Prime Minister Najib Razak expressed happiness that the impact of the success of the Mass rapid Transit (MRT) and the toll-free Pan Borneo Expressway projects proved the ability of bumiputera and Malay contractors to implement mega projects.
He obtained feedback on the matter following his meeting with key industry players and business associations at a roundtable economic dialogue in Putrajaya on Friday.
“I am also happy when I received feedback from the Malaysian Malay Contractors Association that the Malays and bumiputera have benefitted from the ‘carve-out’ policy for the MRT and Pan Borneo projects.
“I was also informed that the perception towards bumiputera and Malay contractors is changing with them proving their ability to deliver.
“I am proud with the ‘anak bangsaku, Negaraku’,” he said in his blog www.najibrazak.com with the title ‘Kita Di Landasan Tepat’ (We are on the right track) yesterday.
Further on the outcome of the meeting, Najib said he noted that there were quarters who wanted the government to review its policy on foreign workers, adding that on that matter, the government would take on an approach that would consider the country’s interest in the long term.
“Among others, the amount of remittance by foreign workers sent out of the country has now reached RM36 billion, from only RM30 billion before, and if this continues, there will be many implications against our country.
“However, the government will continue with the balanced and business-friendly policy to protect the interests of all quarters,” he said.
The prime minister said he took into account the views by Jalilah Baba, who represented the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who opined that the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) should be realised and the education system to be improved to produce more innovative students.
Jalilah opined that the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is a good initiative by the government.
Najib said Aishah Ahmad, who represented the Malaysian Automotive Association, also suggested Malaysia to reduce the cost of setting up business to attract foreign investors and proposed the setting up of a “Competitiveness Council”.
“The Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association also suggested the government to re-introduce the investment allowance,” he added.
Najib said the meeting also touched on current issues related with government policies towards realising TN50.
Najib concluded the meeting as: “We are on the right track” by saying that Malaysia succeeded in recording an economic growth of 4.2% at a time of uncertain and challenging global economic situation, and expected the country’s economy to grow by 4.3% or more this year.
“I believe that 2018 will record a better growth and our economy will be stronger,” he said.
Najib also cited the Economist Intelligence Unit 2017 Worldwide Cost of Living report which recognised Kuala Lumpur as the cheapest country to stay in Southeast Asia, while Singapore is the most expensive country to live in.
The prime minister also shared his speech at the Global Transformation Forum on Malaysia’s success in creating 1.8 million new jobs, building of roads which length is equivalent to the distance between Malaysia and Nepal, reduce poverty rate to 0.6% and increase the country gross domestic product to almost two-folds.
“Nevertheless, there are still more rooms for improvement and needed focus, like household debts and the country’s productivity.
“Focus should also be given towards human resource development, connectivity and inclusivity in drafting of the country’s development policies to ensure Malaysia is among the top 20 countries in the world,” he added. –Bernama