Government's transformation policies have greatly benefited Malaysians: PM Najib

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - The people have benefited greatly from the Government's national transformation policy which has seen family income grow from RM4,025 (S$1,632) in 2009 to RM5,000 a month in four years, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Unveiling a glowing report card that listed achievements since he took office in April 2009, the Prime Minister stressed on the importance of the nation having an effective government that delivers on its promises to the rakyat.

Thanks to hard work, dedication and cooperation from all parties, a better standard and quality of life for the people had been attained with the economy progressing while government finances remained healthy, he said.

The Prime Minister said his administration deserved a strong mandate to turn Malaysia into a high-income nation.

He announced that the BR1M cash aid initiative for the low-income group, which started last year, would be an annual affair.

Najib said: "It is clear that this is a responsible Government which delivers on its promises. This Government puts the well-being of the people above everything else.

"In a country that practises democracy, the people determine which party is to be entrusted to form the government. There are effective governments and there are those which are weak and fail to fulfil what is entrusted to them," he told the nation "live" on TV channels last night as he presented the annual report of Pemandu, the performance management and delivery unit of the Prime Minister's Department.

After three years, he said, the Government's transformation programme initiatives had borne fruit.

Among others, subsidies benefited the target group, which had been expanded to be eligible for BR1M.

The Government had also launched the Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia to provide affordable housing and Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia to ensure essential goods could be bought at lower prices.

Najib said the Government had also initiated 1Azam to shrink the poverty group, constructed 3,300km of roads, and provided clean water to 1.4 million households and electricity to 470,000 homes.

Najib also spoke of the initiatives taken to increase enrolment among preschoolers, which reached 770,000 or 80 per cent of the age cohort last year compared with 67 per cent in 2009.

He said the Government was improving the urban public transport system. A speed train connecting Kuala Lumpur and Singapore within 90 minutes was in the works, alongside electrified double trekking from Ipoh to Padang Besar. The west coast highway is at the same time being constructed.

"Achievements have also been made in the national key economic area, including in the tourism sector where almost 50 million tourists visited Malaysia in 2011 and last year with Gross National Income of almost RM100 billion. In developing Greater Kuala Lumpur, 48 contract packages worth RM19.8bil were offered under the MRT project as at Dec 31 last year," he added.

The Prime Minister said Malaysia was a manifestation of a successful nation, thanks to meticulous planning and effective development policies which had turned it from a progressive agriculture-based economy to a modern and industrialised middle-income nation.

He said the proof (of progress) was in the Gross National Income - from US$257 (RM802.5) in 1957 to US$9,970 (about RM31,000) last year, an increase of almost 4,000 per cent in over five decades while poverty had dropped from 60 per cent in the early days of Independence to just 1.7 per cent in 2012.

Najib said the global community recognised Malaysia's achievements based on the accolades it received, including being ranked the 12th most friendly nation to do business with and topping the list in terms of providing credit access, according to the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report 2013.

He noted that Malaysia was ranked 14th most competitive nation by the Institute for Management Development's World Competitiveness Yearbook 2012 survey while the foreign direct investment confidence index survey by AT Kearney put it on the 10th spot.

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