PM says it has re­duced poverty rate to just 0.6 per cent

New Straits Times - - News -


THE National Trans­for­ma­tion Pro­gramme (NTP) has shown pos­i­tive re­sults, cre­at­ing 1.8 mil­lion jobs be­tween 2010 and last year, of which over a mil­lion were high-in­come jobs, said Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak.

The prime min­is­ter said the coun­try’s gross national in­come, through NTP, also in­creased by nearly 50 per cent and Malaysia had al­most erad­i­cated poverty, re­duc­ing it to just 0.6 per cent.

“We have kept in­fla­tion and un­em­ploy­ment low, and have been ac­claimed by global in­sti­tu­tions, such as the World Bank and the IMF (In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund), for the re­forms we have un­der­taken,” Na­jib said dur­ing his key­note ad­dress at the Global Trans­for­ma­tion Fo­rum 2017 at the Kuala Lumpur Con­ven­tion Cen­tre here yes­ter­day.

He said Malaysia was see­ing strong and con­sis­tent growth with its fis­cal deficit cut from 6.7 per cent in 2009 to 3.1 per cent last year.

In high­light­ing the achieve­ments of NTP to an au­di­ence from the fields of pol­i­tics, busi­ness, phi­lan­thropy and sports, Na­jib said the coun­try’s eco­nomic plan was work­ing and Malaysia was firmly on the path to be­come a high-in­come na­tion.

“That (eco­nomic) plan is work­ing. We have de­liv­ered and we will con­tinue to de­liver.”

Among those present at the fo­rum, themed “Driv­ing Trans­for­ma­tion”, were Alibaba Group founder and ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Jack Ma, Vir­gin Group founder Sir Richard Bran­son, World Bank chief e c onomist and se­nior vice-pres­i­dent Dr Paul Romer, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Dubai Mu­nic­i­pal­ity Hus­sain Nasser Lootah and Olympic cham­pion Usain Bolt.

Na­jib said via NTP, no Malaysian was left be­hind and the needs of all peo­ple were met with all com­mu­ni­ties be­ing able to con­trib­ute to and share the wealth of the coun­try.

He also stressed the im­por­tance of mak­ing dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions, such as the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Goods and Ser­vices Tax and sub­sidy cuts.

“As the re­sult of those tough choices, we’ve built the re­silience that even in these dif­fi­cult times for the global econ­omy, we reg­is­tered a growth of 4.2 per cent last year. We ex­pect a slightly higher fig­ure for this year, and for it to rise next year.

“These fig­ures show that Malaysia is grow­ing at more than dou­ble the rates the IMF pre­dicts for ad­vanced economies over the same time pe­riod,” he said.

Na­jib said Malaysia was deemed as the fron­trun­ner for in­vest­ment choice.

“All the ma­jor rat­ing agen­cies — Fitch (Rat­ings), Stan­dard and Poor’s, and Moody’s — have all reaf­firmed Malaysia as be­ing in the ‘A’ cat­e­gory.

“The IMF, one of the world’s most re­spected in­sti­tu­tions, stated that the Malaysian econ­omy con­tin­ues to per­form well, de­spite sig­nif­i­cant head­winds, and has made sig­nif­i­cant progress to­wards achiev­ing high­in­come sta­tus.

“Fur­ther­more, in its 2017 Best Coun­tries Re­port, BAV Con­sult­ing and the Whar­ton School of the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia said Malaysia was the best coun­try in the world to in­vest in, de­scrib­ing it as ‘the clear fron­trun­ner’ in this area.

“At the same time, for­eign in­vest­ment in the coun­try rose from RM36 bil­lion in 2015 to RM59 bil­lion this year, with many of the world’s lead­ing com­pa­nies among those in­vest­ing in Malaysia,” he said.

Cit­ing an ex­am­ple, Na­jib said Ger­many’s Os­ram, which had in­vested RM3 bil­lion in Malaysia, was in­vest­ing an ad­di­tional RM1.4 bil­lion for an ex­pan­sion project — the world’s new­est and largest 6-inch LED chip pro­duc­tion site.

Na­jib also shared with the au­di­ence the suc­cess sto­ries of Malaysians, who are en­joy­ing higher in­come af­ter ben­e­fit­ing from NTP’s Small Re­tailer Trans­for­ma­tion Pro­gramme and Poverty Erad­i­ca­tion Pro­gramme.

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