Malaysia trade minister: Govt not shirking its responsibility of developing the country

Malaysia Trade Minister Ong Ka Chuan (centre).
The Star

KAMPAR, Malaysia - The Budget 2016 has included measures to strengthen domestic investment as well as to increase exports and human capital development, said International Trade and Industry Minister II Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan.

"The Government has not shirked its responsibility of developing the country despite a marked decrease in its projected revenue.

"This is evident in the RM730mil (S$239 million) fund for the Malaysian Investment Development Authority to pull in more investors into the country and another RM340mil for the Malaysian External Trade Develop­ment Corp to promote our products," he said.

Ong added that despite a huge drop in its revenue from RM26bil in 2015 to an estimated RM16bil next year due to plummeting oil prices, the Government still managed to encompass all aspects in the Budget.

He said this yesterday after opening the inaugural Tin Mining Festival at the Kampar Tin Mining (Gravel Pump) Museum here.

As for churning out skilled workers, Ong said the setting up of a committee under his ministry to enhance the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) served to change the negative perception people had towards those pursuing technical and vocational training.

"The perception is that technical and vocational training is only for school dropouts and those who fail to perform well in school.

"In order to change this mindset, the ministry hopes to not only produce outstanding trainees but also help them find good jobs," he said.

On the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), Ong said the ministry had embarked on a series of roadshows to educate the public on what it entailed.

"The TPPA is a huge development and whether Malaysia becomes a signatory, it will still go on. It is a situation we cannot avoid," he said.