On transparency in the implementation of 10th Malaysia Plan

I thank Deputy Minister in Prime Minister Razali Ibrahim for replying to my question on the 10th Malaysia Plan, which was listed as number 12 on today’s schedule.

I asked the Prime Minister to state when the Mid-Term Review for the 10th Malaysia Plan will be presented, and whether the 10th Malaysia Plan will no longer being given the same prominence as the previous Malaysia Plans.

It is a long held tradition of the Malaysia Plans that at the third year of a five-year Plan period, a Mid-Term Review is presented to the Parliament and debated by MPs.

Razali informed Parliament that the practice is now scrapped. In its place, the Plan is now being organized along the line of a “rolling plan” which allows amendments to be made as and when the Government chooses to do so.

I have no problem with the idea of shifting from a Mid-Term Review to a “rolling review” if such is the desire of the Government. However, there must be a review process of the 10th Malaysia Plan in the Parliament, which is supposed to scrutinize the Government on behalf of the people.

Thus far, the “Rolling Plan” concept is just another name for the Government to scrap the existing mechanism of Parliamentary review of the Malaysia Plan.

The Plan and its related documents, including the Mid-Term Review report, have been an important source of information and data for academics, planners, state governments and local authorities, and the private sector to conduct long term planning.

As I said in my supplementary question, I call on the Government to present a detailed review of the Rolling Plans of the 10th Malaysia Plan.

Otherwise, the scraping of the Mid-Term Review deprives the Parliament (and the people of Malaysia they represent) of a means to check on the Government’s long-term thinking.

The argument that Razali put forward: that the annual reports of Government Transformation Plans is a similar mechanism of discussing government performance is flawed.

The GTP report is not the Malaysia Plan. And, the GTP report has never been debated in Parliament.

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