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3.5% growth in 4Q, says Abdullah

PUTRAJAYA, 1 DEC 2008: The government has projected economic growth of at least 3.5% in the fourth quarter which will enable the economy to register an overall growth of 5.5% for 2008, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said today.

He said the economy grew 4.7% in the third quarter this year.

“If we achieve a growth of 5.5% this year, it is very, very good,” he said when addressing the monthly gathering of the Prime Minister’s Department.

Abdullah also called on public sector employees to speed up the review of the value of contracts in view of rising material costs.

Delays would make it difficult for contractors who would incur losses as a result of which the people would lose out as they would not be able to enjoy from the promised development.

Abdullah said there were also officers who threatened contractors who complained about delays.

“What is the benefit of delaying the process? And why should they threaten those who complain about the delay? Maybe because these officers think they have ‘huge cables’. They should know the consequences of this attitude,” he said.

The prime minister said the action was not in line with the government’s wishes to improve its service to the people.

He said that although there might be just one or two officers involved, it could tarnish the whole image of the public service.

Abdullah said there were also delays by banks in issuing loans to contractors. “This will also make it difficult for the contractors.”

Abdullah said continuous improvement in the public sector had shown results, with improvement seen in the country’s overall competitiveness and ability to attract investors. He said the momentum should be spurred further.

Public sector employees should also give priority to speeding up the implementation of projects identified under the economic stimulus package.

“We want domestic consumption to increase and the country’s economic growth to also accelerate,” he said, adding that it would be difficult to achieve success globally without first achieving success domestically.

Abdullah also took to task traders who still refused to lower the prices of goods although the government had revised downward the fuel prices on several occasions. — Bernama


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