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October 19, 2011 20:03 PM

2012 Budget Will Further Boost Transformation Efforts, Says Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the 2012 Budget is hoped to further boost the national transformation programme encompassing the government, economy and politics.

He said the tabling of the budget was also hoped to fulfill some of his pledges to the people such as the one embodied in the principles 'People First, Performance Now'.

"While we make this transformation, it should be for the benefit of all Malaysians, not a handful. Underpinning this transformation is the promise I first made to you, the Rakyat, in April 2009.

"The tabling of the Budget is part of this promise, and last Friday, I hope another large part has been fulfilled. It is not a final solution, as I have stated before, but it fuels us further on our Transformation journey, and embodies the principle of People First, Performance Now," he said in his latest blog entry at www.1Malaysia.com.my, Wednesday.

"I appreciate the positive reactions of the Rakyat to the 2012 Budget, whether addressed to me directly on my blog, Facebook, Twitter (even face-to-face!), or in other publications and websites. I am also aware of the skepticism expressed by some of you in the same fashion.

"I assure you, the Government and the Rakyat want the same thing: to be able to enjoy strong and continuous economic growth in harmony," he said.

As such, he said, in the new budget, the government had introduced several measures aimed at easing the financial burden of the people during this challenging economic situation.

These included a one-off payment of RM500 for all Malaysian households with a monthly income of RM3,000 or below; new funding for the 1Malaysia KAR1SMA anti-poverty programme, with assistance to poor senior citizens for RM300 a month and RM100 a month to poor children as well as help disabled Malaysians. Almost 500,000 will benefit from KAR1SMA alone;

A huge boost to public and private housing development making home ownership in reach of more Malaysians than ever before;

Abolishment of annual fees for primary and secondary students, making primary and secondary school education free; and

A RM200 book voucher for all Malaysians in Form 6 and in higher education nationwide, he said.

"While we provide this financial support, it would be irresponsible for the Government not to equip you with the necessary skills and tools to be financially independent and secure.

"We all cannot move forward if you survive only on the fish we give. You need the ability and skills to fish for yourselves. When you are skilled and able, we will successfully transform," he said.

Hence, Najib said, the following measures were also proposed in the Budget, among others:

Programmes to encourage innovation among youth and residents in rural areas, such as Jejak Inovasi and C1PTA;

Training programmes for eligible retired army personnel without pension to enter into business and assistance with job placements;

Micro-lending facilities through Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) in particular to encourage more women to enter into business;

Funds to encourage innovation among Small Medium Enterprises and to assist the revitalisation of their business;

Introducing MyCreative Venture Capital to provide funding for new and innovative business ideas from youths;

Skills training programmes including Strategic Action Youth 1Malaysia (SAY 1Malaysia) for youths who have not continued their studies;

The Prime Minister said while the Government embarked on implementing this Budget, he called for the support and active participation of the people to achieve a different and far better outcome for this generation of Malaysia, and for generations to come.

-- BERNAMA

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