Sunday, March 31, 2013

Household income continues to soar on economic transformation

The current average monthly household income of Malaysians at about RM5,000 compared to RM4,025 in 2009, is one of the initial fruits of the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
Political analysts on the whole are of the opinion that the GTP and ETP are not just mere slogans because the implementation report data has proven the programmes' success in raising the household income of Malaysians.
According to the 2012 GTP and ETP achievement report and the progress report card tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak recently, the two initiatives have started to show significant improvements in the well-being of the people.
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) Social Science Faculty senior lecturer Dr Jeniri Amir said the government's move in enhancing the GTP and ETP programmes was a brilliant and timely step for the country towards achieving developed nation and high-income status.
"Compared to five years ago the increase is very significant, whereby civil servants' salaries have been raised and we also have a minimum salary for the private sector. Indeed such transformation is necessary to put the nation on track towards becoming a developed country, towards Vision 2020," he told Bernama.
He said Malaysia recorded a high growth rate of 5.6 percent despite uncertainties in the global economic environment.
Strong economic growth continued to generate employment opportunities and drive various economic activities which led to the increase of income for Malaysians, he added.
"Generally, people's standard of living and purchasing power have been on the rise during the last four years.
He said, the government under Najib's leadership has succeeded in distributing additional national revenue to the people more equitably according to the needs of the sectors such as education and infrastructure, including water supply, electricity and roads, to raise their standard of living.
Referring to Sabah and Sarawak, Dr Jeniri, who hails from Sarawak, said many areas in both states have seen progress, especially in urban areas such as Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.
However, he said the government should place greater emphasis and take measures to reduce inflation rates in the two states, which were escalating due to indiscriminate hikes in prices of goods by certain parties.
"I think Sabahans and Sarawakians will enjoy even better living standards if this problem is curbed with tighter regulation and penalties," said Dr Jeniri.
Commenting on the opposition promise to raise household income to RM4,000 a month in five years, he said it was nothing special as the Barisan Nasional government has almost achieved the level.
The government has also realised the People First, Performance Now policy with various assistance such as the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M), RM100 school assistance, 1Malaysia Book Voucher as well as the 1Malaysia Tyre Aid programmes, he elaborated.
Universiti Sains Malaysia, School of Social Sciences, associate professor of criminology Dr P. Sundramoorthy said, all the government initiatives and various financial support were timely and relevant to ease the burden of the rising cost of living.
"It is a progressive move taken by the government, especially for the lower income group.
He welcomed the government announcement that BR1M would be carried out annually as an initiative to help this group and as proof of the government's commitment to help the poor, adding that the initiative should be sustained in the future regardless of the political landscape.

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