KUALA LUMPUR: Madani Economy, the latest economic framework announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today which aimed at boosting the Malaysian economy, will have revenue spillover to the people to enable them to enjoy a better quality of life.

Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, said the announcement on the Madani Economy: Empowering the People’ initiave is a comprehensive plan for Malaysia to address various challenges and issues related to its competitiveness and investment attractions, as well as outlining actions to address current issues that affect people’s lives.

“It is about elevating the status and dignity of our nation, with two main focuses; restructuring the economy towards making Malaysia a leading Asian economy, and ultimately providing the people with the benefits to enjoy a better quality of life,” he said at the launched of the initiative here today.

He said the Madani Economy initiative sets seven key performance indicators as medium-term targets to be achieved within a period of 10 years.

The seven indicators are Malaysia being in the top 30 of the world’s largest economies; top 12 in the Global Competitiveness Index; labour income constitutes 45 per cent of total income; women participation in the labour force reaches 60 per cent; top 25 in Human Development Index; top 25 in Corruption Perception Index; and fiscal sustainability with a fiscal deficit of three per cent or lower.

While emphasizing the importance of the equitable distribution of the nation’s future revenues to low and middle-income groups, Anwar said that the economic structural reforms should aim to create more meaningful job opportunities, ensure equal opportunities, and establish a social protection network for all.

It is also intended to enable the implementation of healthcare service reforms, education and human resource reforms, provision of infrastructure and public transportation, and accessibility to basic facilities and affordable housing for all.

The Prime Minister said the government will also implement policies supporting an increase in wages relative to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to reach 45 per cent to be at par with the rates in developed countries.

Among the efforts towards achieving these goals include a review of the minimum wage and the introduction of laws that guarantee a conducive work environment while reducing reliance on low-skilled foreign labour.

“The government intends to implement tiered foreign worker levies, where a portion of the levy increase will be allocated to automation programmes and training for local workers,” he said.

Anwar said to ensure social justice and equal opportunities, the government will prioritise the underprivileged and low-income groups, especially in the provision of scholarships and full-boarding education.

“I firmly believe that only through quality education can the people break free from the poverty trap,” he said.

He said the government will also implement an industrial policy based on geography, that is specialising activities and investments according to regions to reduce the development gap between regions and between developed and less developed states.

These efforts include developing the Klang Valley to enhance liveability, revitalising Kuala Lumpur as a modern tourist attraction, and strengthening the development of Iskandar Malaysia in Johor.

To increase the participation of women in the labour market, Anwar said efforts will be taken in terms of legislation and regulatory aspects, as well as support programmes, to encourage mothers to rejoin the workforce, introducing initiatives related to Care-Economy, including setting up childcare centres (at the workplace).

“Our goal is to increase the women’s participation to up to 60 per cent to be on par with regional economies,” he said.

Ensuring that the Unity Government will protect all Malaysians, Anwar said that the government will expand the social protection network to safeguard the people, namely by expanding the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Social Security Organisation (Socso) contribution to the working-age population in phases, promoting sustainable retirement savings, and providing social aid through the Rahmah cash assistance programme.

He said the government also aims to undertake Health Service Reforms through various initiatives, including targeting five per cent of GDP for healthcare expenditure and optimising the public and private healthcare systems.

Affirming that education is a fundamental right for every citizen, the Prime Minister said the country’s education system needs to be more demand-driven, particularly by strengthening cooperation with industries and employers, other than providing lifelong learning pathways for people to acquire any skills they desire to learn, whether in universities, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions, or micro-credentials for specific skills.

On infrastructure and public transformation, Anwar said the integration of land public transportation management aims to optimise all existing assets by focusing on efforts to build a better public transportation network between and within cities, as well as improving last-mile connectivity through cost-effective methods, including the use of electric buses.

To improve the air connectivity network for the people and tourists, the government also planned to expand the Penang and Subang airports, improve Bus Rapid Transport in Johor Bahru and LRT in Penang, as well as implement the MRT3 in the Klang Valley.

The government also pledged to ensure that the people, especially in the rural areas, will enjoy universal access to basic infrastructure, be it water or electricity supply.

The Prime Minister said his Unity Government is committed to addressing water supply issues in Kelantan and Sabah and agreed to allocate an additional RM800 million for short-term solutions in both states, apart from expediting the implementation of flood mitigation projects in Kelantan, Pahang, Selangor and Johor.

He said the government also heard the grievances of the people regarding the postponement of their desire to own their first home due to the inability to provide a house purchase deposit.

“As such, the Government is enhancing the loan scheme under the Housing Credit Guarantee Corporation (HCGS) by providing financing guarantees of up to 120 per cent of the house price, valued up to RM300,000,” he said.

Nevertheless, Anwar said this economic framework will only work with the support and trust of all parties and only through good governance and an efficient service delivery system can this aspiration be realised.

“Immediate reforms to the structure, systems, and institutions are necessary as they will drive Malaysia towards its desired goals,” he said. -Bernama

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