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Education is an essential foundation for the betterment of the nation, paving the way for future progress, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. (Bernama photo)

KUALA LUMPUR: Education is an essential foundation for the betterment of the nation, paving the way for future progress, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"The best investment that can be made is in education. Education raises the potential of the individual through value-added means, which, in turn raises the potential of businesses and economies to perform well," he said in his speech at the Asia School of Business' (ASB) Master of Business Administration (MBA) convocation ceremony, here, today.

Dr Mahathir added that as a nation, no investment would pay as high a dividend as the investment in education.

"Education plays a defining role for all of us - from the earliest childhood years, through elementary school, through high school, then on to college and post-graduate education for some, and then to life-long learning for working adults.

"Driven by this conviction, we have made strengthening access to quality education as a key mission of our administration – now as well as when I was the prime minister earlier," he said.

Dr Mahathir, in congratulating the postgraduates reminded them to be guided by the right moral values and learn how to be a better human being while continuing to pursue learning.

"I was trained as a medical doctor. But economists and business leaders always remind me that productivity is an essential ingredient for economic progress.

"Higher salaries without higher productivity is meaningless, as it will only lead to higher prices of goods and services.

"One of the greatest challenges for Malaysian businesses today is to raise productivity across our economy. Our national standard of living and our ability to transform Malaysia fully into a developed economy status will be strongly influenced by our ability to raise our productivity rates," he added.

At the event, ASB president and dean Prof Charles Fine presented Dr Mahathir with the honorary degree in business management.

Also present was co-chair of ASB's board of governors Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

ASB is a global business school founded by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and MIT Sloan School of Management in the United States of America.

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