Malaysia’s Vision 2020: Why Vision 2020 Has Been Failed To Achieve Its Goal.

Malaysia Vision 2020: Vision 2020 has Successfully Been Achieved or Not? The Nine Challenges that Must Overcome to Achieve Vision 2020. Discussion and Opinion Why Vision 2020 has failed to achieve its goals.

Malaysia’s vision 2020 with nine challenges was introduced in 1919 by the fourth prime minister. The Vision calls for the nation to achieve the status of a self-sufficient industrialized nation by the year 2020. Discuss whether the aim of Vision 2020 has successfully been achieved.

Malaysia Vision 2020

Vision 2020 or Wawasan 2020 was a mega policy of the Malaysian government introduced by Malaysia’s fourth and seventh prime minister Mahathir Mohamad in 1991 (Jeshurun, 1993). Leong (1997) stated that this mega plan came up with the objective of securing the eligibility of a developed country by 2020. He also said the prime goal of the Vision 2020 was to obtain a self-sufficient industrialized country by the year 2020. In addition to that, there are some other objectives that also wanted to achieve by this plan such as social well-being, economic prosperity, world-class education, technology-based society, political stability, as well as psychological balances.

Based on achieving the vision 2020, some mid-term and short-term plans had been taken by the government such as the National Development Policy 1991-2000 with OPP2, National Vision Policy 2001-2010 with OPP3, and Economic Transformation Program (ETP) under Malaysia Tenth Plan in 2010. Even, the annual budget was proclaimed to ease the way of achieving vision 2020. All these plans were encompassed to establish a progressive, prosperous, and developed Malaysia where everyone will live in harmony.

The Nine Challenges that Must Overcome to Achieve Vision 2020

The nine strategic challenges were outlined to overcome before 2020. Malaysia cannot be a prosperous and developed country until overcome these challenges entirely that experienced from the beginning of independence (MALAYSIA AS A FULLY DEVELOPED COUNTRY, n.d.). Therefore, the authority published eight challenges that need to overcome to achieve Vision 2020.

Challenge-1: The first challenge of Vision 2020 is to develop a united Malaysian nation with a spirit of mutual destiny. This will form a peaceful nation where everyone lives in harmony. The country will ensure loyalty, justice, and equality, and fair partnership for all citizens that is called ‘Bangsa Malaysia’ (MALAYSIA AS A FULLY DEVELOPED COUNTRY, n.d.).

Challenge-2: The second challenge to create a secure, developed, and psychologically freed country. The people will live in a society with full confidence and faith in the nation. Society must be fully conscious about its opportunity and potentiality and respected by foreigners (Islam, 2010).

Challenge-3: The third challenge of Vision 2020 is to practice liberal democracy inside the country. It can make Malaysia a model for other developing nations in Asia as well as all over the world. In short, it all about nurturing and promoting a mature democratic society.

Challenge-4: The fourth challenge is to establish an ethical and moral society. The citizen of the nation will live in a society with religious, cultural, and traditional values.

Challenge-5: The fifth challenge is about developing a liberal, tolerant, and knowledgeable society, in which all Malaysian can practice their culture, traditions, religion, belief, and creeds. All Malaysian people belong to one nation it doesn’t matter what is the religion, what is the origin, and what is the language.

Challenge-6: The sixth challenge is to establish an innovative and technology-based progressive society. The people of this society will not only be a client of technology but utilize them to well-being for society.

Challenge-7: The seventh challenge is to create a caring and cooperative society, in which people will not leave their families but maintain a strong resilient family system.

Challenge-8: The eighth challenge is to assure an economically self-righteous society, in which the fair distribution of the wealth will be practiced in society without any discrimination, exploitation, and injustice.

Challenge-9: The last and ninth challenge is to establish a prosperous and developed society. The economy of the nation will be strong, resilient, competitive, and dynamic.

The Vision 2020 has Successfully Been Achieved or Not?

Based on my observation, it is clear that Vision 2020 has not been achieved. The main aim of Vision 2020 was to establish a self-sufficient industrialized country by the year 2020 as well as secure the eligibility of a developed country. Until now, Malaysia has not achieved the status of developing countries because the nation could not overcome all the nine challenges that they mentioned earlier.

Discussion and Opinion Why Vision 2020 has failed:

Doubtfully, there are some reasons that affected the failure of Vision 2020 directly and indirectly. Based on my research, I have discovered three important reasons that affected achieving Vision 2020, for example, leadership, discrimination, and economy.

  1. Leadership

According to B (2019), Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad blamed that the objectives of Vision 2020 were not achieved due to the wrong leadership skills of the previous prime minister Abdullah Badawi and Najib Razak who are responsible for the failure of Vision 2020. Actually, Vision 2020 has been failed because the nine challenges were not completely understood by the administrators in Malaysia who championed them.

  1. Discrimination

The challenges of Vision 2020 are fostering a liberal democratic society, moral and ethical society, scientific progressive society, discrimination, and exploitation-free society. A Malay-led government cannot establish a liberal democratic society and discrimination still exist in several sectors in Malaysia including University, job, business, and politics. Thus, discrimination has barred achieving Vision 2020.

  1. Economy

Finally, the ninth challenge was to create an economically righteous society. An economically righteous society takes care of the interests of all people not only rich but in Malaysia. But, rich people are getting wealthier day by day through the domination business market while general people survive just hand to mouth. The economy couldn’t ensure the fair share of the country’s wealth to everyone; therefore, Vision 2020 has not been achieved.


Vision 2020 was introduced by Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad in 1991 to establish a prosperous, developed, discrimination-free, technology-based, ethical, and liberal society. The eight challenges had been outlined to overcome to achieve Vision 2020. Although they have established enough technological, economical, and structural development in Malaysia until Vision 2020 has not been achieved completely.


B. (2019, October 5). Objective of Vision 2020 not achieved. New Sarawak Tribune.

Islam, R. (2010). Critical success factors of the nine challenges in Malaysia’s vision 2020. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences44(4), 199-211.

Jeshurun, C. (1993). Malaysia: The Mahathir Supremacy and Vision 2020. Southeast Asian Affairs, 203-223.

Leong, Y. K. (1997). Lifelong Learning and Vision 2020 in Malaysia.

MALAYSIA AS A FULLY DEVELOPED COUNTRY. (n.d.). Prime Minister’s Office of Malaysia.

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