“Shared prosperity” framework as the compass for Malaysia’s national planning

By Noor Soraya Mohammad Jamal

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 – As we approach the dawn of a new decade, Malaysia will rely on its next big picture of foresight to be an important guide and compass for the country’s national planning over the next 10 years.

The Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV2030) is the next projection of goals which, after taking over the baton from Vision 2020, will ultimately become the new framework for a more developed nation.

Launched by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad last October, SPV2030 breathes a simple yet refreshing narrative in describing the government’s effort to restructure the economy in order to afford everyone a reasonable standard of living by 2030.

Being an already successful trading nation and an Asian Tiger, Malaysia needs to address the pertinent bread and butter issues at home, especially a widening economic and income disparity that can lead to feelings of insecurity and contempt.

A collective effort is always needed to make any country prosperous, but a trust deficit among the people anywhere in the world will certainly eclipse successfully implemented programmmes or ongoing ones, and this is certainly not beneficial to anybody.

The SPV2030 will focus on creating a high-value, high-technology economy as well as diversifying resources and growth potential, while concurrently creating an agreeable policy and comfort level in the country’s economic direction to unite the people.

Minister of Economic Affairs Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said the SPV2030 blueprint will provide the “turbocharge” needed to boost the country’s economic development.

This, in turn, will elevate Malaysia into a higher-income nation and increase the people’s purchasing power.

To achieve this over the next decade, the government will underscore its economic undertaking by developing new growth areas to generate wealth by creating business opportunities and high-paying jobs.

This will ensure an inclusive, sustainable and meaningful socio-economic development that can provide a decent standard of living for all Malaysians, and will be operationalised through the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (2021-2025) and the Thirteenth Malaysia Plan (2026-2030).

To reach this goal, the Pakatan Harapan government has gleaned the aspirations of the rakyat since coming into power in May 2018 and outlined three key objectives going forward.

The first is by reshaping the economy to be knowledge-based so that all groups can participate at each level, and develop it together to be more progressive.

Secondly is to address the income gap which is to leave no one behind, and this takes into account the differences in ethnicity, social standing, as well as the various regions within Malaysia.

The third is a culmination of the previous two, in order to forge a more united and prosperous Malaysia to be the new centre of Asia.

At the same time, the government remains vigilant and continues to focus on strengthening Malaysia’s near-term resilience and advancing structural reforms to boost medium-term growth.

Hence, the country’s potential will further be optimised by strengthening productivity and innovation as catalysts of growth.

Prominence will also be given to the manufacturing sector to produce higher quality, more diverse and complex products.

In this regard, the focus is to strengthen areas with high growth potential such as aerospace, medical devices, electrical and electronics, machinery and equipment, as well as chemicals and chemical products.

Similarly, the development and modernisation of the resource-based industries through research, development, commercialisation and innovation initiatives will also be given priority.

Noteworthy are the concerted efforts from most ministries in laying the foundation of the SPV2030 objectives.

Among others and as part of Budget 2020, the Ministry of Finance had announced through Khazanah Nasional of the participating e-wallet service providers for the e-Tunai Rakyat initiative.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the e-Tunai Rakyat programme is in line with the government’s Shared Prosperity agenda, which aims to lower barriers to access digital technology and to make the digitalisation process inclusive for all.

The Health Ministry will also table a new policy, known as ‘Dasar Sihat Bersama 2030’ (Healthy Together 2030), as its main agenda in transforming the country’s health system in line with SPV 2030.

Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said the long-term policy is the health sector’s version of the Shared Prosperity, involving comprehensive and holistic plans of improvement for both public and private health care.

Dr Mahathir, who described SPV2030 as a vision and a gift for the current generation and generations to come, has also shared the framework on the international front.

The premier has called on Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies to embrace the shared prosperity philosophy and incorporate it into their own current economic model.

As it will play host to APEC 2020, Malaysia has chosen the theme “Optimising Human Potential towards a Future of Shared Prosperity” for next year’s gathering, indicating the importance of a shared prosperity philosophy.

Malaysia would definitely like to see the concept of shared prosperity driving the Post-2020 Vision for APEC and that it cascades to every work that APEC undertakes moving beyond the Bogor Goals, on top of continuing the work on women in the economy, financial inclusion, engaging youth and sustainable development.

“We will also continue creating a conducive environment for entrepreneurs, start-ups and social enterprises, as all these elements are critical components of a system that will contribute to shared prosperity,” according to the Prime Minister during the launch of APEC 2020.

Azmin also promoted Malaysia’s SPV2030 during the recently concluded KL Summit in order to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.

Within the Southeast Asian region, Malaysia has worked tirelessly to forge strategic alliances on the back of the “Prosper Thy Neighbour” doctrine that promotes the principles of Shared Prosperity.

He had encouraged other Muslim countries to create a framework akin to SPV2030 as such alliances will create stability in the region, along with opportunities to invest and create new jobs and wealth.

For the new economic model to be implemented well and with fairness and justice, it is vital to note that shared prosperity is not only about giving but also creating opportunities that can propel Malaysia into a developed country that is sustainable and inclusive.

— BERNAMA

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