KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 — Preparations for the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) were already in the advanced stages before the government was forced to abandon and relook at its strategies amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said today.
The minister said that various economic shifts and market unpredictably cropping up as a result of the pandemic drove the government to re-engage with stakeholders and ministries, causing the inevitable delay of the plan being tabled in Parliament.
“At the beginning, we wanted to present the plan to Parliament in August, meaning by June or July, as I speak here today, for example, the plan would have been finalised, but then the pandemic came.
“Any plan, whatever plan you have, it has to be synchronised with current developments and it doesn't make sense to have a plan when it is out of sync with what’s happening around you.
“So that’s a major reason why we decided to postpone the plan because a number of things are quite fluid; things have become more and more unpredictable,” said Mustapa during an interview streamed ‘live’ online.
He said this at the launch of the Malaysian Economic Monitor report, during the interview with World Bank Malaysia’s country manager, Firas Raad, when quizzed on the government’s outlook towards the 12MP.
Among the major changes the government would have to now consider following the pandemic, Mustapa said, is the emergence of gig economies, the rise in unemployment rates and disruptions in several economic sectors, including tourism, that contribute greatly to the country’s coffers.
“It is for that reason we decided to re-engage with ministries and some stakeholders,” he said.
He added that another topic currently being looked at is the drafting of this year’s government Budget, which he said in itself posed a challenge.