Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim has lamented in his speech in parliament lately that Mega projects suggested in Budjet 2011 is a mere waste of public fund and the rakyat’s welfare and interest was not focused but neglected by the budjet 2011.
To me, the budget 2011 evidently manifest the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). Malaysia’s economic development is entering a new era. We are left with less than ten years to achieve our goal of developed nation status.
In line with this goal, all projects spelled out in budget 2011 is deem to be a wise strategy to spur our economy while cut Malaysia’s dependence on foreign investment. Large infrastructure projects has been announced in this budget to diversify investments and reduce dependence on foreign investments. Construction sector is believed would give direct impact to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In Malaysia the service sector leads all other sectors when it is estimated to contribute 57.6 % of the GDP, Manufacturing sector 26.6% of the GDP and Agriculture sector 7.7% of the GDP.
Government have to provide infrastructure development in many sectors, like transportation, finance, retail, whole sale industries and high rise buildings in order to further spur the economy. This is done to create new activities in service sectors and generate more growth in future. New projects like Mass Rapid Transport (MRT),KLIA2,The new KL financial district, The Sungei Buluh Development and Permodalan Nasional Berhad’s Warisan Merdeka Project would certainly take all Malaysians into a developed nation by 2020. By adopting this strategy, we do not burden government finances neither the rakyat.
Admitting that the mega projects undertaken thus far like Twin Towers, KL International Airport, Penang Bridge, Bukit Jalil Sports Complex, Putra jaya Government Administrative center has benefited rakyat a lot, we should support government to undertake more mega projects. We understand that when there are Mega Projects, no less than 178 economic sectors will be mobilized, including labor, building materials, transportation retail, architect, engineers and their employees and etc.
Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his colleagues in parliament argues vehemently that the Warisan Merdeka Project is a waste of public fund. But on the contrary, the so called ‘Warisan Merdeka Projects will not only bring tremendous economic benefit to rakyat in service sector but also splendid dignity to Malaysians. We Malaysians have to embrace and support the idea of the 100 storey Warisan Merdeka Tower project , which to be built by PNB, because it will certainly spur and generate spill over economic activities for the benefit of all Malaysians.
Besides the RM 5 billion ringgit 100-storey tower to be built in Kuala Lumpur, completion in 2015, some of the allocation and development programmes in budget 2011 as clisted below clearly indicates that the budget 2011 does not neglect the interest and welfare of the rakyat:
· A sum of RM 100 million to subsidise the prices across areas for goods such as rice, cooking oil, sugar, flour, gas, petrol and diesel through the Distribution of Essential Goods Programme .
· A sum of RM200 million is allocated to support the rural states of Sarawak and Sabah in an effort to transform the country towards a developed nation.
· A sum of RM6.9 billion is allocated to implement basic infrastructure such as water and electricity supply as well as rural roads.
· A sum of RM 300 million is allocated for housing programme to provide comfortable houses for the poor and hardcore poor in rural areas. This programme will involve the construction and repair of 12,000 houses nationwide, particularly in Sabah and Sarawak.
· First-time house buyers will also be given stamp duty exemption of 50 percent on instruments of transfer on a house price not exceeding RM350,000.
· A sum of RM 297 is allocated to ennhance palm oil productivity by encouraging replanting activity to replace aged trees with high quality new clones.
· A sum of RM127 million is allocated to support domestic oleo derivatives companies as well as a sum of RM23.3 million to expand downstream palm oil industries including production of vitamins. The Government will allocate RM146 million to support the oil and gas industries.
· Mass rapid transit rail line to be implemented beginning 2011 and fully completed by 2020.
· The plantation workers were given an opportunity to own houses with RM 60,000 loan, interest of 4% , administered by BSN.
With this allocation, incentives and help measures, the income per capita will increase 6.1 percent to RM 28,000 ringgit.
Thus, I dismiss Anwar Ibrahim’s contention that the budget 2011 never foucused on peoples's welfare and needs. I can vouch that the budget 2011 submitted by our PM Najib Tun Razak on 15th October 2010 as a finance minister is a brilliant and a moderate approach to ensure ETP a success. Hidup 1Malaysia.