"If you're poor, you're the reason you're poor."
Treasury secretary general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said that when giving a speech during the 1Malaysia Entrepreneurship (1MeT) graduation day, as reported by Malaysiakini yesterday, 28 September.
"In Malaysia, I don't understand when people say the economy is bad, the people are poor - everything is wrong," he added.
He said that if you're able-bodied person in Malaysia, it is possible to find success.
According to Irwan, Malaysia is not a debt-ridden country like the Philippines or Indonesia.
He said that people who claim that we are a poor country are actually confusing the rakyat.
Irwan made references to the immigrants living in Malaysia and said that even they have found a way to make money in the country.
"There are four million immigrants living in Malaysia. Like in Chow Kit. It used to be us (Malaysians) doing business in Chow Kit. Now half of those doing business are Indonesians.
"If Indonesians can thrive in Malaysia, Malaysians should be more successful," he said.
The chairperson of the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (Magic) also made some suggestions about how Malaysians can improve their finances by taking advantage of the opportunities available locally
He said that selling goods at night markets is a good way to make more money.
"If you go to night markets, it's full. Malaysians like to eat. You can sell anything and they'll buy it.
"Try selling a new drink, say, 'If you drink this, it's good for your health and you'll be free of disease. People would start queuing. Malaysians are conscious. If you say something is nice, people will queue for that'," he explained.
Irwan stressed that it all comes down to how business people market their products, saying that branding and product packaging is important to get positive responses from consumers
Other than selling food products at night markets, Irwan also mentioned some other products and ideas Malaysians can try out, including coconut by-products.
"There are many other products from the biotech and technology sectors, (you can pursue) sewing and logistics too," he said.
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