INEQUALITY: “ANY AMOUNT (FOR EASTERN MALAYSIA) AID”
During the unveiling of the 12 MPs on Monday, Mr Ismail Sabri said at least 50% of the plan’s development allocation – the largest ever with RM400 billion – would go to the most underdeveloped states from Kelantan, Kedah, Terengganu, Perlis, Sabah and Sarawak.
Singapore Institute of International Affairs principal researcher Dr Oh Ei Sun, who is a Sabahan, said states in East Malaysia can only hope to get the lion’s share of that 50 percent.
âFrankly, Sabah and Sarawak are so late in development that virtually any amount helps.
” It’s just like that. The two states of East Malaysia are very often almost like an afterthought, âhe said.
The 12MP aims to reduce the GDP gap between the central territories (typically comprising Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya) to a ratio of 1: 2.5 for Sabah and 1: 1.2 for Sarawak.
Commenting on this, Dr Oh stressed that nothing was assured under the current conditions.
These targets, he added, were estimates for Malaysia to plan for its future economic development.
“These five-year plans are even more unpredictable than national budgets for next year, which are already risky enough,” he said.