11MP midterm review — biting the bullet and moving on

Next 3 years will be a transitional period as govt will tighten spending, achieve fiscal consolidation and expand the economy

By P PREM KUMAR & ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / Pic By TMR

Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will table the midterm review of the 11th Malaysia Plan 2016-2020 (11MP) at the Dewan Rakyat today.

The review will provide an overall assessment of the federal administration’s performance in the last two years, as well as new strategies that will be carried out by the Pakatan Harapan government until 2020.

The revised 11MP is also expected to set new targets that are calibrated with the new government’s election manifesto. Priorities of restoring trust in governance, promoting “meaningful” inclusive growth and reducing the national debt are expected to be featured prominently.

It will also take into account the challenges due to the global economic uncertainties.

Speaking at a closed media briefing yesterday, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the next three years will be a transitional period as the government will tighten spending, achieve fiscal consolidation and expand the economy.

“The fact that the PM will present this mid-term review reflects the government’s commitment to restore order in the country. The revision will be deliberated for two weeks in the Dewan Rakyat before my ministry closes it,” he said.

Azmin said the 11MP midterm review will look to promote greater transparency and enhance efficiency of public services to restore investors’ confidence.

Foreign investors were spooked by the RM1 trillion debt amassed by the previous government.

He said the revision will also focus on development projects that will directly benefit the rakyat, while mega projects will be postponed.

The minister said income disparities and rising hardships among low-income groups continued to prevail despite the macro-economic indicators which showed robust economic growth in recent years, low inflation and full employment.

“This is the best time to bite the bullet. It is best that we settle the issues now — be honest now and deal with the challenges now, but not at the expense of the rakyat,” he said.

The government is also expected to narrow the development gap between states by giving greater emphasis to the less developed states, such as Sarawak and Sabah, to ensure a more balanced regional growth.

Azmin said the country’s wealth must be distributed fairly.

“The new government will assure that the fruits of development will be enjoyed by all. We will strive to serve with integrity to carry out the responsibility entrusted to us to propel the nation to greater heights,” he said.

The 11MP midterm review will incorporate 57 of the 60 promises stated in Pakatan Harapan’s election manifesto. Following intensive engagements with various ministries and stakeholders, the plan was presented to the PM and presented to the Cabinet on Oct 3.