12th Malaysia Plan: Game changer for nation

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KUCHING: The 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), which seeks to narrow the economic growth gap between Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak, is a ‘game-changer for the nation’.

Saratok MP Datuk Ali Biju said the plan represented a tangible goal that could be achieved after 5 years; with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita ratios of 1:2.5 for Sabah and 1:1.2 for Sarawak.

“As a Sarawakian, I am always reminded of my duty to ensure that my state is never left behind, nor the non-Malay Bumiputeras of Sarawak,” he said on Thursday (Sept 30).

He noted that the 12MP unveiled on Monday (Sept 27) was the first major national policy document introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s administration that aims to rebuild the economy after the devastating effects of the global pandemic. It is also a roadmap that steers the development of the country, targeting especially the youth.

Among others, he said, the goal is also for the country to transition into a prosperous, high-income, inclusive, low-carbon, high-tech, sustainable, and globally competitive nation.

“The development expenditure (DE) allocation for the 12MP is estimated at RM400 billion. This is a significant increase compared to RM248.5 billion for the 11MP,” he said, highlighting several key initiatives that resonate with his priorities as an MP representing a rural constituency.

“For my constituents, their main concern is bread and butter. This plan targets income growth, which is the mainstay of all economies. The average Malaysian monthly household income is RM7,160. The target of the 12MP is to raise this amount to RM10,065.”

For Malaysians living in rural areas where connectivity is still an issue, Ali mentioned that the plan will provide 100 percent 4G coverage in populated areas, introduce wider 5G coverage, with 100 percent urban and rural households subscribing to the Internet.

“RM15 billion will be invested by the private sector to speed up nationwide 5G roll-out. The allocation of 2.5 percent gross expenditure on R&D (research and development) to GDP, 10.5 percent contribution of e-Commerce to GDP, and 25.5 percent contribution of the digital economy to GDP will be a huge boost to connectivity which the youth, especially rural-based youth, will benefit from,” said the Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.

Ali who is also the Krian assemblyman said that the 12MP is a holistic plan that seeks to be inclusive and provide real opportunities for all races.

“Implemented aggressively and precisely, this plan will be a ‘game-changer’ not only for the nation but for Sarawak in particular. I am proud to be a part of the administration that will ensure that this plan comes to full fruition,” he said.

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