasional government led by Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Najib had introduced the National Transformation 2050 plan which effectively replaced Vision 2020 as the country’s roadmap to first-world nation status, by nurturing the current generation of youths to be the next leaders.