PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia The implementation of the National Transformation Programme (NTP), which focuses on private sector-led growth and investments, has moved Malaysia’s economy into a safe zone for five consecutive years since 2013.

Advisor to Prime Minister on NTP, Idris Jala, said the programme has also kept the country’s debt as a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP) to below the maximum level of 55 per cent.

He said Malaysia’s public debt as percentage of the GDP was 50.7 per cent last year compared to 52.7 per cent in 2016 while the fiscal deficit was cut from 6.7 per cent in 2009 to three per cent last year.

Furthermore, we are no longer stuck in the middle-income trap after the implementation of NTP. We were stuck in it since 2009. The gap between our country’s gross national income (GNI) per capita and the World Bank’s high-income threshold were stuck at 33 per cent for nearly 10 years.

Now, it has been reduced to 19 per cent,’ he said in a media briefing here today.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who is also the Finance Minister, will table the 2017 NTP Annual Report at Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre, Kuala Lumpur on March 23, 2018.

Idris said Malaysia’s debt was still manageable compared to a number of developed countries with debt to the GDP at much higher level Japan (229.2 per cent), Greece (176.9 per cent) and Singapore (104.7 per cent) and this would lead to unsustainable fiscal deficit.

With private investments as well as the implementation of fiscal consolidation measure they will lead us to sustainable economic growth with control over government debt and fiscal deficit. This is the economic roads picked by Malaysia, he said.

He said Malaysia was on track to become a high-income advance economy following the government’s bold and tough decisions in implementing the NTP.

The NTP has to-date created 2.68 million jobs of the 3.3 million new jobs promised beside implementing inclusive measures for low income group where 2.9 million were lifted out of poverty.

The government built 6,868 kilometres of rural roads which benefited 3.7 million rural folks while 720,125 rural people now had access to reliable electricity.

He said Tanzania, Oman, India, Nigeria, Botswana, Senegal and Russia had started to use Malaysia’s NTP approach to transform their countries.

The NTP, launched in 2009, is the centrepiece of the government’s efforts to drive Malaysia towards high-income nation status. It comprises the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

The GTP is a programme by the government to address seven key areas concerning the people, ranging from fighting corruption to addressing the cost of living.

The ETP is a programme that aims to lift the country to high-income status by 2020 through 12 National Key Economic Areas.

Source: NAM News Network