Dr M confident economy can move to high income

The Star online | PUTRAJAYA, 03-June-2009 : Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is confident the National Economic Advisory Council can help the Government turn Malaysia’s economy from middle to high income.

The former prime minister, who described the setting up of the council as a “wonderful idea,” said the aim to have a new economic model would be possible with the help and advice of experts in the body.

He was speaking to reporters at the “Nurturing the Minds of Future Leaders” essay contest at the Perdana Leadership Foundation here on Wednesday.

On April 9, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the setting up of the council, to be headed by a chairman with ministerial status, while its members would comprise local and foreign economic experts.

The council, headed by former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Amirsham Abdul Aziz, will advise the Government in creating a new economic model for Malaysia based on innovation, creativity and adding high value.

On the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research survey where 45% of 1,067 registered voters in peninsular Malaysia were satisfied with Najib’s performance in politics, the economy and social issues, Dr Mahathir said it was good and must be seen as an “indication” of his popularity as leader since he took office.

He said many things could be done to spur the economy but declined to comment when asked if the Government was doing enough.

Dr Mahathir also said that the Government should not relent to pressure by certain quarters in calling for the return of the 85-year-old former communist leader Chin Peng.