Tok Pa to M'sians: Be fair in assessing economy, bear in mind the challenges posed by pandemic

  • Nation
  • Monday, 05 Apr 2021

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed has urged Malaysians to be fair and balanced in assessing the economy amid criticisms that the Emergency ordinance is affecting foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country.

The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Economic Affairs) said there is a downside and an upside to any country's economy.

“As the government, we acknowledge that, and we have challenges as well. We have also been doing well in some areas," he told a press conference at Sunway University on Monday (April 5).

Mustapa had earlier attended a meeting there with Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah on promoting closer cooperation between the public and private sectors, including discussions on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Sunway University hosts the Jeffrey Sachs Centre on Sustainable Development with the support of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a regional centre of excellence that advances SDG achievement in Malaysia and South-East Asia.

Separately, Mustapa said the Federal Government has received submissions from all ministries and states amounting to RM900bil for the 12th Malaysia Plan 2021-2025 (12MP).

“It is a big sum. This year, we allocated RM69bil (for development expenditure in Budget 2021), one of the highest in recent years in terms of annual allocation.

“But our priority now is the Covid-19 pandemic. A lot of resources have been directed to the healthcare sector for understandable reasons as lives are very important," he said, adding that the government's second highest priority was ensuring that every Malaysian has food on the table.

The allocation for Budget 2021 is RM322.5bil, the largest on record for the country.

In tabling the Budget in Parliament last year, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said RM236.5bil was for administration expenditure, RM69bil for development and RM17bil to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

In March, Mustapa said the government will table the 12MP once Parliament reconvenes after the Emergency is lifted.

Meanwhile, Cheah said FDI in the country will increase because foreigners like the diversity and education system in Malaysia.

He said the Sunway Group would soon make an announcement on a huge investment in the country by a foreign sovereign fund.

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