Monday, October 25, 2010


I was at the launch of the government's "Economic Transformation Programme: A Road Map for Malaysia" at PWTC this afternoon. Listening to the PM's presentation and viewing the ETP video gave me a bad case of indigestion. Those astronomical numbers that he was throwing out were churning my stomach. Even when I tried to take them in with a pinch of salt, the numbers were still hard to swallow.

The PM was on a roll as he spoke of turning Malaysia into a high-income economy with a GNI of over RM1.7 TRILLION in 2020. That translates into a GNI per capita of RM48,000, up from RM23,700 in 2009.

"The ETP is not a plan," he emphasized. "It's a programme with projects already onstream", and to prove it, he listed nine private companies both local and international that have committed RM30billion under the ETP, among them Genting, Malaysia Airports, St Regis, Mydin and Germany's LFoundry.

Mind-boggling numbers!

Note that the 3.3 million jobs that the ETP hopes to create by 2020 will be mainly for middle and high income earners. What about the poor? How will the ETP generate income for them?

Numbers scare me especially when they have a string of '0's attached at the end. The PM is counting on massive investments in the economy with Domestic Direct Investments (DDI) leading the way. Will the private sector have enough faith in the ETP to jump on board?

I've always considered myself an eternal optimist, but I can't help feeling that all this is aimed at winning over the rakyat's votes in the next election. If the rakyat buys into the ETP, the BN government is assured of remaining in power at least till 2020.

(You can download a free copy of the ETP Road Map. For more about the ETP, visit the Pemandu website. To view a video presentation by the chief architect of the ETP, Pemandu CEO Dato’ Sri Idris Jala, click here.)

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