Simply becoming a high-income nation is no basis for Malaysia to be considered a developed country by 2020, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed.
The former prime minister said that equally important is research and development, as well as the skills that are available in the country, Bernama reported today.
Speaking at a seminar in Cyberjaya today, he said, "Malaysia may not be a developed country by 2020, if its only emphasis is on becoming a high-income nation but it still lags in research and development".
"Malaysia's income is almost reaching that of a developed country but the people's experience and skills are still very much like those of a developing country.
"At the moment... I am afraid. I am not very hopeful that by 2020, Malaysia will be a developed country," Bernama quoted Dr Mahathir as saying.
Giving the example of Brunei, he noted that while it was a high income nation, it was not developed, adding that high income and low productivity would only make the cost of living higher.
"The mindset of Malaysians on research and development (R&D) must be tuned. Malaysians still lack understanding on the importance of R&D and always question the return on investment of R&D."
According to Bernama, Dr Mahathir said that Malaysia was the only developing country which had its own automative industry and developing countries were learning from Malaysia.
Emphasising its importance, the Proton chairman added that the automative industry has the potential to be a catalyst in providing Malaysians skills, knowledge and ability in engineering.
However, he lamented that Proton's share of the car market in Malaysia stood at only 18%. – October 29, 2014.