Pak Lah’s acknowledgment that human capital was an engine of growth for the country was a breath of fresh air.
“Our people are our most precious asset. They are the key to the building of a more prosperous nation,” he said in his keynote address titled “Deepening co-operation towards a true community” at the start of the two-day 13th Nikkei International Conference on the Future of Asia here.
“We are aware that we cannot continue doing the same things and expect the same results. We know that we have to raise our game by more than a few notches. We have, in fact, to break new ground.”
The prime minister, who is on a five-day working visit to Japan, also said Malaysians would have to respond more effectively to the forces of globalisation, market liberalisation and increased competition.
He added, however, that the government did not see greater protection and protectionism as the solution to globalisation.
For people unfamiliar with my train of thought, I’ve commented in the past that the Malaysian government needs to ensure that they continue to address how the world is currently changing and apply it to the Malaysian scenario. The demand for human talent and capital and the proliferation of the talent wars require that we change how we operate and think. A key item in the talent wars is ensuring that Malaysian students are empowered to think, be creative and push themselves. Malaysia needs to be brave. And acknowledgment that protectionism and protectionist policies are not the solution to globalisation is a huge push forward on this front.