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Building up the 'internal strengths' of Malaysia [27-09-2012]  
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THE 2013 Budget is drafted to withstand external weaknesses and ensure sustained strong domestic growth, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said yesterday.

The budget, to be tabled by Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Parliament tomorrow, was drawn up to ensure that the country has "internal strengths" to cope with the global economic turbulence.

"At the same time, we want to remain an investment-friendly destination to foreign and domestic investors," he told reporters after opening a meeting between Unit Peneraju Agenda Bumiputera (Teraju) with Penang-born Malay Welfare Association members in Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory and Selangor.

Nor Mohamed said Malaysia has a dynamic economy with high domestic consumption, low unemployment rate (less than 3 per cent) and low inflation rate (less than 2 per cent).

"The Finance Ministry will ensure that this country will continue to remain the choice destination for the inflow of foreign and domestic funds," he said.

Refuting speculations that the 2013 Budget will be "tailored" towards the imminent 13th general election, Nor Mohamed said every budget tabled by the government stressed on maximum benefits to be reaped by the people.

"Every budget we prepare is the budget for the people and even this time, we have prepared a budget for the people regardless of whether there is an impending general election or otherwise.

"But through the strategies and different ways and approaches in tandem with the changing times and era, the objectives are the same as before and until now, which is to give optimum impact to the people," he said.

Nor Mohamed said he believed the government, through the budget, will find new and innovative ways to provide benefits to the people and extend assistance to groups who needed government help.

The minister, who is also Tasek Gelugor Member of Parliament, said the federal government, through its agencies, would continue to help improve the economic well-being of Penang Bumiputeras.

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