KUALA LUMPUR, 17 Feb 2009: Only 70% of the RM7 billion economic stimulus package announced last November to kick-start the economy has been disbursed.
As such, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wants the public sector to buck up in planning and implementing people-oriented projects under the package to generate economic growth.
The prime minister said that if the money was not spent quickly the government’s effort to stimulate growth to cushion the impact of the global economic recession would not be realised.
“We understand that the allocation has been given, so it is the duty and responsibility of all of us to work as quickly as possible so that the projects can be implemented, he said at the Defence Ministry’s monthly assembly here today.
Abdullah, who is also Defence Minister, said the country’s economic growth would be further boosted by a second stimulus package to be announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minsiter Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the current Dewan Rakyat sitting.
“This will surely involve a big expenditure, maybe more than that given out last November.
“This calls for all of us (in the public sector) to work harder so that what has been allocated is implemented as soon as possible,” he said.
Abdullah said that in the current economic scenario, the public sector was regarded as important and with a big role to play in rehabilitating the economy to ensure that the many projects planned were implemented by the private sector, whose role was to catalyse economic growth.
“As we work to rehabilitate the economy as best we can, it is the government’s policy for the private sector to be the catalyst of our economic growth…in these times they are not in a position to lead and cannot play the role expected of them,” he said.
Citing projects under the Defence Ministry, Abdullah said that if the projects were planned as soon as possible, it would give business opportunities to the private sector and thus help them in these difficult times.
“Understanding this, I hope that the Defence Ministry can cobble a force to plan because our strength and ability to plan will ensure the implementation and success of the projects.
“I hope that it will reflect our ability, efficiency and sense of urgency because we want those works implemented quickly … don’t delay because it’s for the good of our nation,” he said. — Bernama