Speechs in the year
			LUMPUR (K.L) 
Tarikh/Date 	: 	28/02/91 

    It  is a great pleasure for me to be here today for the
inauguration of the Malaysian Business Council, and  as  its
Chairman I thank you for your presence here this morning.
2.   We  are  meeting  at the beginning of the decade of the
Nineties --  a time of great challenge  for  our  nation  as
well  as for the region.   As a nation we are almost thirty-
four years old.  That is not very old as nations go but  for
a  developing country which has been able to control its own
destiny only after independence it is a very meaningful  pe-
riod of time.
3.   In  the first three decades of nationhood we have moved
rapidly from being a low-income, undeveloped economy,  rely-
ing  merely on rubber and tin as our economic mainstay, to a
nation that has diversified into the services and the indus-
trial sector, backed by a  sophisticated  financial  system.
Yet  far  from  neglecting  the primary produce, we have en-
hanced our competitiveness and  diversified  into  many  new
commodities which earn us a lot of foreign exchange.
4.   By  any standard we have done well but there is no time
to rest on our laurels.  We must aim to become  a  developed
country  at  par with those of Europe and North America.  It
may not happen tomorrow or next year or even by the  end  of
this  millennium but we must not be discouraged.  Everything
must have a beginning.  We have gone beyond the first  step.
Now we must continue at a quickened pace.
5.   To  expedite the attainment of our goal we must set new
standards and make quantum leaps -- in terms of all the  key
institutions  of  our country, in terms of our economic cul-
ture, adjustments and innovations.  Above all we must under-
stand our goal and the road towards it.  We, here, means all
of us - the government, the private sector, workers, manage-
ment and all the institutions which are  directly  or  indi-
rectly involved in the development of this nation.
6.   This  national aspiration must be shared by all, at ev-
ery level.   It  is  not  a  grandiose  dream  that  we  are
targetting  at.    It  is an achieveable vision, provided of
course that we all pull together.
7.   The Government has already espoused the Malaysia Incor-
porated concept, a concept that is based  on  a  partnership
between  the Government and the private sector, a concept of
a nation as a giant corporation in which the public and pri-
vate sectors are together tasked with ensuring  its  success
and  are  entitled  to share the benefits.   Despite initial
scepticism, the idea has caught on.  Today government  offi-
cers  are  more  helpful towards the private sector and they
are constantly improving their  service  through  innovative
ways.    Gone  are the days when the success or otherwise of
the private sector are no concern  of  government  officers.
They  now accept and appreciate that the private sector does
not only make profits for itself but contribute towards eco-
nomic growth and therefore towards the  betterment  of  all,
including themselves.  The private sector which welcomed the
concept of Malaysia Incorporated must not only expect better
service from the Government but must also contribute towards
its  realisation.   They must make it easier for the Govern-
ment to serve them by understanding the regulatory  role  of
government  and  its concern for social and economic justice
for all.
9.   Let us all be perfectly clear.  By no means can  it  be
argued that all collaboration between the public and private
sectors  is  justifiable or necessary.  There is cooperation
that is productive; and there is collaboration that  is  un-
productive.    Collaboration that results in negative social
consequences, in frustrating  the  achievement  of  national
values and aspirations, must be fought against.
10.  In  many  areas  there must be more than an arms-length
relationship.  On many issues there must be productive regu-
lation.  What is good for the business sector may not always
be good for the people as a whole. But in many areas  we  do
need  to work closer.  This Council is one of the mechanisms
intended to contribute further to this relationship.
11.  No doubt many of you are already on a host of  councils
but the Government regards the establishment of this Council
as an important step to bring the public and private sectors
together  at  the  highest level to discuss issues of mutual
interest to the nation.  It is a small Council -- consisting
of ten Ministers, eight leaders from the public service  and
forty-four leaders from the private sector.  It is small be-
cause  this  is essential in order that we can discuss in an
atmosphere of candour and intimacy. Your membership is a re-
sponsibility to this country and to the people.
12.  This Council shall have four primary objectives:
     First, to facilitate a free  flow  of  information  and
     ideas between the public and private sectors;
     Second,  to  address  problems pertaining to industrial
     and commercial development and to remove impediments to
     economic growth;
     Third, to create better understanding  and  to  enhance
     the  relationship  between  the public and private sec-
     tors, and
     Fourth, to identify and promote  areas  of  cooperation
     and  collaboration  between the public and private sec-
13.  In order to fulfill these objectives, the terms of ref-
erence of the Council will be as follows:
     First, to examine domestic and international business
     and economic developments central to Malaysia's
     Second, to discuss  current  and  emerging  issues  and
     Third,  to  examine  and  provide practical options and
     Fourth, to provide feedback on policy issues and devel-
     opments with regard to industrialisation;
     Fifth, to remove misunderstandings and barriers to pro-
     ductive cooperation between the public and private sec-
     tors, and
     Sixth, to generate consensus on national  economic  di-
     rections and strategies.
14.  As a Council member, I shall speak frankly.  As Council
members, I expect you to speak frankly too.  There can be no
in-depth examination or discussion if there is not this com-
mitment  to candour.   We cannot remove misunderstanding and
roadblocks to productive cooperation if we fail to  communi-
cate  clearly.    If practical options and strategies are to
come forth there must be a free and frank exchange of infor-
mation and ideas.  I hope every Council  member  will  speak
and listen intently, with an open heart and an open mind.
15.  It  is  important that you give priority to meetings of
the Council.  In order to ensure the  necessary  administra-
tive back-up the Government has set up a Centre for Economic
Research  and  Services to be located at ISIS Malaysia, with
adequate staffing.  This centre will be responsible for  re-
search,  secretarial, organisational and administrative ser-
vices for the Malaysian Business Council.    The  Government
has allocated an annual sum for the operational costs of the
Malaysian  Business  Council Centre.  There is no compulsion
on the private sector as a whole to make financial  contrib-
utions  to the Council and its work.  But provision has been
made for all private sector donations to the Council  to  be
tax exempted.
Ladies and gentlemen,
16.  At  this  juncture  I think it is appropriate if I do a
quick review of the  current  economic  scene  at  home  and
worldwide.    Since the recession years of 85-86 we have re-
covered strongly to achieve record rates of growth.  We have
become highly industrialised and we now export more manufac-
tured goods than primary commodities.   Where before  growth
was  based  on  expansionary public expenditure, now most of
the economic growth is due to private sector activities.
17.  Our growth is still largely based on exports and export
related activities.  Our domestic market is still too  small
to  become  an  engine of growth.  Per capita income is one-
fifth of that of developed countries.  Accordingly what hap-
pens to the world economy and to free trade is  crucial  for
18.  Despite the Gulf war, Malaysia as a net oil exporter is
able  to  balance  somewhat the effect on oil supply and oil
prices.  But we are not totally insulated.   Already we  are
feeling  the  effects  of  reduced  air travel, diversion of
ships for war purposes, increase in transportation  and  in-
surance  costs,  reduced  economic  growth  and possible re-
cession among our principal trading partners.   Our  exports
to  the  warring states in the Gulf have been reduced due to
war risks, logistical problems  and  inaccessability.    The
predicted  rise  in oil prices has not materialised.  Indeed
the prospects are for a glut both during and after the war.
19.  Clearly Malaysia is not going  to  achieve  the  growth
rates  of  the  three  previous years, if we sit back and do
nothing.  The Government has done a comprehensive  study  of
the  effects and possible effects of the Gulf War on us.  If
we are to ensure minimum harm to our economy due to the war,
we must make adjustments and we must act.  We must  be  pre-
pared  to  move  away from the beaten path.  We must be pre-
pared to take risks, reasonable risks.
20.  The Government is ready to make these adjustments.   It
is ready to listen, accommodate and support the private sec-
tor.    I hope that this Council will be able play a leading
role in the difficult times ahead.  God Willing, together we
can overcome.
21.  The success of this Council will depend on the sense of
commitment and responsibility  of  the  Council  members.  I
would  like  to thank all Council members who have consented
to serve on the Council.   Through your wisdom  and  experi-
ence, and the contributions of other sectors of our society,
I  am  confident we can work together to formulate clear na-
tional directions and goals.  I look forward to working with
you in the days ahead.
22.  It gives me  great  pleasure  to  formally  launch  the
Malaysian Business Council.