KUALA LUMPUR – The government has received allocation requests for a total of RM900 billion under the 12Malaysia Plan (12MP) from federal and states government and agencies, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, reported Bernama.
He said this year alone, RM69 billion had already been allocated, with most of the fund channelled to the healthcare sector, including for the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
“Considering these requests (coming) from every direction, we have to study (them) carefully because priority needs to be given to the healthcare sector,” he told a press conference after attending a briefing on the Development Malaysia and Helping The World: Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development (JSC) on April 5.
JSC is a partnership between the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF) and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
Asked about the challenges of foreign direct investments (FDIs), Mustapa said the Malaysian public has to be fair and balance in making any assessment in any sectors, including the economy.
“Fair means get the number right. While we, as the government, admit that there are challenges, but there is also upside and we’re doing well in some areas.
“Measuring crudely by what is happening is Sunway Group, the footfall in the retail establishment, hotels, theme parks, universities, hospitals and so on. We believe we can achieve the target growth of 6.0-7.5% this year,” he said.
Touching on the issue, Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah said the group will soon be announcing a major investment from a foreign government.
“Until we announce it to the stock exchange (Bursa Malaysia), I can’t say anything more. But it is a big investment by a government sovereign fund from overseas,” he said.
Cheah said the overall situation for the group and local businesses is now looking much better compared to that of last year when COVID-19 started hitting the country.
“We have survived, with pent-up demand, more vaccines being rolled out and COVID-19 cases decreasing, I think the (consumers’) confidence will come back. We are seeing that every weekend, crowds in the malls are rising and is even better than the pre-pandemic times,” he said.
He said despite cross-border restrictions, Sunway’s education arm is also doing well, thanks to online learning.
“Our foreign student number has increased by 12% in the first quarter this year. We are confident things will come back once the borders are open,” he said.