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Self sufficiency to firm up national economy

  • We should cut our reliance on the import of products we have the resources and capability to produce ourselves. Photo courtesy: Bernama

Sin Chew Daily

Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad said in a press conference in Langkawi that the fastest and most direct way of resolving the country's economic woes within the shortest time possible is to bring more foreign investments into the country.

However, foreign investors have specific manpower requirements, and Malaysians don't seem to work as hard as migrant workers. In the end, foreign companies can only look to migrant workers who will eventually benefit from the surge of foreign investments, not Malaysians.

Tun Mahathir said Malaysians were unwilling to work hard or do the dirty work migrant workers would do. They don't even want to work in air-conditioned restaurants and supermarkets nowadays.

From menial jobs, we have seen over the last ten years that foreign workers are gradually taking up positions in restaurants, shops and food courts.

To many Malaysians, this couldn't have been a more ubiquitous sight in our cities and towns, but to the prime minister, this shows that Malaysians are becoming increasingly indolent and that this trend has developed into some kind of national crisis.

Another concern of the PM is that the Sino-American trade war has taken a toll on the Malaysian economy, causing the ringgit exchange rate to slump and dealing a severe blow on our import-dependent economy.

In addition to lack of participation from Malaysian workers in foreign invested operations as well as massive outflow of salaries and remunerations, the national economy is also facing external challenges such as weakening ringgit which will have a direct impact on import costs.

In view of this, the PM has to come up with a drastic solution, to urge Malaysians to work hard and stand on their own feet towards the ultimate goal of self sufficiency, boosting domestic production and cutting down imports to firm up the national economy.

The ringgit exchange rate will stabilize the moment the Malaysian economy's state of health improves, forex depletion checked and import costs remarkably slashed.

Malaysia is richly endowed with natural resources. Unfortunately, as a result of over-reliance on foreign investments and migrant workforce for the past two decades, we have neglected agriculture, fishery, husbandry, plantation and handicraft industries which hold tremendous promise and which we are capable of doing in a bid to enhance our foreign exchange earnings. In its stead, we allow these industries to falter.

Tun M has suggested that we produce the vegetables, fish and dairy products we consume every day, with the hope we can become self sufficient in a more diverse range of necessities.

We should cut our reliance on the import of products we have the resources and capability to produce ourselves. We can even boost their production for export to beef up forex earnings.

This will in turn stabilize the national economy, ringgit value as well as the country's overall economic strength.

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