Anwar slams ‘trivial’ reasons to delay 12th Malaysia Plan

Anwar Ibrahim says that despite billions being distributed as part of the stimulus package, it is not felt by the rakyat.

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim today rubbished the “trivial” reasons given by the government for not tabling the 12th Malaysia Plan on time.

He said all MPs should be given the space to debate the impact of Covid-19 on the country’s economy.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Mustapa Mohamed said the delay was partly because of the newly-formed Perikatan Nasional government in March, and that existing policies had to be reviewed first as there were “several new ministers”.

Mustapa said “crude oil price (had dropped) and unemployment was increasing” and that the country’s deficit had increased to 6% this year.

“Even though the 12th Malaysia Plan was postponed, it is still based on the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 to reduce the income gap between Malaysians,” he said, adding that the plan will be implemented early next year.

Anwar, who is also Port Dickson MP, had earlier asked the reason for delaying the implementation of the 12th Malaysia Plan to January 2021.

In response to Mustapa, Anwar said the majority of the ministers were part of the old administration in PH.

“The reasons (given) are remeh (trivial). Malaysia is one of the countries that did not debate on the stimulus package. We are not asking to postpone the implementation (of the stimulus package). But parliamentary debate needs to be held,” he said.

Anwar cited Germany’s economic stabilisation fund to speed up distribution of funds in the country, “but we leave it to the banks to decide,” he said.

Canada, he said, used the Parliament to implement new norms and to tighten requirements for climate change, while India, he added, “focused on agricultural sectors and SMEs”.

He also said that despite billions being given as part of the stimulus package, it is not felt by the rakyat.

In June, the government had postponed the tabling of the 12th Malaysia Plan from the initially scheduled Aug 6 to January 2021. The 12th Malaysia Plan outlines the country’s development plan from 2021 to 2025.