LARGE infrastructure projects are part of the country’s strategy to diversify investments and reduce dependence on foreign investments, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Awang Adek Hussein.
He added that they would have a direct impact on the gross domestic product (GDP) through the construction sector.
He said Malaysia’s economic development had entered a new era, with the service sector contributing 57.6% of the GDP – far more significant than manufacturing (26.6%) and agriculture (7.7%).
Awang Adek, who is Umno Bachok division chief, said the country needed to provide the right infrastructure in many sectors to further spur the economy, including transportation, finance, retail and wholesale industries as well as high-rise buildings that could be used by, among others, corporations, consultancy, legal and accountancy firms.
“The effect these projects have on the GDP in years to come is significant and will generate growth and new activities in the service sector.
“This way, we do not burden the Government’s finances and neither do we burden the people,” he said when proposing the motion for economy at the Umno general assembly yesterday.
He said the need for these infrastructure projects would be more pressing after the liberalisation of the service sector by 2015.
“That is why, we need to have the mass rapid transport (MRT), KLIA2, the new KL financial district, the Sungai Buloh development and Permodalan Nasional Bhd’s Warisan Merdeka project,” he added.
Awang Adek said all projects, big or small, under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) would take all Malaysians into a developed nation era.
He said it was important that the programmes be fully embraced because opportunities would not fall onto one’s lap but needed to be grabbed and used to its full potential.
Awang Adek said Malaysia’s success story in building a strong and solid economy was based on its moderate approach as well as respect and fairness to all.
He urged the people to reject all that was extreme and could threaten the country’s stability as well as racial politics and the use of religion for the interest of politics.
Awang Adek said Umno was a moderate party and had always striven for fairness.
“We have a Prime Minister who is nice and considerate that, so much so, he is misconstrued as preferring to give priority to other races than his own, “ he said, adding that while the Malays are generous they should not be considered weak and easily manipulated.
Awang Adek said the Malays were willing to share the economy fairly, as how it shared political power within the Barisan Nasional.
He added the people must understand this and that the 30% quota provision for bumiputra did not mean the rights of others were being taken away from them.