PUTRAJAYA (Bernama) – The strategies and measures to strengthen Malaysia’s economic resilience as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday bodes well for the country, said a number of leaders.
Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the measures that would taken would not stunt rural development.
“Rural development in terms of clean water supply, housing and infrastructure facilities will not be touched by austerity measures. Maybe in terms of operating expenditure, we will have to reduce overseas trips and purchase of office equipment,” he said .
He told this to reporters after attending the ceremony for the special address by the Prime Minister on current developments and the government’s financial position at the Putrajaya International Conventions Centre.
Mohd Shafie said the deferment in increase electricity tariffs would also help reduce the burden of the people particularly small entrepreneurs where operation costs in concerned.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam said the measure to reduce operating expenditure could not be avoided and that all government agencies must take the necessary action.
“We will try at our respective ministries to see how we can do this and how much we can save,” he said.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, meanwhile, urged the people to understand the situation and help the government face it.
In Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said although there was a reduction in the national operating expenditure, it would not have a major impact on the running of the administration because it would be balanced by stressing on effective and prudent management.
Musa, who is also Sabah Finance Minister, said what mattered was that development expenditure was not affected.
“As an example, the Pan Borneo Highway Project will be continued. This clearly proves that even though we are faced with economic challenges, the government is still concerned about the interests of the people and provision of infrastructure facilities for the people’s well-being,” he said in a statement.
In Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman in a statement said the three core strategies annnounced by the Prime Minister were apt in addressing the current world economic situation.
He said the state government would also review its 2015 Budget to accommodate the change in oil royalty it would be receiving from the federal government this year.
In Kuala Lumpur, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek said the steps taken by the government were effective to ensure the retail industry continued to grow and that more frequent mega sales would stimulate cash flow, thus strengthening the economy.
“My ministry encourages retail businesses to reduce prices or hold mega sales. This will draw in shoppers, locals and foreigners alike,” he said, adding that emphasis should be given to Malaysian made products.
In Melaka, Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron said the government’s initiative to stimulate the domestic tourism industry will help prevent outflow of money and in the process strengthen the Ringgit and the economy.
“When RM1 is spent by tourists locally, it will then be spent by the recipient for his business. This way there will be business growth for the recipient and economic growth for the country,” he said.
He added that he hoped that Melaka would be one of the states which would receive allocations under the RM893 million expenditure for flood mitigation.
In Shah Alam, Selangor Economic Action Council (MTPNS) chairman Datuk Seri Noh Omar said the measures taken were wise in alleviating the burden the people are facing now, especially in urban areas.
“A good example is deferring the National Service Training Programme. With this move, the allocation for it can be used for more important things,” said Noh, who is also Selangor Barisan Nasional chairman.
In Kuching, Sarawak Assistant Minister of Tourism Datuk Gramong Juna said the promotion of domestic tourism with the offering of competitive airfares was a good strategy to boost the national economy.
“When you offer competitive airfare, more people can afford to travel. “When more people travel, this will contribute to the economy,” he said.