KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said the reason behind previous failed economic plans was because people did make use of opportunities that were available to them.
Speaking at the Dewan Rakyat, Dr Mahathir said the Shared Prosperity Vision (SPV) 2030 was launched to correct previous failed economic plans, such as the new economic plans (DEB) which did not achieve its intended target as people did not make use of it.
“At that time, we didn’t know that the people didn’t appreciate the opportunities given to them, they did not use the opportunities for their intended purposes,” he said in response to questions by Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak).
Dr Mahathir also said that is why in SPV 2030, the government will focus on giving training and knowledge to people and workforce instead of cash handouts practice.
“We have managed to get billionaires, not just millionaires. I knew a businessman who is now known as the biggest helicopter businessman.
“If we use the opportunities we could have overcome the huge gap between the wealthy and the poor.
“Before we give them a chance, we would check if they are able to do it. If they are not able, then we will provide them with training,” he said.
Meanwhile on other matters, Dr Mahathir also said the government has started to review the poverty line since March to give a clearer picture of the poverty situation in the country.
Responding to a question from Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PH-Port Dickson) regarding a special report by the United Nations on the poverty rate in Malaysia, which claimed that the situation was worse than reported.
“The government is reviewing it with the cooperation of National Statistics Department, Ministry of Health and other relevant departments and agencies,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said the poverty rate in Malaysia in the past was based on data obtained from the Household Income Survey (HIS) which followed international standards maintained by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD).