Malaysia is making a blue ocean shift in its national development as it strives to become an advanced nation by 2020. To achieve this, the government has adopted blue ocean shift process.

National Blue Ocean Shift (NBOS) is formulated and executed through the NBOS Summit, a unique and dynamic national strategy platform which brings together ministries, agencies, all levels of government and the private sector on a voluntary basis. The Summit, which was launched in 2009, breaks down bureaucratic silos through fair process, and is driven by the creation of new ideas.

To date, more than 100 national blue ocean strategy initiatives have been successfully implemented to tackle a wide range of economic and social issues. The country’s gross national income has grown by nearly 50 percent, and over two million jobs have been created.

In the Eleventh Malaysia Plan – the five-year strategic development plan, with an allocation of over USD70 billion – the government used blue ocean tools and frameworks to formulate high-impact, low-cost national strategies that can be rapidly executed.

Key Initiatives

Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP)

The CRP was designed to rehabilitate petty criminals, who constitute the largest population of the country’s prisoners. Created on military bases’ idle land, CRP centers are 85% cheaper to build than a conventional prison and 58% cheaper to run. Through the collaboration of the Ministries of Agriculture and Higher Education, inmates get high-value vocational training in cultivating fish and growing high-yield crops, which are then sold in open markets.The inmates earn and save money through the sale of the products they produce. The initiative also reaches out to inmates’ families, encouraging regular contact and even providing housing facilities nearby to allow visiting families to stay longer. In contrast to conventional prisons, inmates and their family members are allowed to hug and even play together.

As a result, and since the initiative began, the recidivism rate has dropped around 90% and stands at the some 0.6% of California prisons. Based on current numbers, CRP is projected to deliver over US$1 billion in reduced costs and social benefits in its first decade. Most importantly, the initiative is transforming the lives of former inmates, giving hope, dignity, and the tools to restart their lives and become productive members of society.

Urban Transformation Centre (UTC)

UTC’s are one-stop shops, where all government services are available under a single roof. Open seven days a week, 8:30am to 10:00pm, they offer everything from passport renewals, licenses, legal permits, and registration forms to skill training programmes. The UTC’s are hugely popular with more than 20 opened in main cities across the country. Located in previously idling or under-utilized government buildings, UTC’s will save the government billions of dollars in the years to come, while the gains in efficiency and convenience to the public are substantial.

Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC)

MaGIC brings together business people, finance providers, domain experts, universities, and government officials to provide end-to-end support for both domestic and international entrepreneurs. Since its launch in April 2014, with a visit by then-US President Barack Obama, over 15,000 startups have been established with its support. The MaGIC Accelerator Programme, which is building a community of ASEAN-focused startups, has become the largest in Southeast Asia.

1 Malaysia For Youth (iM4U)

Launched in 2012, the initiative was designed to open up a new frontier of volunteerism by building people’s confidence and unlocking their energy and talent for the good of the nation. With about 3 million members, iM4U has become the largest youth volunteering organization in Southeast Asia and one of the biggest in the world. Its volunteers have carried out over 4,500 national and international projects like aiding natural disaster relief and performing local and regional community work.

Impact Areas

The design and selection of NBOS initiatives are based on two key principles:

1) Delivering high income through economic growth and integrated development and

2) Enhancing the level of public well-being through greater security as well as social inclusion to close the social distance between various groups in society (for example, rural vs. urban, young vs. old, men vs women, etc..)

Public Service

Community Transformation

Women, Youth & Family

Safety & Security



At the beginning of the new millennium, our country was at a crossroads, stuck in the so-called middle-income trap. We faced differentiation challenges from advanced countries like the US and Japan, and low-cost challenges from emerging countries like China, India and Vietnam. We wanted to move the country out of this red ocean trap and thought that blue ocean strategy might provide the platform for achieving greater public wellbeing and higher national income.

Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak
Prime Minister of Malaysia

In formulating and executing initiatives, all NBOS platforms follow three governing rules: One, to be considered, any ideas or proposals must involve two or more ministries and be designed to meet the NBOS criteria of high impact, low cost and rapid execution. Two, the principles of fair process – engagement, explanation, and clarity of expectations should be observed. Three, market-creating tools like strategy canvas, the four actions framework, and the ERRC grid are used, as applicable, and reflected in all discussions and reports.

Tan Sri Dr. Ali bin Hamsa
Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia