Want govt contracts? Show you can deliver, says Dr M

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, launching the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, warns that the government will cancel licences which are sold to others.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV 2030) is better than the Vision 2020 he introduced in his first stint in power.

At a press conference after the launch of SPV 2030, Mahathir said the plan was for all though the focus is on the poor and it was better because everyone will enjoy prosperity.

“We speak a lot about Bumiputeras because they are the poorest. It includes the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak. Emphasis is given to them so they can catch up with those who are rich.”

When asked how SPV 2030 would differ from previous government plans, Mahathir said it would focus on a fairer distribution of opportunities.

“We will guide those who have the passion. We will help them. We will train those who do not have the knowledge or experience.”

In the past, he said, there were those who gave out contracts, licences and approved permits (APs) to friends and those who were not qualified.

He said the beneficiaries then sold their contracts or failed to complete them, leaving them still poor.

“This time around, if they want a contract, they have to show their ability to manage it.

“If they don’t have the funds (to carry out a project), they can get a loan but we will evaluate their ability before they are given contracts, licences or APs.”

Therefore, even though there are fewer opportunities, there would be better outcomes as only those who really wanted them would get them, he added.

“Those who want to sell won’t get them. We will cancel contracts of those who do that.”

He said there was no guarantee that SPV 2030 would succeed where other plans had failed as it did not depend solely on the government, but on the people, who have to respond to the government’s efforts.

He also called on the private sector to take part in SPV 2030.

“For example, they should not give contracts only to their own people — Malays give to the Malays, Chinese give to the Chinese. It shouldn’t be like that.”

The same, he said, should apply to employment where the people with the right qualifications should be given the opportunities.

“So the private sector has a role to play, not only the government.”

Meanwhile, to a question about widening the government’s tax base in the wake of calls to reintroduce the goods and services tax (GST), Mahathir said the tax system had not been implemented properly and this would be improved.

“We may have to introduce new taxes which are not burdensome to the people.”