TRANSIT has taken note of the recent public open houses in which the government introduced its proposed Economic Transformation Programme, a wholly-Keynesian spending package that is a combination of economic stimulus plan and economic growth plan.
TRANSIT will post our comments about the ETP projects which are related to public transport, namely:
- the proposed MRT network for the Klang Valley, including the planning process as well as the public display, planning & construction for MRT Line 1, MRT Line 2 and MRT Line 3; [TRANSIT: Please note that all updates on the MRT are tagged with the prefix MRT Update. For information on the land acquisition controversy in KL Chinatown click here.]
- the high-speed rail link between KL and Singapore (and some say Penang); [TRANSIT: Please note that all updates on the High Speed Rail are tagged with the prefix HSR Update.]
- as well as our analysis of an interview with Idris Jala about the two projects above.
It is hoped that the Economic Transformation Programme will help elevate Malaysia from a “middle-income” nation stuck in the “middle-income trap” to a “high-income nation”. Of course, given the Malaysian government’s penchant for awarding high value projects to crony contractors at massively inflated prices, we have to wonder who’s income will be increased in this nation first!
That said, we understand that the Malaysian economy has reached such a state that industry cannot be trusted to take on any initiative without government planning, leadership, hand-holding and subsidy – which is effectively what the Economic Transformation Programme is going to be. It will also be an interesting project for economists – since Malaysia will be focusing on building its economy and measuring the success of the economy using the Gross National Income (GNI), rather than measuring economic output through the outdated and incomplete (but commonly used) Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
For background information on the main projects of the Economic Transformation Programme see the following articles:
- Seven projects under ETP to triple nation’s income (The Star);
- Quantum leap in economic transformation (The Star);
- Making Greater KL the nation’s heartbeat (The Star).
or visit the Economic Transformation Programme website.
As usual, we at TRANSIT need your comments and feedback on Malaysia’s first and best public transport forum – so we can get through the politics and the “announcements” and focus on building a national economy that is equitable, sustainable and competitive.