Aim for profit rather than subsidy, PM tells firms

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed speaks during the launch of Industry4WRD: National Policy on Industry 4.0 in Kuala Lumpur October 31, 2018. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed speaks during the launch of Industry4WRD: National Policy on Industry 4.0 in Kuala Lumpur October 31, 2018. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 ― Businesses should be driven by a desire for profit rather than expectations of government support, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed said today.

Dr Mahathir said he disliked firms that appeared to consider federal funding subsidies as their business model.

“They need incentives to eat, need incentives to breathe, they need incentives to do whatever. It is a wrong mentality.

“Everyone wants an incentive, everyone wants subsidies. Why not just make the profits?” he said during a press conference at the launch of Industry4WRD: National Policy on Industry 4.0.

Dr Mahathir was responding to a question from the press on whether the government will provide financial aid for manufacturers to modernise their operations in preparation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The prime minister explained that he did not want to encourage a dependence on subsidies and handouts that he said was prevalent under the previous Barisan Nasional administration.

“That's what the previous government did, they gave money to people who don't even work. You don't have to work, but you get RM500 as well.

“If Malaysians continue to be like that, then very soon they cannot even think, they cannot even move, they can't do anything for themselves because they are always looking for subsidies,” he said.

Dr Mahathir was referring to the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) that was established under former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

He previously criticised the scheme as vote buying by the former PM.

The direct cash aid was renamed the Cost of Living aid under the Pakatan Harapan government, and officials said will be phased out.

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