Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Mohamad delivered remarks in front of local and visiting members of the business community in Port Moresby on Saturday, during a during a two-day summit that brings together the region’s leaders and the private sector ahead of the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting.
Prime Minister Mahathir talked about inclusion in the age of disruption and charting a common future.
- “It is not a new phenomenon. In 19th century England, the usage of technology in the textile industry led to machine-smashing and other forms of violence instigated by the Luddite movement.”
- “Malaysia, like in many other countries, is already being reminded of the effects of disruptive technology. The displacement of taxi drivers to e-hailing taxi apps resulted in protests and demonstrations. Hoteliers complained of losing their clientele to home-sharing platform. Brick and mortar companies complained of losing clientele to online retailers.”
- “Technology itself would not widen the income gap. Bad policies will. We must learn from the experience of others about good and bad policies, so we can avoid the bad ones.”
How can government respond to these new norms?
- “Policy must ensure that technology is accessible, and affordable to its citizen. Affordability and accessibility are key drivers in the widespread adoption of new technology.”
- “Policy must also take care of the losers. For instance, those brick and mortar shops, taxi drivers, small hotels, and displaced workers who are losing to disruptive technologies must not lose out entirely. The policy must encourage them to be retrained and re-hired.”
- “Investment in infrastructures such as 5G can be facilitated by multilateral organizations. Every country must invest in advanced technologies.”
- “There must be cooperation at the international level on how best to manage technological disruptions.”
- “Education is the answer, especially knowledge of artificial intelligence and its application. This education cannot wait. It must be promoted now.”
- “APEC should promote the concept of shared prosperity among its member states. I believe in the adage, ‘Prosper Thy Neighbor’ and not ‘Beggar Thy Neighbor’. Everyone gains from the former, while only one side gains from the latter.
- “Only with this win-win concept among APEC members can we chart a common and an inclusive future in the age of disruption.”
The age of technological disruption