Monday June 19, 2006
The Government has sufficient funds for projects under the 9MP
By HAH FOONG LIAN and MAZNI MUSTAFA
KAMPAR: The Government has sufficient funds to implement projects allocated under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.
“We have the means to complete projects under the Ninth Plan – why are you doubting it?
“When we provide allocation for the projects, it means we have the money. If we allocate funds for the projects but do not have the money, people will say we are lying,” he told reporters after launching the Malaysia Mental Literacy Games 2006 at Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman yesterday.
“If we don’t have the money, why should we make the allocation?” he asked.
When the 9MP was unveiled in March, Abdullah had announced a total allocation of RM200bil for development projects. This was an increase of 17.6% on the RM170bil provided under the Eighth Malaysia Plan.
Abdullah also said that anyone assuming that the Government was financially incapable of implementing 9MP projects did not have the facts.
Economic analysts said there was some confusion among some members of the public over funding for the 9MP because when Abdullah took over in October 2003, it was the third year of the 8MP, and he cut government spending and deferred a number of projects.
The analysts said the Prime Minister had no choice but to adopt a tight fiscal policy then because at that time there was concern about a Budget deficit, which had at that time exceeded 5% of the GNP, a warning sign that government spending must be restrained.
However, under the 9MP, starting this year, the Government would be able to allocate more money for development because it expects more revenue.
Analysts said the money from income taxation was expected to increase steadily because of an expanding economy and more efficient tax collection while revenues and dividends from Petronas were expected to grow because of higher oil prices.
On why certain mega projects were cancelled, Abdullah said: “They have not been completed. It is not that they have been cancelled.
“Some of the projects under the Ninth Plan may also only be completed under the 10th Malaysia Plan,” he said, adding that development was a continuous process.
On the meeting with state Umno liaison chiefs on Friday, he said: “It was on the Ninth Malaysia Plan. I want to put my full concentration on the Plan.”
Abdullah, who is also Umno president, said he was not aware of a meeting between the party’s Supreme Council and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
On how the Government would handle the possibility of having five million foreign workers in the country, Abdullah said foreign investors wanting to set up factories should inform the Government of their labour requirements.
“We can then train locals, who can work in their factories before the plants are set up.
“They should not take the easy way out by hiring foreign workers,” he said.