KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 (Bernama) -- Malaysia should increase its Gross Domestic Investment (GDI) allocation for research and development (R&D) expenditure to 1.5 per cent from the current 0.84 per cent, says an academician.
Khazanah Nasional Chair of Regulatory Studies in the University of Malaya, Professor Rajah Rasiah said increasing the expenditure is vital for Malaysia to compete against other developing economies, in terms of economic and technological advancement.
Although increasing the expenditure comes with a higher factor of risk, Rajah said only R&D can uplift the Malaysian economy to be better, or of high-income.
"The 0.84 per cent is only the aggregate national R&D figure. It is relatively lower, yet sustainable, when compared with other countries. Still, we must grow our expenditure, especially in new areas of expertise and knowledge.
"The extra expenditure, if made, should be channelled to new areas of technology which can promise growth, rather than depend on the same commodities or trade driven expertise," he told reporters after the launch of the Evidence-Based Development Economics book, here today.
The National Science Research Council which Rajah is a member of, has in its latest proposal, requested the government to increase the expenditure to obtain sustainable economic development.
"I have even made a personal proposal to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation for the extra allocation," he said.
Meanwhile, Rajah is one of the two editors of the book launched today. He said it was written in honour of the late Sanjaya Lall of Oxford University, and one of the most influential contributors, to the discipline of development economics.
The book highlights that moving an economy out of poverty requires a combination of private initiatives and intelligent government policies.