The government’s bold move to proceed with the National Transformation Programme (NTP) in the past eight years has began to bear fruit with very encouraging results which apart from driving the country’s economy, also led to enhanced efforts to fend the interests of the people, said Najib Razak.
In tabling the 2016 NTP Annual Report, the prime minister said all measures taken since 2009 when he took over the country’s leadership had continued to build the momentum to put the nation on a strong, healthy and correct economic footing.
“All facts and figures, even percentage reported show successes, it is not a rhetoric or an invention or as the people say, for self-gratification.
“Nonetheless, I wish to stress that all the facts and information had been audited and validated by neutral, accredited and competent international bodies,” he said when tabling the report at the Dewan Agong Tuanku Canselor, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in Shah Alam, last night.
His hour-long speech was also carried live nationwide by all television stations.
The prime minister said since 2010, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) showed an average growth of 5.1 per cent which was another success as the figure was two times higher than the world average growth rate.
Najib also announced that the government’s efforts were consistent with fending for the people by reducing the poverty rate from 3.8 per cent in 2009 to 0.6 per cent in 2014, while abject poverty had almost been wiped out.
He said to date, the government had succeeded in achieving 69 per cent or 2.26 million new employment from the target 3.3 million new job opportunities by 2020 which proved the efforts of the government were bearing fruit and on the right track.
According to him, the stand of the government in implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) had also produced huge dividends to the people and country when the government was accommodating the shortage from petroleum with GST collection which amounted to RM42 billion in 2016.
“However, there may be parties out there talking and deceiving the people that apparently, if they become the government, GST will be zero-rated or abolished. I would like to ask if it is zero, how is opposition going to get RM42 billion?
“Talk is cheap…everybody can talk and make this and that promise. It means if the government is not determined and bold, how would we be able to fund the country’s operating and development expenditure?,” he asked, blasting the opposition plan as being unrealistic and aimed at swaying the people’s minds.
In this regard, the prime minister announced in the overall achievement , seven National Key Results Areas (NKRA) as well as National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) recorded an average KPI of 101 and 110 per cent.
He also reiterated the infrastructure projects being implemented for the benefit of the people such as the Light Rail Transit Extension Project and the River of Life while the High Speed Railway to link Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in 90 minutes and the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) between Pengkalan Kubor in Kelantan to Port Klang in Selangor will be implemented.
Najib also stressed that the interests of Sabahans and Sarawakians would also be given emphasis through the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway from Teluk Melano to Lawas in Sarawak to Sabah linking Sindumin to Tawau over a distance of 2,325km and costing almost RM30 billion.
He said on the whole, 11 work packages in Sarawak had been launched and five of the 35 work packages in Sabah had begun.
Najib said through the Rural Development Improvement NKRA from 2010 to 2016, the government had built and upgraded 6,042km of rural roads, provided access to clean water supply to more than 350,000 houses while 150,000 houses in the rural areas were connected with electricity supply and the construction and restoration of 100,000 for the rural poor.
Apart from that, Najib said the development for the B40 group showed the average monthly income level improved from RM1,847 to RM2,537 , an increase of 17 per cent, as a result of the NKRA to Improve Low Income Household Living Standard.
While congratulating his deputy, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also the Home Minister, Najib said through the Crime NKRA, Crime Index had been reduced by 47 per cent with various measures such as better border security and the Modern Policing Initiatives.
He also said through the combined efforts of Education NKRA, it was found the national preschool enrolment rose from 67 per cent in 2009 to 85.6 per cent in 2016 and was approaching 100 per cent national preschool enrolment target by 2020.
Najib said through the implementation of the NTP, women involved in decision making in the public sector had surpassed its target at 35.8 per cent while in the top 100 public companies, the involvement of women at the Board of Directors level achieved 16.8 per cent.
On the tourism sector, the prime minister said last year, the tourism industry recorded the arrival of 26.7 million tourists, an increase of one million visitors compared to 2015 with RM82 billion in earnings as against RM69 billion in 2015.
In concluding the tabling of the report, he called for the undivided support of the people to assist the government in efforts to prosper Malaysia.
“Once again, we take one step forward, we will not backtrack or turn around, we only have one choice, to continue moving forward, to continue succeeding and continue to achieving victory,” he said.
The tabling of the report which was filled with anecdotes and video display to demonstrate the success of the individual NTP results, was attended by 14 Barisan Nasional component party leaders, corporate and government-linked company figures, as well as the private sector and the various strata of the community. – Bernama