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The government shines a light on its transformation programme of the last three years
AT no other three-year period has the government of Malaysia been as busy. And Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has a detailed statement of accounts on which he has asked to be judged. Last year's reports on the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) clearly speak of a National Transformation Policy that is on track to meet the challenges of the present and future. Under its driving philosophy of "1Malaysia: People First, Performance Now", the three-pronged aim of strengthening the solidarity of plural Malaysia, developing a government delivery system which prioritises the aspirations of the people, and escaping the middle-income trap, are looking very achievable. What makes it all credible is that the reports are proper audits of the progress made thus far. In the honesty and industry of their presentation on Monday evening, one cannot but agree with Najib that it would be a mistake to change the driver of this transformation juggernaut at this juncture.
As he reminded his fellow citizens, the country will be facing the 13th general election soon in a global economic milieu of uncertainty and inflationary pressure. That the population, however, is moving on regardless is largely thanks to an official policy of giving top priority to managing the cost of living so that inflation, while real, does not overburden the average worker and consumer. Here is an example of how effective the GTP is; a fact largely due to its construct, which focuses the government's mind and muscle on seven National Key Result Areas (NKRA), led by a toolkit to tackle rising prices. Following closely is crime reduction, where street crimes have almost been halved. Enhancing student performance, the third NKRA, has seen the realisation of free schooling and an emphasis on early education. Upgrading rural infrastructure and the other three NKRAs have also had measurable impacts. The Key Performance Indicators quantify all of the result areas.
On the economic front, the world has been supplied proof of the government's success. The ETP has improved Malaysia's international ranking as among the world's top countries for the ease of starting and running a business. It is rising in the World Economic Competitiveness list. Investment is flowing into the country, given that it is one of the top 10 countries in the Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index for this year. These are hard facts, not pie in the sky. With the engagement of the electorate, Najib's aim of a growing per capita income, reaching Vision 2020's target of US$15,000 (RM45,750), becomes a real possibility.