Malaysian Institute of Directors Corporate Leaders’ Banquet

Addressed by Tan Sri Lim
2 July 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen

On behalf of MID, I thank you all for setting aside time to be with us. Especially our Prime Minister and Datin Seri Jeanne who have just returned from official visits to the Russian Federation, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Italy. Let′s warmly (I mean very loudly) welcome them home.

At this function, Corporate Malaysia is represented by some of its longest–serving pioneers and some of its brightest and most dynamic young leaders.

The Prime Minister can rest assured that Corporate Malaysia will continue to work alongside him and in support of his every endeavour as he leads the country towards 2020.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In two months, we will be commemorating our 50th Anniversary as an independent nation.

Looking back, we do have many reasons to be celebrating. Looking ahead, we can see there is still much to be done before we get to be where we want to be.

In 1957 we started a process that would allow us to decide and design the future of this country.

In 1991 we began an accelerated transformation designed to put us shoulder to shoulder with the most advanced countries in the world by 2020.

In 1991, the year 2020 was far away in the future.

Today in 2007, 2020 is just a hop, step and a jump away.

It is that close.

The Prime Minister has described it as the final stretch, and the effort now being made, the final push.

It is that urgent.

For that reason, he has rallied the nation to embark on a mission to complete the job that must done.

In Mission 2020, we have a plan to take us, sector by sector, region by region to the final goal.

But the essence of Mission 2020 is in the priority given to capacity building that will result in –

  • People with the right skills and mindset
  • People with flair for creativity and innovation
  • People with drive and determination
  • People with courage and character
  • People with vision and leadership

In all that we plan,
In all that we attempt,
In all that we set our sight on doing

For all Malaysians, Mission 2020 is really about opportunity.

Opportunity to build momentum that will transform people and create a culture for innovative inventiveness; nurture a culture for quality, evolve a passion for excellence, and develop a keen sense for competition.

In essence, Mission 2020 is our story for the world. It is about who we are as a people, and what we stand for as a nation.

But to get there, our people must be prepared, new systems must be built, out–dated mindsets must be changed.

Some of us are still entrenched in controls and systems that have become stumbling blocks.

Some of us still do not understand the purpose of innovation and the speed at which we must move just to remain in competition.

Outside our borders, furious competition is building up as developing economies are rushing to close the gap with the most advanced economies.

Outside our borders, new economies are making quantum leaps that are astonishing in their inventiveness and threatening in their competitiveness.

Outside our borders, the economic divide between countries that are innovating and countries that are not is widening. The statistics are disturbing.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Mission 2020 is our opportunity to learn from our past and look to the future.

As we speak, the world is rapidly shifting from a mindset anchored on industrial age infrastructure to digital age connectivity.

In the process, it is breaking down boundaries and barriers right across the world.

As a result, the role of government is shifting from control and intervention to support and facilitation. In the most advanced countries, governments are creating economic, social and political conditions that will empower the private sector to compete more effectively, more successfully.

They understand that if the private sector loses a battle, it is the country that loses the battle.

Mission 2020 is our opportunity to ensure effective implementation that will bring about mind shaping transformation, implementation that will get us through to our final destination.

To succeed, the whole nation must be on–board, from farmers to teachers, taxi drivers to bankers, business leaders to political leaders.

Everyone from every walk of life must feel ownership of the Mission and participate in its implementation every step of the way.

The Prime Minister has said, and I quote: "Every part of society has a part to play. The private sector must use its energy and creativity to take the lead in generating economic growth. The public sector must ensure that its delivery system is effective and efficient – that it facilitates, not frustrates."

Today, the Prime Minister has kindly consented to launch the publication – Mission 2020: The Final Stretch.

He has written the foreword where he has shared his thoughts about the need to move forward, the way to move forward.

I must take this opportunity to thank the Prime Minister for the time he has given to help me prepare the content for the publication.

Mission 2020: The Final Stretch has been written to provide greater understanding of the need for Malaysians to come together, to combine our resources, to overcome imbalances, to strengthen cohesion and to compete as one people and one nation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are also here this evening to honour five captains of industry. Their vision, dynamism and leadership have contributed immensely to the growth and success of their companies. The success of these companies reflects the success of this country. Their success is an inspiration to all other Malaysians.

This year we break tradition by recognising two individuals as Director of the year. They are Dato′ Mohamad Nazir Razak and Tan Sri Dato′ Lim Kok Thay.

Three other corporate leaders are being inducted into the Institute′s Academy of Fellows: Tan Sri Dato′ Muhamad Radzi Mansor, Tan Sri Dato′ Ramon Navaratnam and Tan Sri Dato′ Talha Mohd Hashim. All five need no introduction at all in this hall.

MID salutes them and on your behalf, I congratulate them.

On that note, may I thank you once again for the opportunity to speak before you.

But as you know I am only the opening act. My job is just to warm you up for the speaker of the occasion.

It is now my pleasure to invite our Prime Minister, our Honorary Fellow, our Guest of Honour to deliver his eagerly awaited address.