The ETP is a ‘specific programme’ driven by private sector investment

By The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The Economic Transfor­mation Programme will not discriminate against any state nor is it a stimulus package, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s De­­partment Datuk Seri Idris Jala.

“Projects under the ETP, which is driven by private sector investment, will cut across the states.

“No state will be left out. Many Entry Point Projects (EPP) are also in Penang and Selangor,” he told reporters yesterday after delivering a talk on the ETP at the National SME Economic Transformation Conference here.

On complaints by the Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor government that it was being sidelined, Idris said Selangor was invited to join the ETP Lab.

“We have the same level of engagement with individual states be it Selangor, Sabah or Sarawak. There is no particular preference,” he said, adding that he had yet to meet the Chief Ministers of Sabah and Sarawak.

The private sector, he said, would look at which location was more feasible for their investment regardless whether it was a Pakatan or Barisan Nasional-ruled state.

The ETP, he said, was not a stimulus package but a “very specific programme” helmed by the private sector compared to previous packages which were by the Government.

Idris also said foreign labour policies would be customised according to sectors to ensure there was sufficient human resource to make the ETP work while ensuring security concerns were addressed.

Citing an example, he said the oil palm industry needed a lot of foreign labour and it must not face problems in bringing the workers in.

“We cannot have one policy across the sector. But at the same time, we can also improve the technology so that we do not rely too much on foreign workers,” he added.

Idris said they had received encouraging response from the local and foreign private sector since the ETP Open Day last week with more investment announcements expected next month.

Emphasising the importance of local direct investments, Idris said it would make up 73% investments for the 131 “catalytic and transformational” EPPs.

The private sector will fund 92% of the US$444bil (RM1.37tril) investment projects under the ETP. The remaining 8% will be from the Government which would act as an enabler.

On concerns over the execution process of the ETP, Idris said they would follow the model for the Government Transformation Pro­gramme which yielded positive results.

The ETP, which has 12 National Key Areas, is expected to raise the country’s Gross National Income to RM1.7tril and generate 3.3 million jobs by 2020.

It would be launched by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Oct 26.