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Investments down, but Malaysia says economic programme on track

Published on May 13, 2014 12:44 AM

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Investment commitments under Malaysia's flagship economic development programme fell by three quarters last year, as the government struggled to meet its goal of raising the private sector's role in its plan to lift the Southeast Asian country to high-income status by 2020.

The amount of pledged investments fell 75 per cent from the previous year to 8 billion ringgit (S$3.08 billion), the government announced on Monday as it unveiled the annual report of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

The programme, aimed at generating US$444 billion in investments and lifting annual per-capita income to US$15,000, was launched in 2010 by Prime Minister Najib Razak to address a long-term stagnation in private and foreign investment in Malaysia.

Domestic critics have said the government has exaggerated the ETP's achievements, saying the plan is a mostly a repackaging of projects that would have gone ahead anyway and that it relies too heavily on public spending.

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