The Selangor Pakatan Harapan government under Azmin Ali achieved the impossible; they increased the state’s financial reserves to more than RM 4 billion, and attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the tune of 5.59 billion in 2017 alone while still running modern, effective social assistance programmes in the form of the 42 Inisiatif Peduli Rakyat (IPR).
Last year alone Selangor secured RM5.59 billion worth of direct investments with 202 approved manufacturing projects, while the services sector garnered RM4 billions of investments, largely contributed by IKEA’s distribution facility for the Asia Pacific region slated for development in Pulau Indah.
Needless to say the appointment of Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali to join the leadership in Putrajaya was a surprising yet highly anticipated move. Having served more than 15 years as a Selangor state assemblyman, and four years as Menteri Besar, his move to Putrajaya as Minister of Economic Affairs brings with it a certainty of leadership and an assurance of good governance.
Azmin Ali is a man who to a certain extent has proven his mettle as he navigated Selangor to Malaysia’s most developed and progressive state, a modern state with the wellbeing of the people at the centre of his policies. Chances are he will bring these same pragmatic and successful policies to national level.
Azmin’s thrusts have always been to empower Selangorians from all walks of life. Building on a stable economic growth, the Selangor Menteri Besar has made good on his promise to walk the talk by ‘Inisiatif Peduli Rakyat’ policies. Commonly known as IPR, these initiatives are a series of commitments by the state government to ensure the wellbeing of the Selangor people.
Selangor’s economic success is due to good governance and people-centric policies has made it a model for the future of Malaysia.When appointed to the position of Minister of Economic Affairs Azmin remarked
“I realise that I also have a huge responsibility to Malaysia and Malaysians, as a whole I accept this trust and responsibility with a sense of awareness to implement economic reformation in order to save the country from crisis caused by the confusing policies of the previous administration. I am also determined to ensure there is social justice in which the country’s wealth is distributed fairly and equally.”
This has always been at the heart of his policies in Selangor. Appointed as Menteri Besar in September 2014, during a tumultuous period, Azmin Ali’s stellar leadership of transparency, accountability and determination lead Pakatan Harapan to win 51 out of 56 State seats in the 2018 General Elections. The result was seen as a form of affirmation of the current government in fulfilling its promises.
Selangor State government senior executive councillor Datuk Teng Chang Khim said the state’s investment market is expected to perform better this year due to encouraging international investors’ confidence.
“Overall, Azmin Ali has left his trademark here in Selangor. He has been proven to be a successful leader, who is both meticulous and knowledgeable in the development of the economy. We have developed good working relationships with both foreign and local governments even though we were an opposition led state. We believe the market is better than last year, even with the slight disruption from the General Elections.”
Transformational change in Selangor has been marked by significant shifts in strategic thrusts specifically in the context of driving the economy of the state forward. In his book, “Propelling Selangor’s Transformation Into A Regional Smart State.” by Professor Dr. Mohd Faiz Abdullah, he writes that pursuant to Azmin Ali’s clarion call for paradigm change, greater focus and emphasis is given to high impact and high-tech industries, namely, aerospace, future commerce, services and biotechnology.
The aerospace industry alone is an apex industry driving innovation and technology in economic development. More than 62% of the nation’s aerospace activities are located in Selangor, which means that the state can leverage on its incremental critical mass.
Commenting recently Azmin Ali said the mid-term review on the state of the economy, scheduled to be tabled in September, will lead to a new economic direction for the country in line with Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) manifesto.
“This time, the mid-term review is rather different as we will not only review the achievements under the 11th Malaysia Plan over the last two years, but also set new targets based on PH’s promises.” Adding that “the main reason the PH federal government was elected was to ensure that the cost of living remains low.”
One thing for certain is that continued successes by our new government in keeping its election promises and good governance will help safeguard our credit ratings and slowly but surely improve foreign investors’ perception of Malaysia.
Invest Selangor Bhd is aiming to bring in a total of RM12 billion investment this year (2018), from the services and manufacturing sectors. Of the total, RM7 billion worth of investments is expected to come from the manufacturing sector, while RM5 billion will come from the services sector.
Last year in 2017, Selangor attracted RM5.59 billion of direct investments in the manufacturing sector, as well as RM4 billion in the services sector, mainly from the world’s largest furniture retailer, IKEA, establishing a regional supply chain centre in Pulau Indah, worth RM908 million. The services and manufacturing sectors contributed 59.5% and 29.5% to Selangor’s gross domestic product in 2017 respectively.
Selangor, dubbed as the golden state of Malaysia, remained the main contributor to the national economy in 2016, with a 22.7% share, ahead of Kuala Lumpur (15.3%), Sarawak (9.8%), Johor (9.4%), Pulau Pinang (6.7%) and Sabah (6.7%).