KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad unveiled the bold reforms during the Mid-Term Review of the 11th Malaysia Plan including putting the country on a stronger economic footing, improving governance and enhancing the well-being of the rakyat.
In his foreword to report issued on Thursday, the Prime Minister said other reforms were accelerating innovation, boosting productivity, moving industries up the value chain, enhancing the wellbeing of the rakyat, particularly the bottom 40% of the household income group (B40), and achieving inclusive growth.
“Therefore, bold reforms that respond to the people’s mandate are imperative to achieve our vision to become a developed and inclusive nation,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said the Mid-Term Review, with new priorities and emphases, targets to reform existing policies and outline the revised socioeconomic targets for 2018-2020.
The Mid-Term Review included the aspirations of the new Government, current economic challenges and global trends. Efforts will focus on stimulating economic growth, while ensuring greater benefits for all segments of the society.
“In this regard, the principles of good governance, strong institutions as well as integrity and accountability will be reinforced throughout the administration of the new government to prevent corruption, leakages, misappropriation and abuse of power,” he said.
He said the euphoria that greeted the Pakatan Harapan’s success in taking over the Government after the historic 14th General Election on 9 May 2018 came with a caveat – sweeping reforms and accountability must be the order of the day.
These expectations define the new government and the people it governs which will, inevitably pave the way for new policies and institutional reforms. The political transition reflects the hopes of the rakyat for greater transparency, fiscal accountability and socioeconomic reform.
“These reforms are needed if Malaysia hopes to recover, rebuild and re-emerge as a nation proud of its achievements and ability to compete at the highest level. Lest we forget, we were once dubbed an Asian Tiger and to re-emerge as one, we will have to re-align our focus and recalibrate our strategies.
“The New Malaysia shall exude vigour, confidence and hope. With the mandate from the rakyat, the nation shall strive forward with pride, head held high, knowing what it had achieved in the past and the new heights it is going to scale in the future.
“We shall then build a prosperous, harmonious and an inclusive nation,” Dr Mahathir said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Economic Affairs Datuk Mohamed Azmin Ali said the first part of the Mid-Term Review assesses the performance of the first two years of the 11MP, under the Barisan Nasional Government.
More importantly, the second part of the review sets new priorities and emphases in building the nation to fulfil the hopes of the rakyat for the remaining Plan period of 2018-202 under the new Pakatan Harapan Government.
The thrust will be underpinned by principles of good governance, strong institutions and integrity as the new government affirms the goal of becoming a developed and inclusive nation as well as creating the path towards a better future.
The government will balance economic growth objectives and fiscal consolidation initiatives to ensure continuous and inclusive development without impairing growth prospects.
Azmin said high-impact socioeconomic development projects will be continued to improve the wellbeing of the rakyat. More emphasis will be given to the less developed states, particularly Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis, to ensure a more balanced regional growth.
The government will implement more measures to raise the rakyat’s income and purchasing power especially the bottom 40% of the household income group (B40).
However, he also cautioned the government and the country must be vigilant about risks in the face of potential shocks and global economic uncertainties such as the build-up of financial vulnerabilities, trade protectionism and geopolitical tensions.
“These risks and challenges underline the importance of having flexible economic policies, strong public finance management and a sustainable fiscal position.
“Macroeconomic policies will need to be calibrated to be able to respond to economic shocks as well as to enhance economic resilience. Nonetheless, some temporary trade-offs on economic growth may be necessary in the short term in order to ensure a firmer foundation for a more sustainable and inclusive growth in the long term,” he said.
Azmin also said the Mid-Term Review outlines six pillars to support inclusive growth and sustainable development.
The first pillar is to reform governance towards greater transparency and enhance efficiency of public services, followed by the second pillar to enhance inclusive development and the wellbeing of the rakyat.
The third pillar aims to pursue balanced regional development, while the fourth pillar is to empower human capital. The fifth pillar focuses on enhancing environmental sustainability through green growth.
The last pillar lays the foundation to strengthen economic growth across all sectors of the economy.
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