The Eighth Malaysia Plan, covering the period 2001-2005, is the first phase in the implementation of the Third Outline Perspective Plan (OPP3), 2001- 2010. The OPP3, which embodies the National Vision Policy (NVP), will chart the development of the nation in the first decade of the 21st century. The Eighth Plan will incorporate the strategies, programmes and projects designed to achieve the NVP objectives of sustainable growth and strengthen economic resilience as well as create a united and equitable society.
The Seventh Plan was marked by rapid economic growth except in 1998, when the economy was adversely affected by the economic crisis. The sharp economic contraction was short lived as the economy staged a dramatic turnaround following the implementation of effective monetary and fiscal policies and strategies by the Government as well as favourable external sector performance. In 2000, the economy reverted to the growth rate of the pre-crisis level with relative price stability and low unemployment rate. The poverty level was significantly reduced and improvements were made in the quality of life.
During the Eighth Plan period, the Malaysian economy will face greater challenges as a result of increasing globalization and liberalization as well as the rapid development of technology, especially information and communications technology (ICT). To enhance the competitiveness of the economy and strengthen economic resilience, concerted efforts will be undertaken to improve total factor productivity (TFP) as well as facilitate the development of a knowledge-based economy. Priority will be accorded to increasing the supply of quality manpower, enhancing research and development (R&D) efforts and accelerating the development of growth sectors. Emphasis will also be given to strengthen positive values among Malaysians and promote a united and equitable society.