Thank you very much to all of you who have provided ideas and opinions on how we should best spend the 2013 Budget. A total of 4,175 budget suggestions and comments were collected through the Google Moderator discussion and my blog – almost 5 times more compared to last year’s budget discussion! I always value the input of the rakyat in decisions that affect the nation – and just as you have taken your time in giving us this feedback, I am happy to share some of my insights from this exercise in return.
In particular, I would like to cover two of the key issues that you highlighted. The first of these is a subject that concerns all of our day to day lives – The cost of living. This is something that people often raise with me on my walkabouts in towns and villages across the nation – and I can assure you that tackling this issue remains one of the Government’s chief commitments. In fact, it has been a while to the day we made it a key area of the GTP (Government Transformation Programme), with measures to help ease the people’s burden, including the Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (KR1M), 1Malaysia Clinics and many others. These initiatives will be expanded before the end of the year, but it is clear that more needs to be done – and we will look closely into all suggestions made.
The second hot topic was the price of housing. This is another longstanding concern, and one that we have taken a number of steps to address. Specifically, our housing policies have been aimed towards those most in need, with the 1Malaysia Housing Programme (PR1MA) providing accessible housing to those on middle incomes and the Public Housing Project (PPR) doing likewise for those on low incomes.
These issues are clearly close to the heart of rakyat, but we will not ignore the others that you have raised. These include concerns relating to public safety, the role of youth in development, food production, and the entertainment and creative industries – all of which will be given full and proper consideration.
It is this spirit of 1Malaysia that truly heartens me. It shows to me that Malaysians can unite on issues paramount to the nation, be it on sports or our future prosperity. You have all shown great concern towards the wellbeing of our country with the many great suggestions and comments that you have sent – your contributions will ensure that the Government can shape the budget in a way that best suits the people. From now until 28th September, we will work hard to put together a budget that we can all be proud of.