PM warns project hold-ups ‘must stop’

PUTRAJAYA: Action will be taken against department heads who cause unnecessary delays in project approvals as such hold-ups can affect the economy, warns the Prime Minister.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the warning that department heads would be made responsible for this came after ministers during the recent Cabinet retreat were told of such an incident, involving a proposal by a big company to introduce organic farming in Kuala Lumpur.

“We were told that the project took two years to approve when the green economy is one of the five core pillars to resuscitate the economy.

“I said that this nonsense must stop. We must increase our ability to approve projects in a timely manner.

“Heads of departments will be made responsible for any delays and action will be taken (against them),” he said at the Budget 2023 dialogue session with representatives from various industries and organisations here yesterday.

Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, also said that no landmarks would be built to mark his administration.

The Prime Minister said Kuala Lumpur has enough landmarks for now.

“There’s the (Petronas) Twin Towers, TRX (Tun Razak Exchange). I do not want to compete.

“Under the Anwar (administration), I don’t intend to leave such a mark,” he said at the Budget 2023 consultation.

He added that what he intends to do is to exploit the potential of Kuala Lumpur and ensure small and medium enterprises are given the opportunity to generate business in an orderly manner.

Anwar said he had made it a point to visit stalls and have meals there on Fridays to get a feel of conditions.

“It is obvious that not much attention has been given to ensure business can be carried out properly and provide comfort for people patronising such places.

“There must be a change in orientation so that the vast majority of our citizens benefit from economic initiatives or reforms,” he added.

Anwar’s government has scrapped the Federal Territories Ministry and matters formerly under its purview are now placed under the Prime Minister’s Department.

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