Malaysia aims to be the hub for Industry 4.0 in South- East Asia to regain its status as an Asian Tiger.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said there was no choice but to be aggressive in adopting Industrial Revolution 4.0 in view of the accelerated speed in which new technologies evolved.
“With our National Policy on Industry 4.0 (Industry4WRD) launched last year, we aim at driving Malaysia towards becoming the Industry 4.0 hub in SEA, ” he said.
He said this in his keynote address at the International Conference on Industry 4.0: A Global Revolution Towards Business, Technology and Productivity at Segi University yesterday.
“Our Industry4WRD policy aims at increasing productivity in the manufacturing sector per person in Malaysia by 30% from RM106,647.
“This would elevate the absolute contribution of the manufacturing sector to our economy by 54% from RM254bil to RM392bil, ” he said.
Dr Mahathir said while new technologies could be disruptive, it also boasts exciting prospects and challenges.
Following consolidation of Opera-tion Technology and Information Technology, data analytics, process understanding, and the ability to work with disruptive technologies, Industry 4.0 would transform the labour market into a skill-centric force.
Technologies such as the Internet of Things, Advanced Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Additive Manufacturing are contributing factors to generate an increase in net productivity, he said.
“These transformations will not take effect unless we take the first step and our strategy has to be right.
“We need to take the Industry 4.0 transformation seriously. That way we can remain competitive and relevant in the international equation, ” he said.
Malaysia is poised to succeed, as it boasts 40 years of experience in the manufacturing sector, apart from having created a good business ecosystem.
Malaysia could capitalise on its existing supply chain, access to the global market, and pool of talented multi-racial and multi- cultural community, said Dr Mahathir.
“For Malaysian businesses to remain competitive, they need to change their business strategy.
“We are sometimes too operational oriented to deliver results.
“Often, we are too conservative to venture into business diversifications and product development.
“This kind of business mentality and culture has to change, ” he said.
Dr Mahathir called on Malaysian businesses to seriously look into investing much more in Research and Development (R&D) to upgrade products and services, apart from improving business processes and embracing integrated technologies.
Dr Mahathir also called on universities to focus on developing their R&D capabilities in solving real industry problems.
There must be a push towards innovative thinking and multi-disciplinary knowledge, as Malaysia aimed to increase its high-skilled workforce from 18% to 35% by the year 2020.