Development projects will have to be reprioritized, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when presenting the mid-term review of the 9th Malaysia Plan at the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday.
He, however, denied allegations that projects such as the monorail and the outer-ring road in
This decision was lamented by the oppositions as 'a punishment' to the Penangites for chosing Pakatan Rakyat as their new government in the 12th general elections in March.
EPU director-general Sulaiman Mahbob said the government will spend RM230 billion on roads, bridges and other works in the 2006-to-2010 period, which is 15 per cent more than the original forecast, due to the hike in building material prices.
So, it looks like Scomi Engineering will have to wait until the project is clear for bidding. Other parties also eyeing for it are Malaysian Resources Corp. and Melewar Industrial Group Bhd.
The government will, instead, spend an additional RM1 billion each for Sarawak and
An additional RM10 billion is for five special investment zones (which many say will only affordable to foreigners, deprive the Bumiputeras of the lands and will lead to the influx of foreign workers), RM3 billion for food security programs and RM3 billion for a strategic investment fund.
At the same time, spending on low-cost housing, rural infrastructure and public transport will increase.
However, there was no explanation as to why projects like the electrified double-tracking rail development led by Gamuda and MMC in Perak, and another one to be built by Ircon Intl in Johor will proceed.
As for a project to transfer water from Pahang to Selangor, it is a necessity to meet the rising demand of clean water for the booming region.
Bank Negara said in March that the budget deficit is seen to narrow to 3.2 per cent of GDP by 2010 from 3.6 per cent in 2005, compared with the 3.4 per cent estimated earlier. This will total RM21.6 billion this year or about 3.1 per cent of GDP.
Deputy premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the additional spending will be funded by savings totaling RM13 billion from a revamp of the government's fuel subsidies, and possible ‘external loans’.
What ‘external loans’, he refused to elaborate.