Speaking at a programme at the WIT College, Malaysia's prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has said the nation's productivity rate must be increased to 4% every year from the current 2.3%, to achieve the goal of making Malaysia a high income nation.

Najib said one of the criteria needed to achieve developed nation status was that the people should have high income, and high income depended directly on the level of skills and education of the individual.

"One of the things closely related to the question of workers' skills is the issue of productivity, we want the country's productivity increase to touch four per cent every year, now we have only reached 2.3%. I urge all parties to focus not only on increasing employment but how the productivity of every worker can be increased to at least, 4% each year," he said, as cited in a news report by Bernama.

PM Najib noted that only 28% of Malaysians comprise those with high skills and the government wants to increase this to 35% by 2020. He said this was because a skilled workforce is capable of generating value-added work besides contributing to higher productivity and income.

He added if the country was at a low skilled workers' level in any field, then every employee would earn a relatively low income if their respective productivity was not boosted. Conversely, if employees adopted a multi-skill and multi-tasking approach, they would definitely be paid high salaries.

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Reagarding his visit to the WIT College, Najib became the first PM to visit the college in its 40 years of operation. He announced an allocation of RM4 million for the college to upgrade its facilities and equipment and look after the welfare of the children of low income workers.

He said an additional 620 student quota for skills development programmes would be allocated to the college besides an additional quota of 160 students under the Human Resources Development programme, according to the Bernama report.

He also announced the admission of 500 technical and vocational education training students under the higher education ministry to the college, besides asking Felda to sponsor 100 students to follow a diploma study programme.

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