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Redefining true independence through liberalisation

In the first part, this article discussed the gradual and eventual liberalisation of the Malaysian economy, particularly the automotive industry, to ensure business sustainability and global competitiveness. The great debate about protectionism can be generalised into two competing lines of argument. Those in favour of protectionism look at the development of infant industries that allow national economic growth, especially in areas where comparative advantages are not present, yet vital to be...

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Redefining independence via liberalisation

In 1990, Malaysia formalised its intentions of becoming an advanced nation by the year 2020.    The central focus of Vision 2020 is to take Malaysia out of its dependence on basic raw material production and emerge as an economy that is progressive, prosperous and robust.   In 2010, the administration refined the national plan by introducing concerted road maps and initiatives and streamlining the various economic sectors to ensure that they follow a development route specific...

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Putting the brakes on gender stereotype

As published in Focus Malaysia 6-13 August 2016.   Walk into any car workshop and you will see men in coveralls, spanners or screwdrivers in hand. Most probably have grease stanins on their faces.   This is a reflection of the gender bias in the automotive repair and service industry. The job of a mechanic has long been then domain of men. Even today, in a society that perceives itself as mature when it comes to the issue of gender diversity, there remains too few women grease monk...

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Proton has mettle to be competitive global player

This year has been a bittersweet year for Proton. In April, the government announced conditional support to the national carmaker’s plea for assistance. Many saw this as an ultimatum – Proton must work towards business sustainability as a global brand before any government support can be rendered.    Within the same month, the government approved a soft loan of RM1.5 billion to pay its vendors, and Proton began formulating its transformation plan, starting with the announcement of nu...

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Industry and academia synergy key for tech acquisition

Conventional wisdom dictates that global automotive manufacturers maintain their strong competitive edge through establishing themselves as technological leaders, marvelling consumers through the introduction of high-tech systems, gadgets and applications to the modern vehicle.    For small and medium enterprises, establishing research & development (R&D) capabilities is a daunting task, as the massive investments required can potentially harm the cash flow of even the most p...

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