30 September, 2009

Malaysian Budget Ideas


We have come a long way from our agricultural and commodity-driven years, resulting in the dynamic upper middle-income economy of today.  We have weathered difficulties such as the 1997 Asian economic crisis and have proven resilient in the current global financial crisis, but much work remains before we can call ourselves a fully developed nation by 2020.

To achieve our Vision 2020 goal, Malaysia must both become a High Income Economy, as defined by the World Bank, and attain a higher Human Development Index score reflecting our status  as a developed nation.

On Tuesday, I was briefed by the Central Bank of Malaysia, which focused on the current state of our competitiveness globally.  It had further confirmed our economic position globally.  As such, we have no option but to transform our economic activities in the right sub sectors of our economy to catapult our nation to become a high level income nation.

I stressed that transformation must entail leaving our comfort zone behind once more as we seek to become more competitive.  Changes we might have to confront, I suggested, include the need to adapt to external economic demand patterns, integrate further within the region and adjust our domestic structure that has been surpressing our economy to become what it rightly deserves to be. This exquisite balance is required to ensure that all Malaysians benefit.

I am also reminded of the role that the government must play, in facilitating private economic growth through the implementation of further institutional reforms. This will follow on from efforts introduced this year related to NKRAs and our performance measurement KPIs.

On Friday 23 October, I will be making my presentation of the 2010 national budget to Parliament.  Encouraged by the many responses and comments I have received previously via this website, once again I seek your compact suggestions this week on what measures or incentives may be included in the budget. Suggestions should be specific and focus on how we can move to become a high level income nation and also relate to the six NKRAs.

Please leave your comments here or send me an email, to najib@1malaysia.com.my, so that your suggestions are captured.  I will certainly be looking forward in hearing these ideas.