He said the Fourth Industrial Revolution has threatened the age-old business models today, especially in a cashless and ‘credit-cardless’ society.
Citing China, he said one could use a smartphone to buy everything either at the bazaars or online like Amazon which was more convenient
“This is a lifestyle where it will be the case in Malaysia in the future. This is the nature of the very disruptive changes we need to prepare our people for. We cannot change the future but we can prepare our people for the future,” he said in his opening remarks at the TN50 Roundtable Dialogue with Malaysian scientists, here, today.
About 20 scientists from various fields attended the dialogue at Perdana Putra. Also present were Academy of Sciences Malaysia president, Prof Datuk Asma Ismail and science advisor to the prime minister, Prof Tan Sri Zakri Abdul Hamid.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said more retailers would be going out of business following the onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“In the near future, probably more will be threatened when more people are buying online. This has increased the share of normal retailer business.
“We see signs of it in many countries. Malaysia will not be exempted. Therefore, we need to prepare our people. This is what exactly we need to take into account,” he said.
Najib said the government had committed to a bottom-up approach to predicate TN50 in ensuring the country’s future direction and vision reflected the people’s aspiration and provide a sense of ownership among the people.
“The government started the TN50 engagement with youths because it belongs to them. Then we broaden the engagement to cover all segments of society including civil society, academicians, civil servants and professionals.
“I hope all the scientists present today will share your knowledge, experience, views and wisdom to ensure Malaysia becomes a creative and innovative society,” he said.
Najib also stressed the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for the country to transition into a knowledge and innovation-based society.
“The role of innovation is more pervasive…how to treat STEM to be at the forefront and much more popular in terms of acceptance in the education system,” he said. – Bernama