JAKARTA: Malaysia is on the right track towards becoming a developed nation, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said the Government’s policies such as fuel subsidy reduction and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) had spurred the neccesary progress to benefit the people.
Najib, who is in Jakarta for a three-day working visit, was speaking during a dinner at the Malaysian Embassy here on Monday night.
“During my meeting with him, President Jokowi (Joko Widodo) praised the Malaysian Government’s measures and remarked that the challenges faced by Indonesia were greater even though its policies were similar to Malaysia,” he said.
“Jokowi said the fuel subsidy reduction and GST affected his popularity, which dropped by 70% but the steps had brought about development benefitting Indonesia and its people,” noted Najib.
He said in Indonesia, the savings from fuel subsidy reduction and GST could be utilised for the building of infrastructure and putting cash into the accounts of the needy.
“We saved RM22bil from our own fuel subsidy reduction and we are finding an approach to transfer it in the form of aid to the needy.”
The Prime Minister said the aid policy to the needy vitalised the micro economy, which in turn would contribute to the macro economy.
He said Indonesia had expressed interest in emulating the Malaysian Government in its policies, which resulted in an economic growth of five per cent and a low inflation rate.
“Foreign countries regard us highly but there are some among our people who look down on their own country; we must develop the country together.
“We can do better; our country will progress with everyone’s support.”
Najib said Malaysia was currently in 18th position among 140 countries and had strengthened its position to be among the 20 most competitive economies in the world “which is very encouraging”.
The dinner was attended by former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Cabinet ministers and more than 200 Malaysians residing in Indonesia, including students. — Bernama.