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No way ETP will boost income by five times, says DAP

By Joseph Tawie
KUCHING: The federal government's Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) which aims to increase the income of people by five times by 2030 is akin to “building castles in the air”.“Based on our statistics, our gross national income (GNI) per capita is RM23,000 per year.

This means that the average income of every single Malaysian is RM23,000 per year, that is, RM2,000 per month,” said Chong Chieng Jen, Sarawak DAP secretary.

Chong was commenting on Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s forecast that with the ETP, Sarawakians can earn as much as five times more than their present income by 2030.

“Taib is building castles in the air,” said Chong, who is Bandar Kuching MP.

“For every household of five consisting of three children and two working adults, if you take the average, it will be RM10,000, going by the GNI per capita.

“Most families in Sarawak do not earn that amount. The problem of our economy lies in the disparity.

"There is great disparity between the rich and the poor,” he said, adding that statistics showed that 10% of the highest-income earners in the state controlled 50% of the country’s incomes, while 40% of the working population earned 13.5% of the national income.

“This is a great disparity. That is why I think the distribution of wealth is one of the main problems in our economy. This is not addressed by the ETP,” Chong added.

Corruption forgotten

The other factor conveniently forgotten or omitted is corruption, he said, adding that when Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became prime minister he said that the main enemy is corruption.

Abdullah failed miserably in fighting corruption which had hampered economic development and caused leakages in government allocation funds.

“And in this ETP, (Prime Minister) Najib (Tun Razak) has made no mention of it and how he will effectively combat corruption.

“Without addressing these two problems, at the end of the day, the rich will get richer and the poor poorer.

“And our country’s wealth will continue to be controlled by a handful of people,” Chong added.

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