LET us be thankful that the 11th Malaysia Plan is being launched in an environment of peace and stability, thus giving us much hope that its objectives will be fully realised.
Considering the pain and suffering in other Muslim countries, we are indeed blessed with a bright future.
There are several factors which make the 11MP development objectives sustainable. The country’s rich natural resources, well-developed infrastructure, cultural diversity and young population, plus its strategic location in the fastest growth region in the world, are important advantages. Indeed, these are motivating factors for private investment and consumption to continue growing at rates envisaged under the plan.
Together with the fiscal and financial reforms which have been introduced, they are also important factors for facilitating public and private sector expenditure programmes to be undertaken within the framework of macro-economic sustainability.
Malaysia has reached the stage in its development where human resources, and the use of the skills and talents among our people will become increasingly important in determining the quality of growth and happiness of the people.
The professional, managerial and entrepreneurial resources of Malaysians are what will count most as we face the rapid pace of globalisation in the world economy.
It is, therefore, encouraging to see that the 11MP recognises these vital ingredients for success.
All Malaysians, regardless of race and gender, must have equal opportunities to contribute to national development so that we can make the cake bigger for everyone. Women’s role in the economy and society must be supported, and their rights must be protected for achieving growth in a balanced manner.
With growing sophistication of the new generation, it is imperative that their aspirations for economic and social justice, and their expectations of the government to take a strong stand on promoting human rights, racial tolerance and national unity must also be included in the national agenda to enable us become a fully-developed nation by 2020, in every sense of the word.