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May 19, 2022

‘Malaysia’s development was shaped by the vision, thinking and efforts’

H.E. Dato’ Nik Mustafa Kamal Nik Ahmad, Ambassador of Malaysia to Bucharest
Malaysia has achieved significant economic and social progress over the past several decades. Sustained rapid economic growth has raised Malaysia from a low-income agricultural and commodity-based economy to become a successful middle-income economy. This strong economic performance has helped improve the quality of life for Malaysians and supported widespread advances in education, health, infrastructure, housing and public amenities.
Since Independence, real gross domestic product (GDP) has grown by an average of 6.3 per cent per annum during 1970 to 2012, higher than the average growth of the advanced nations. Within the same period, GDP per capita in current prices grew 25 times from USD 389 to USD 9,976, which has translated into substantial improvements in the people’s quality of life. A poor, mainly agrarian country has been transformed into a diversified and relatively prosperous nation with manufacturing and services sector contributed 80% of the economic growth.
The course of Malaysia’s development was shaped by the vision, thinking and efforts of
many of the country’s great leaders and thinkers, as enshrined in the Constitution and as encapsulated in the three key national policy frameworks that are the New Economic Policy (NEP), 1971-1990, the National Development Policy (NDP), 1991-2000; the National Vision Policy (NVP), 2001-2010 and New Economy Model (NEM), 2011-2020. Each of these policy frameworks was based on a profound understanding of the needs and challenges of the time, as well as the responses required for the nation. Equally important, these frameworks captured the collective aspirations of the country. These aspirations culminated in the launch of Vision 2020 in 1991, outlining the aim of attaining developed nation status by the year 2020. Malaysia is now at the last phase of its journey towards 2020. In many respects, the core NEP, NDP, NVP and NEM objectives of national unity, growth and social equity remain. However, the circumstances and environment in which the country operates have changed significantly.
(…) The average monthly income for all households increased from RM264 in 1970 to RM1,167 by 1990, reflecting a real rate of growth of 7.7% per annum. The success of Malaysia’s poverty eradication programmes is evident from the sharp decline in the incidence of poverty, which decreased from 49.3% in 1970 to 1.7% in 2012. The proportion of the lower income group was reduced to 23% in 2012 as compared to almost 99% in 1970. Three decades of outstanding performance, permitting Malaysia to provide for the health and education of its people, largely eradicate poverty, build a world-class infrastructure and become a major exporter globally. Our people are wealthier and better educated. They live longer, travel more and have greater access to modern technologies than any previous generation.
Amid changes in the external environment, many of the policies and strategies used to achieve the current state of development are now inadequate to take Malaysia to the next stage. (…) (excerpts)

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