KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has enormous potential to rise as a vibrant economy as it has the necessary resources, skilled workforce and strong economic fundamentals, says Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
He said the unity government has also crafted a series of policies, namely the Madani Economy, the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) and the New Industrial Masterplan 2030 (NIMP 2030) to support it, he said.
The NETR, which comprises catalytic projects worth RM25 billion, is a plan to make Malaysia a hub for renewable energy and green technology, he said at the dinner reception with the Malaysian diaspora and students in New York.
At the same time, the NIMP 2030 is not a rehash of the old plan but a departure from it, as it focuses on specific missions and new thrusts, he said.
“Last week, we approved the mid-term review of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), which was not just an ordinary review of the old plan.
“The 12MP review entails a shift in focus, policies and direction — taking into account the new government’s policy of good governance and democratic accountability, as well as the aim to transform Malaysia into a vibrant, and economically, socially and academically successful nation.”
Anwar, who is also the finance minister, said that as a trading nation, Malaysia’s success depended very much on its ability to attract investments.
“We want every single Malaysian in the United States to consider themselves as ambassadors of Malaysia.
“You should encourage your colleagues to understand and know Malaysia. This would be your mission, as goodwill ambassadors, to focus on promoting trade and investments.
“Our dream, my dream and your dream should be to make sure Malaysia rises again.“
Anwar also said the government was looking into ways to attract skilled Malaysians to return and contribute to the country to address the brain drain threat the country is facing now.
“Top scholars, top economists, top accountants are leaving the country or have left, so now we have to make sure that we have a system that can encourage them to come back by offering incentives,” he said.
Anwar said the government has set up a committee to review the salary scheme of public servants.
“What I have inherited is a RM1.5 trillion debt and a 5.6% fiscal deficit.”
He hoped to reduce the deficit to 5.3% this year and to 5% in 2024.
On the question of dual citizenship, Anwar said the matter would be discussed further as it would involve a major policy decision.
“The foreign and home ministers will put up a paper and we will discuss the implications.
“For now, we are not in favour, but since there are requests, we’ll at least look at it and see whether we need to adjust (the policy).”
Anwar was asked earlier if there was a possibility for the government to allow dual citizenship to encourage Malaysian professionals living abroad to contribute to the country’s development, without having to choose between their homeland and adopted countries.