Dr M: Emulate South Korea to develop Malaysian export industry

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad listens to South Korean President Moon Jae-in during their summit at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul November 28, 2019. — Reuters pic
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad listens to South Korean President Moon Jae-in during their summit at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul November 28, 2019. — Reuters pic

SEOUL, Nov 28 — Malaysia should emulate South Korea in applying global thinking to further develop the export industry, and not merely depend on the domestic market, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He also urged the local market players to give attention to the manufacturing of goods that had high export value, thus yielding high returns and local companies would no longer depend on the support from the government like before.

“South Korea has a different strategy. We merely focused on the domestic market. On the other hand, they had from the very start focused on the world market. We should actually be making goods that could be exported,” he told the Malaysian media before concluding his visit to South Korea, here today.

Mahathir cited how the South Korean vehicle export industry started with only one brand, Hyundai and expressed confidence that Proton too could achieve similar success.

He added that South Korea had started with the construction industry to the extent that it had reached the desert, besides taking part in Malaysia’s development through the construction of the Penang Bridge and the KLCC Twin Towers.

They were daring. Although they were previously known as the hermit kingdom, now they could do whatever the west could, he said.

The prime minister said that there was only one company in Malaysia that could be considered as successful, namely, Petronas, and that was because of the natural wealth of the country.

He added that a business must be carried out with sincerity, and would not succeed when there were too many political intervention.

When asked on the rumour of a Cabinet reshuffle, Dr Mahathir pointed out that he had to be careful “because the changes made doesn't mean that you change for the better, it can be worse”.

“Can you guarantee it (Cabinet reshuffle) will work well? All are new people, give them a chance first before they are truly proven useless,” he said.

Dr Mahathir, who was previously the fourth prime minister, said he had made Cabinet reshuffles in the past, but the result was really not that good.

“That is why I am cautious on making any reshuffle,” he pointed out.

Commenting on a news portal report that alleged almost 10 senior officers of the ministry were suspected to have leaked government information. The prime minister said he realised that the conflict could have been caused by certain matters.

Nevertheless, any problem that arose could be resolved together.

“This thing is an adjustment. The PH was previously the opposition and the previous government had taught that the opposition should be hated, but now the opposition had suddenly become the government, so there must be some adjustment made.

“Sometimes, it also happens that the old officers have made it a habit to support the BN. So, there is a slight difficulty. Conflicts are certainly there. Other countries, they just throw out the old government. We throw out those involved in corruption,” he added.

The portal also said that there were several ministers who asked that the Secretaries-General and senior officers be transferred out of the ministries concerned.

The prime minister advised the cabinet ministers concerned against creating problems with their respective secretaries-general to allow for a smooth government administration.

“I told them not to create problems with their KSU (secretary-general) but some of them have valid reasons. We try to reduce them (transfers). So, we have to learn and do good and they will work. If we are grumpy, then it is a bit difficult,” he added. — Bernama

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