Najib: I have a plan, will not be distracted

The Star/ANN

PETALING JAYA - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has reassured the people that his priority is to safeguard their interests.

"I have a plan, and the plan is working. I will not be distracted, for there are serious consequences of not seeing the plan through," he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office on Thursday ahead of the tabling of Budget 2016 in Parliament.

He added that this year, the Government is focused on strengthening the resilience of the economy while managing the impact of external vulnerabilities and safeguarding the interest of the people.

"Despite the oil price fall, and the challenges faced by emerging markets around the world, Malaysia's economic fundamentals remain strong with growth expected to be 4.5 to 5.5% this year.

"The Government is therefore well-placed to continue to put the people first and will provide assistance, especially to vulnerable groups.

"It will work to help with rising living costs, support the private sector with pro-business policies and ensure inclusive growth while enhancing human capital development, innovation and green technology," said Najib.

He added that pro-active measures are being taken to mitigate the impact of the decline in Government revenues.

"Two things we have done to increase resilience is to introduce the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and rationalise subsidies.

"These decisions have been our saviour. GST collection is higher than anticipated due to higher compliance, and fortunately, we have other resources," he said, adding that the Government has been prudent with expenditure.

He stressed that Budget 2016 will demonstrate how the plan of the Government will improve the lives of all Malaysians.

"It is our next steps towards achieving Vision 2020 and achieving developed nation status. The future and welfare of all Malaysians is my top priority," said Najib.