PM: Government committed to developing local talent base

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, The Malaysian Insider

Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today his administration was committed in nurturing and developing skilled local graduates, and stressed that a competitive talent base was crucial for a productive high income economy.

The Prime Minister told Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) graduates here that the government is “widening access” to the country’s existing education system (pre-school, higher education) to ensure all Malaysians received opportunities for educational growth.

“Our willingness to invest in human capital development has held us in good stead as a nation. Human capital lies at the core of innovation and productive high income economy.

“No economy can success without a highly skilled talent base that responds creatively to economic changes, and is centred on creating, developing and utilising knowledge,” he said today.

Najib lauded the previous government administration’s decision to liberalise the country’s higher education sector, and said the setting up of private universities, local brances of foreign campuses and twinning programmes was a right move as it gave local students the option of affordable tertiary education.

“Looking back at the decision with the benefit of hindsight, I would like to state that it was the right decision, it was a blue ocean strategy before the term was even coined and became popular in providing more places for Malaysians as local institutions cannot accomodate all the qualified students and not every Malaysian can afford the cost of an overseas education,” Najib added.

Malaysia ranked 36th out of 60 countries in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest Global Talent Index in May which saw the United States placed as the top country in producing talent, while Singapore and Nordic nations were rated stellar performers.