Home / TOP STORY/ Mahathir moots Malaysian model

Mahathir moots Malaysian model


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 10 December 2014 00:29


  •  Urges “Look East” policy; insists stability, peace, work ethics and greater private sector role crucial for rapid development

Malaysia's former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed walks on the red carpet whilst enjoying a traditional Sri Lankan welcome at the launch of new residential apartment complex in Hambantota yesterday - Pic by Lasantha Kumara

By Marisa Wikramanayake Sri Lanka should look towards the East for a model on development as Malaysia successfully did, according to the latter’s iconic former leader Dr. Mahathir Mohamed. “These are very interesting times for Sri Lanka because it is accelerating its development,” Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamed said during his keynote at the Hambantota Conclave 2014 held at the BMICH in Colombo last evening. The event was organised by the Urban Development Authority and the Board of Investment and showcased the potential investment opportunities to an audience of over 350 business people. Dr. Mahathir Mohamed stated that when Malaysia was developing, its Government found that Japan and Korea were developing faster than Western nations were and opted to follow their lead. He said that the work ethics of a nation’s population had a large impact on how fast it would develop. “We were looking for models of development that we could copy to increase the development of Malaysia,” he said. “The East presented a much better model for us.” He also argued that stability was important: “A country that is stable and peaceful is much easier to develop than one that is in turmoil.” He explained how the Malaysian Government opted to open up land, improve agriculture, industrialise and invest in technology but also create opportunities for investment where there previously were none by designating the archipelago Langkawi as a tax free island and a tourist destination. “Tourism is a good business,” he explained. “It has many beneficiaries – from service providers, to taxes for the government and when people buy goods, then the retailers and wholesalers benefit as well.” He also encouraged the private sector to be more involved in the nation’s development. “Infrastructure itself contributes to economic growth,” he said. “We should let the private sector develop the country with the government.” He explained that Malaysia had followed this by privatising road transport, building a major highway and allowing tolls to be collected, enabling new towns and jobs to be created. “We also have a system of cooperation between business and government,” he said. “Users pay but non users don’t pay; the companies gain sufficient money to develop the roads and the country then develops.” MP for Hambantota Namal Rajapaksa welcomed Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, thanked him for his advice on development and noted that it would be useful for the Hambantota development plans. “What Hambantota offers today is a unique centre for investment opportunities in a land known for being part of the ancient Silk Route and is now within waving distance of the modern-day Silk Route,” he stated.


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Forensic Audits part of bond scam cover-up

Saturday, 25 January 2020

From the time the bond scam was carried out by the Ranil Wickremesinghe administration, that administration under the guidance of the former Prime Minister had been avoiding the law by regularly bringing up various distractions so that the true natur


Halting mega projects is untimely; Govt. can explore other options

Friday, 24 January 2020

In a Sunday newspaper on 5 January a news item titled ‘Mega projects on hold until August budget,’ ‘Drop in revenue after tax reductions prevents spending on major constructions,’ was not a development-friendly headline. It may be accurate o


Is any further expenditure on the Port City a waste of money?

Friday, 24 January 2020

Erase from the mind all that you have read and heard about it. Then take a blank piece of paper, draw an irregular circle, and draw a line to divide it into two. On the bottom half write 300 acres. That is our Port City! To get the size into a proper


Foundations of incivility

Friday, 24 January 2020

The lack of advanced political consciousness and democratic discipline can be considered as one of the main reasons for the crisis and the failure that Sri Lanka is facing. This can be considered a situation that has prevailed since independence. Sri


Columnists More