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Nation in hands of good leadership


DON'T BE LULLED INTO COMPLACENCY: All must work harder and perform better, urges Shafie

LAST year's excellent achievements under the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) should not make everyone complacent, said Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, adding that all had to work harder and perform better.

"Our accomplishment to date shows Malaysia is being well taken care of by the current leadership.

"Today's leadership has delivered what it has promised, despite the gloomy global economic outlook.

"Untested and untried leadership, however, will only spell uncertainty that can lead to trouble," he told the New Straits Times.

Shafie said one had to preserve the political as well as economic stability to woo more investors to Malaysia.

The ministry's track record in the 2011 GTP report has been impressive too, he said.

"We incorporated the experiences and lessons learnt in 2010 into the implementation process.

"As a result, previous issues that affected procurement and administration were minimised or resolved. The result was a more efficient and effective rural basic infrastructure (RBI) machinery, which quickened project delivery to the rakyat," Shafie said.

He said last year's RBI projects including the completion of 1,013km of rural roads, creating a positive spin-off to 425,377 people; the 73,227 of rural houses connected to clean water supply which touched 366,135 lives; the 27,004 rural houses supplied with electricity, brightening the lives of 135,020; and the 14,365 houses for rural poor that were built and restored, positively impacting 71,825 people.

Aside from improving infrastructure in the rural areas, pushing for human capital development was also crucial, said Institute for Rural Advancement (Infra) deputy director (social development and international affairs) Rubiyah Abd Rahman.

Both aspects, she pointed out, had to go hand-in-hand by empowering the 8.2 million rural population.

"About 29 per cent of the population in the rural areas are youths aged between 15 and 39. They are potential human capital for this nation and it is crucial to empower them with the right knowledge and training.

"Through such an empowerment, it will lessen their dependence on others including the government."

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said the excellent results of the GTP had proven that the blueprint was crucial to ensure the nation could achieve a high-income status by 2020.

"We have been stuck in the middle-income trap for the last 10 years.

"There were growths but it was not enough to thrust the country to a high-income status.

"The rakyat should evaluate the government based on its performance."

In contrast, he said, the Pakatan Rakyat's election manifesto had very little on its economic and government plans.

"They only talk about issues the people like to hear like corruption. Yes, tackling corruption is important but that alone cannot ensure Malaysia achieves high-income status," Dr Chua said. Additional reporting by Rozanna Latiff and Lavanya Lingan

Last year’s Rural Basic Infrastructure projects saw the completion of 1,013km of rural roads.


Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal says untested and untried leadership will only spell uncertainty

Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek says people should evaluate the government based on its excellent performance

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