by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by TMR FILE
THE federal government will have to be careful on funding requests from ministries and state government, as it is shifting its priority to the healthcare sector in the next 12th Malaysian Plan (12MP).
Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (picture) said the government received a total of RM900 billion of fund requests from ministries and state administrations for multiple development expenditures spanning the next five years.
However, he said Covid-19 remains the priority for now, to ensure Malaysia’s recovery is on the right track.
“So for this reason, naturally, when considering the request from the state government and ministries, we have to be extra careful, because priority now will be on the Covid-19 pandemic,” Mustapa said.
From a total of RM900 billion, Mustapa said the federal government received more than RM100 billion of fund requests from state administrations.
The minister was responding to The Malaysian Reserve report yesterday, where the Selangor government is asking Putrajaya to consider incorporating the Selangor Public Transportation Master Plan 2035, estimated to be worth RM64 billion, into the 12MP.
Mustapa said although the 12MP was not revealed to the public yet, the government is rolling out several policies for the benefit of the public such as the Malaysian Digital Economy Blueprint and National Unity Policy.
“Some policy are also expected to come, including related to energy. So, although the 12MP is not out (it) doesn’t mean we are just sitting and doing nothing,” said Mustapa.
“As for this year, we have allocated RM69 billion of development expenditure, one of the highest in recent years in terms of annual allocation,” Mustapa told the press after announcing the economic recovery process, along with Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah in Subang Jaya, Selangor, yesterday.
The 12MP, a development plan with a clear strategic direction spanning for 2021-2025, has yet to be tabled in the Parliament due to Covid-19.
The Parliament has yet to reconvene due to the emergency proclamation, which was enforced from Jan 12 to Aug 1, 2021.
Meanwhile, Cheah said Sunway Group, through its healthcare division, is ready to embark on an initiative to commercialise the supply of Covid-19 vaccine.
However, this will be subjected to the availability of the vaccine and the government’s approval.
“Definitely we want to do it but the vaccines are not coming fast enough for the government to roll them out.
“Many businesses came to us to buy the vaccines (instead of queuing through the government programme) but (even) the government doesn’t have enough vaccines, so what can we do?
“As Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said, the government will allow the private sector to buy and vaccinate (if there is stock).
“If we get them, then for sure we can do it. But now the government (opted) to encourage the public to register, so we do not have choice,” Cheah added.
At the media conference, Cheah announced a RM10 million commitment by the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) for the next five years.
The foundation contributed RM10 million to the SDSN to promote the Sustainable Development Goals agenda through education, training, research and policy advisory when it was launched in 2016.
Read our previous report here