KUALA LUMPUR: Differences in political opinions between the government and opposition should not come in the way of Malaysia becoming a high-income nation, said Rafizi Ramli.
Speaking in the Dewan Rakyat, the economy minister said that such differences would lead to the government failing to implement policies beneficial to the people.
“What would fail (the government’s plan)? We (politicians) would fail them,” said Rafizi when winding up the debate on the mid-term review of the 12th Malaysia Plan.
“Therefore, I would like to say that we can have political differences but we shouldn’t let these cause us to slip once again in reaching our target of becoming a high-income nation.
“We can settle our political differences during elections.”
Rafizi was responding to Dzulkefly Ahmad (PH-Kuala Selangor), who asked him what could stop the government’s efforts for the nation to achieve high-income status as it had already introduced the New Industrial Master Plan and the progressive wage policy.
Rafizi said if Malaysia witnesses 5%-5.5% economic growth annually till 2026, it will achieve such status in that year or in 2028.
He also said policies mooted by the government, such as targeted subsidies, were crucial to guarantee the country’s fiscal sustainability.
“I want to see whether the opposition will politicise the (targeted subsidy plan) once it is launched as (politicisation) is one of the reasons why government programmes and plans fail despite being well received,” he added.
Rafizi also said the government may have to bear subsidies as high as RM100 billion unless reforms are made to the subsidy system.
He said this in response to Johari Ghani (BN-Titiwangsa), who said that the government needs political will to reform the country’s fiscal policy.