PRIME Minister has tabled the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) 2021-2025. The 556-page document contains Malaysia’s direction and focus for the next five years. Among others, it contains nine economic drivers with an allocation of about RM400 billion, and with 14 innovative actions.
2. In general, the 12MP still revolves around the target of becoming a high-income country. So, it implies a lot of things. For example, by 2025 the average household income in Malaysia will reach RM10,000 per month.
3. At the same time, investments or economic activities that promote environmental sustainability will be given more serious attention will increasingly gain ground.
4. All of these are relevant and critical matters. Moreover, in recent times, the issue of income adequacy to ensure a dignified life as well as environmental damage due to development greed is often a major subject in many discourses on the social well-being of the people.
5. However, I have some things that I hope will also be given attention.
6. First of all, apart from the emphasis on the physical aspect of mega development, there is an urgent need for the Government to ensure that there is a comprehensive and effective specific intervention to ensure that the lost generation either in schools or IPT is given attention.
7. Those who have lost almost two years of study must be given the opportunity or a special program over the next four years to catch up with their education which is already lagging. In line with Policy Enabler 1 regarding Future Talent Development, this critical aspect cannot be ruled out at all. In fact, it actually demands that the entire existing education system and approach be reviewed and realigned on a massive scale.
8. Second, in the context of technological adaptation and digitilization, the leap should be initiated radically in the public service sector. All growth plans, innovations and focus on new aspects of the economy are highly dependent on the efficiency and speed of the public service.
9. Third, Malaysia is one of the countries that have been very friendly to investors and visitors. Our key programs and policies must restore this friendly and welcoming image. For example, the review of Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) policies and regulations . It must facilitate and attract foreigners to our country to work, build a life and live here. The existing rules are not of such a nature.
10. Fourth, the balance of power of the state and Federal Governments (decentralization of power). To enable a rapid and smooth development, the state government must be given greater, important and meaningful powers and mandates. Not just according to the plans and instructions of the Federal.
11. This more balanced division of powers and responsibilities allows all state governments (whether from the government or opposition states) to map out their development direction and agenda more strategically and appropriately.
12. In conclusion, the 12MP is a critical document and agenda. We must give serious attention and focus in ensuring that it is not just about achieving the target but able to give a big leap to the country.
13. We are already at a loss and left behind in many things. Not just because of the global pandemic that has yet to subside but because of the endless political turmoil and our failure to always execute what is well planned. This is the time for Malaysia as a nation to reclaim its future path. With confidence, dignity and pride.
DATUK SERI HJ. MOHAMED KHALED NORDIN