Saratok MP: 12MP addresses economic growth discrepancy between East and West Malaysia

Datuk Ali Biju

KUCHING, Sept 30: The 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) seeks to reduce the economic growth gap between Peninuslar Malaysia and the regions of Sarawak and Sabah.

This is the view of Saratok MP Datuk Ali Biju who said that 12MP has a tangible aim which is to ensure that after five years, the ratio for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita for Sarawak and Sabah is 1:1.2 and 1:2.5 respectively.

“As a Sarawakian, I am always reminded of my duty to ensure that my State is never left behind, nor the non-Malay Bumiputeras of Sarawak,” said Ali in a statement today.


He said the 12MP unveiled on Sept 27, 2021 by Prime Minister Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was a comprehensive plan aimed at rebuilding the economy after the devastating effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic and is a roadmap that steers the development of the country, targeting especially the youth.

Among others, he said, the goal was for the country to transition into a prosperous, high-income, inclusive, low-carbon, high-tech, sustainable and globally competitive nation.

“The budget for the 12MP is a massive 54 per cent jump from the 11MP, worth RM260 billion,” he pointed out and highlighted a few key initiatives of the plan that he believed resonated with his priorities as an MP representing a rural constituency.

“For my constituents, their main concern is bread-and-butter (issues). This plan targets income growth, which is the mainstay of all economies. The average Malaysian monthly household income is RM7,160. The target of the 12MP is to raise this amount to RM10,065,” said Ali who is also the Deputy Energy and Natural Resources Minister.

Acknowledging that the majority of Malaysians cannot live without the Internet, especially those in the rural areas who still have issues of intermittent connectivity, he said the plan will provide 100 per cent 4G coverage in populated areas, introduce wider 5G coverage, with 100 per cent urban and rural households subscribing to the Internet.

“RM15 billion more will be invested by the private sector to speed up nationwide 5G rollout. The allocation of 2.5 per cent gross expenditure on R&D (research and development) to GDP, 10.5 per cent contribution of e-commerce to GDP and 25.5 per cent contribution of the digital economy to GDP will be a huge boost to connectivity which the youth, especially rural based youth, will benefit from,” said Ali.

Pointing out that 12MP also focusses on green growth, a key priority which rural folk understand as it has always been their way of life to live sustainably and in harmony with nature, Ali who is also the Krian assemblyman said this must be translated onto the urban map.

“In short, the 12MP is a holistic plan that seeks to be inclusive and provides real opportunities for all the races in our nation, the entire populace be it in urban centres or rural districts, and a fair and equitable seat for everybody at the table of prosperity and development.

“Implemented aggressively and precisely, this plan will be a gamechanger not only for the nation, but for Sarawak in particular. I am proud to be a part of the administration that will ensure that this plan comes to full fruition,” said Ali. — DayakDaily