KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 ― Unlike Vision 2020, the new blueprint to a wealthier Malaysia by 2030 will be better able to arrest corruption that has impeded the country’s growth the past 15 years, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
The prime minister who was the architect of Vision 2020 admitted the failure of his original roadmap for the country, but gave an assurance that the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government does not practise favouritism.
He said the the Shared Prosperity Vision (SPV) 2030 has legal measures to ensure no crony gets government contracts and that those who do receive them will be punished in law.
“I understand that the previous plan, there was a lot of corruption where people gave government licences, contracts and APs for import to their friends and in turn they did nothing.
“This is a failure,” he told reporters when asked why Vision 2020 did not work and how the SPV 2030 that he had just launched at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here would address corruption and cronyism concerns.
Dr Mahathir said Vision 2020 failed because the two previous administrations did not continue his original plans, adding that if they did, Malaysia would have reached developed nation status by next year.
He blamed rampant corruption and power abuse that put the country’s wealth in the pockets of the elite few as the main reasons for Malaysia’s failure to make the leap to high-income nationhood.
In comparison, the prime minister said the SPV lays out the groundwork to ensure the poor and needy receive their fair dues and the chance to raise themselves from poverty with their own power.
Dr Mahathir added that by doing giving a proper assistance through education training, financing and building infrastructure where they were most needed, Malaysians as a whole will have a higher purchasing power, which will lead the country to become an economic powerhouse.
“This time, if we find someone to be selling their government contracts, APs or licences to their friends, cronies or outside parties, we will revoke these privileges,” he said.
“If we find you to be corrupt, we will take away your contracts or automatically cancel them. This won't hamper the success of the projects and the people must help in ensuring the success of these projects,” Dr Mahathir added.
The prime minister also revealed that his Cabinet’s weekly meetings were mostly to keep tabs on corrupt practices within the government.
“As far as I know, corruption has decreased, but there are signs that there are some people are corrupt and we are looking into them.
“There is no favouritism here. Anyone who is receiving money for themselves because of the position they hold, they will be subject to action by the agencies,” he stressed.
Dr Mahathir said government needs the public to buy in to its SPV to make Malaysia a high-income nation.
He said the roadmap emphasises providing a proper leg-up to the bottom wage earners who make up 40 per cent of the population, pointing out that 70 per cent are from the Bumiputera community.
He said that the SPV aims to make Malaysia a hub for high technology with high income jobs in 10 years and improve the nation's economy which has been hit badly due to kleptocracy.