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Wawasan 2020

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Wawasan 2020: logo and theme of the 1991 Merdeka Day.[1]

Wawasan 2020 or Vision 2020 is a Malaysian ideal introduced by the fourth and seventh Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad during the tabling of the Sixth Malaysia Plan in 1991.[2] The vision calls for the nation to achieve a self-sufficient industrialised nation by the year 2020, encompasses all aspects of life, from economic prosperity, social well-being, educational worldclass, political stability, as well as psychological balance. To achieve Vision 2020, Mahathir lamented that the nation required an annual growth of 7% (in real terms) over the thirty-year period 1990–2020, so that the economy would be eightfold stronger than its 1990 GDP of RM115 billion. This would translate to a GDP of RM920 billion (in 1990 Ringgit terms) in 2020.[3][4] Under Vision 2020 from 1991 to 2020, there are 3 sub 10 year development policy namely National development Policy 1991-2000 with OPP2, National Vision Policy 2001-2010 with OPP3 and New Economic Model 2011-2020 with National Transformation Programme NTP.

Wawasan 2020 is also the title of an article by William Greider about globalisation in Malaysia.[5][3][4][6]

Strategic challenges[edit]

Mahathir outlined nine strategic challenges that Malaysia must overcome to achieve Vision 2020.

  • Challenge 1: Establishing a united Malaysian nation made up of one Bangsa Malaysia (Malaysian Race).
  • Challenge 2: Creating a psychologically liberated, secure and developed Malaysian society.
  • Challenge 3: Fostering and developing a mature democratic society.
  • Challenge 4: Establishing a fully moral and ethical society.
  • Challenge 5: Establishing a matured liberal and tolerant society.
  • Challenge 6: Establishing a scientific and progressive society.
  • Challenge 7: Establishing a fully caring society.
  • Challenge 8: Ensuring an economically just society, in which there is a fair and equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation.
  • Challenge 9: Establishing a prosperous society with an economy that is fully competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient.


Wawasan 2020 is also a patriotic song on the same idea sung in Malay. The song was composed by Farish Daniel.[7][8]

Revisions to the vision[edit]

In view of economic slowdown amid the financial crisis of 2007–2010, Prime Minister of the then ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government, Najib Razak in August 2009, stated that in order for Malaysia to achieve a developed nation status by 2020, the country has to grow at an annual rate of 8% over the next 10 years. He cited that a lower hypothetical growth of 6% per annum would delay Malaysia's vision to become a developed country by 10 years to 2030. Malaysia’s GDP growth rate averaged 7.2% per annum in the 1990s, and slowed to 5.4% per annum in the following decade. Najib also stated the need to redefine and recalibrate the vision in terms of how to achieve it, as well as its timeline. Besides, Malaysia has to undertake bold economic reforms, and Najib had tasked the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC) to carry out a review of the vision. The NEAC is expected to publish its report by end 2009, with a second report on implementation 6 months after that.[9][10][11][12]

Just before the downfall of BN federal government in the 2018 general election (GE14), Najib had launched the National Transformation 2050 or Transformasi Nasional 2050 (TN50) initiative, where by 2050 Malaysia will be "a nation of calibre, with a new mindset".[13][14][15] The TN50 was allegedly initiated by Najib to undermine Mahathir Mohamad's Wawasan 2020 legacy.[16][17][18][19] The TN50 had somehow fallen through and was officially dismantled with some aspirations maintained by the Pakatan Harapan (PH)'s Malaysia Baharu government after the GE14.[20]


In 2020, Mahathir Mohamad, the prime minister of Malaysia after Pakatan Harapan coalition came to power in 2018, officially announced the failure of the vision to achieve the status of developed nation.[21][22][23] Although Wawasan 2020 did not fully achieve its objectives, Mahathir argued that other aspects of the vision had been achieved such that Malaysia has become more prosperous and with better infrastructure.[22] Mahathir blamed his handpicked successors Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib Razak[24][25] for failling his plan.[26]

In terms of GDP growth, Malaysia last achieved yearly GDP growth of more than 7% in 2000. Since then, the Malaysian GDP only averages between 4% and 5% until 2018.[21]

In terms of how well Malaysians are meeting the nine challenges listed by Mahathir in 1990, "The Full Frontal" website stated that challenges no 4 and no 7 are almost fully met while other challenges still have lots of room for improvement.[27]

See also[edit]

References and sources[edit]

  1. ^ Yassin Sulai Aap (31 August 2013). "Koleksi Tema dan Logo Hari Kemerdekaan: 1991 - Wawasan 2020" (in Malay). Aku Anak Pahang Blogspot. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Wawasan 2020 Dibentangkan" (in Malay). Pekhabar. 28 February 1991. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b Mahathir Mohamad (17 November 2008). "The Way Forward". Prime Minister’s Office. Archived from the original on 3 December 2008. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b Jeong Chun Hai @ Ibrahim, & Nor Fadzlina Nawi. (2007). Principles of Public Administration. Kuala Lumpur: Karisma Publications. Also see, Jeong Chun Hai. (2007). Fundamental of Development Administration. Selangor: Scholar Press. Also see, Mohamed Jawhar Hassan. (1995). 'Malaysia in 1994: Staying in Course.' Asian Survey, Vol.35, No.2, A Survey of Asia in 1994: Part II (Feb. 1995), 186–193.
  5. ^ Frank J. Lechner; John Boli (8 December 2003). The Globalization Reader. Wiley. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-1-4051-0280-3.
  6. ^ "Vision 2020, 1991-2020". Economic Planning Unit. 14 January 2008. Archived from the original on 8 July 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  7. ^ Dudley, Rueben (23 January 2020). "Achieving any vision requires strong political will | The Star". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  8. ^ Akbar Nawab. "Wawasan 2020 Song Lyrics". Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Archived from the original on 24 February 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  9. ^ Adeline Paul Raj (29 August 2009). "8pc yearly growth vital to achieve developed nation status: Najib". Business Times. Archived from the original on 29 August 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  10. ^ Ranjeetha Pakiam; Shamim Adam (28 August 2009). "Malaysia Must Expand Faster to Be Developed Nation, Najib Says". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Malaysia Must Grow 8 Percent Annually To Achieve Developed Nation Status, Says PM". Bernama. 28 August 2009. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  12. ^ Adip Zalkapli (28 August 2009). "PM: Grow by 8pc or Malaysia will not achieve Vision 2020". The Malaysian Insider. Archived from the original on 29 August 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  13. ^ "TN50: What youths want for Malaysia". The Malay Mail. 28 February 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  14. ^ "TN50 Is Malaysia's Dream". New Straits Times. Malaysian Digest. 28 February 2018. Archived from the original on 28 February 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  15. ^ "PM Najib announces TN50, a new 30-year vision for Malaysia". New Straits Times. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  16. ^ "'Ada orang cakap TN50 tolak Wawasan 2020, kita tidak tolak' – Najib" [‘There is someone says NT50 rejects Vision 2020, we don't reject’ – Najib] (in Malay). The Malaysian Times. 8 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  17. ^ Azril Annuar (3 January 2018). "Dr M claims TN50 due to failure to achieve his Vision 2020". The Malay Mail. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  18. ^ Hambali Abdul Latiff (22 October 2016). "TN50 cubaan pinggirkan legasi Wawasan 2020?" [NT50 attempt to break the legacy of Vision 2020?] (in Malay). Malaysiakini. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  19. ^ Anne Edwards (5 January 2018). "Khairy criticises "sad and petty" Mahathir". Anne Edwards TV. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  20. ^ P Prem Kumar; Alifah Zainuddin (24 December 2018). "TN50 officially dismantled but some aspirations remain alive". The Malaysian Reserve. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  21. ^ a b Jianing, Xu (2020). Ahn, Y.; Wu, F. (eds.). "The Economic Impact of Malaysia's Institution on the Failure of the Wawasan 2020". E3S Web of Conferences. 214: 02005. Bibcode:2020E3SWC.21402005J. doi:10.1051/e3sconf/202021402005. ISSN 2267-1242.
  22. ^ a b "Banyak perkara dalam Wawasan 2020 dicapai: Dr Mahathir (Many items have been achieved in Vision 2020: Mahathir)". Sinar Harian. 6 January 2020. Archived from the original on 1 October 2022. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  23. ^ "Ucapan Tun Dr Mahathir : Wawasan 2020 (Tun Dr Mahathir's speech on Vision 2020)" (PDF). Perdana Library. 20 October 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 October 2022. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  24. ^ "Mahathir meets Pak Lah in PM's residence". Malaysiakini. 22 October 2006. Archived from the original on 23 March 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  25. ^ Bland, Ben (12 May 2018). "Mahathir comeback turns former protégés' worlds upside down". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 30 July 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  26. ^ Noorshahrizam, Shahrin Aizat (23 March 2023). "Dr Mahathir blames successors Pak Lah, Najib for Wawasan 2020's failure". The Malay Mail. Archived from the original on 23 March 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  27. ^ Datta, Zameen Zhou (11 March 2021). "Whatever Happened to 'Wawasan 2020'?". The Full Frontal. Archived from the original on 28 May 2023. Retrieved 29 July 2023.

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