Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Poverty eradication project funds won’t be affected: PM


Funds allocated for poverty eradication related projects would not be affected in the mid-term Ninth Malaysia Plan review later this month. However, mega development projects throughout the Country might be put on hold. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when disclosing this yesterday described poverty eradication programs as priority projects, and stressed that it was also in line with the effort to eradicate abject poverty by the year 2010. “Any projects, even mega ones, will be on hold, if it is not urgently needed, while those on-going will not be touched. The review will be done both in East and West Malaysia, we will look at the details and decide later,” he said at a press conference after officially closing the two-day Chief Executive Officers Conference 2008 here, yesterday. Also present were Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and his two deputies Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiali. Earlier in his speech, Abdullah said the Government would like to ensure that all important projects are carried out well, especially in East Malaysia so that by 2020, the two States will grow and be at par with the counterparts in Peninsular. He said the Government had to weather strong criticisms, especially from the Malaysians who must bear the brunt of higher fuel prices. “It has been a difficult tightrope to walk on. On one hand, we continue to do everything within our power to cushion the impact on the people, while on the other, we are working very hard to ensure that our national finances do not deteriorate to the detriment of future generations,” he said. He stressed that this is the challenge posed by globalisation, which means making difficult decisions in the face of overwhelming challenges. “On my part, I believe that we are making the painful but necessary adjustments towards making Malaysia more competitive. “I am sure that many of you will have your own difficult decisions to make in the face of globalisation. You will never be able to make everyone happy but you can at least console yourself with the certainty .that you are making the right decision, God willing,” he said. Abdullah reassured potential investors that Malaysia’s delivery system and its services will be able to meet their demands, with hardworking Anti—Corruption Agency officers and personnel combating graft. In the effort to overcome the food crisis, he urged the people to venture into the agriculture sector. “I am not asking them to go back to agriculture but rather develop the sector to ensure better productivity,” he said. In addition, Abdullah also called for better implementation of all development projects, stressing that having a good plan is not enough. Is the 100 per cent hike in the salary of Tenaga Nasional Berhad Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh rational? Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in responding to this question, said: “They are the ones who know it better whether it is rational or otherwise.”