PM: Aim for 4% productivity rate

PORT KLANG: The country's productivity rate must increase to 4% from the current 2.3% to ensure Malaysia's goal of achieving high-income nation status, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

He said the nation's productivity issue, closely associated with the skills of workers, need to be emphasised.

"One of the things closely related to the question of workers' skills is the issue of productivity, which must be increased to 4% every year. Focus not only on employment but also productivity of every worker to meet the 4%," he said at a programme called "Skilled Workers are the Heartbeat of National Transformation 2050" at WIT College here today.

Also present was WIT College board of directors chairman, Tan Sri Zainal Rampak.

Bernama also reported Najib as saying that one of the criteria needed to achieve developed nation status and an advanced economy was that people should have high income, and this depended directly on the level of skills and education of the individual.

Najib noted that only 28% of Malaysians are highly skilled and the government wanted to increase the figure to 35% by 2020.

Earlier at another event, Najib launched the New Generation Patrol Craft (NGPC) vessel for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) at the Destini Marine shipyard here.

The KM Bagan Datuk, the first of a fleet of six vessels, was constructed by Destini Marine Sdn Bhd for MMEA.

"The maritime sector is facing various challenges, especially in the 21st century. I hope this new vessel will fulfil MMEA's requirements, especially in facing challenges that are more diverse and complex."

Also present at the event was Najib's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, MMEA director-general Adm Datuk Ahmad Puzi Ab Kahar and Destini Berhad chairman Tan Sri Rodzali Daud.

Najib said the Straits of Malacca and Singapore Strait are among the busiest waterways in the world, with 83,740 ships having entered the area last year.

"With a sea area of 614,158.54km square feet ,and taking into account the nation's strategic geographic location, it important for us to ensure the safety, integrity and sovereignty are intact," said Najib adding that international companies have invested in the Rapid Petronas project in Pengerang, Johor, and it requires the maritime to have a conducive investment climate which is safe and free from the enemies.

Najib added Putrajaya had agreed to allocate RM740 million to MMEA to build three Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV).

He said MMEA started with only 59 vessels in 2006, and currently has 255. The government of Japan has agreed to provide Malaysia with two OPV through a grant aid.