Public-private partnerships can boost people’s income, says Zahid

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says smart partnerships between government agencies and the private sector can bring about economic spillover and provide jobs for the people. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, August 27, 2023.

GOVERNMENT agencies have been urged to forge cooperation and smart partnerships with the private sector and provide companies the opportunities in various fields in efforts to help increase the income of the people and the country as a whole.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said for example, agencies under the Rural and Regional Development Ministry could do so through joint ventures involving underutilised land.

“We can no longer think in silo. We have to work together, establish connections and be business-friendly… Don’t be apprehensive. Give the private sector a chance. Eventually, they will contribute to the government in the form of corporate taxes and assist in economic growth.

“This, in turn, will bring economic spillover and provide jobs for the people, especially those in the rural areas. This is a shared victory for all those involved,” he said at the opening ceremony of the palm oil biogas project of the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) in Ulu Keratong, Rompin, today.

Citing Risda as an example, Zahid said the cooperation between Risda and Alliance Concord Green Sdn Bhd to develop the biogas project that can operate optimally for 21 years, would generate 14.8 million kWh of renewable energy annually.

He said this could contribute to the generation of a stable electricity supply to 3,000 rural families, allowing them to live a more comfortable life and creating opportunities for small entrepreneurs to advance their businesses.

“The treatment of palm oil mill effluent will contribute to environmental sustainability by reducing about 72,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually,” he said, adding that it has a positive impact on the oil palm smallholders under Risda.

The rural and regional development minister said the local communities would enjoy long-term jobs, especially young people with specific skills.

Meanwhile, Risda said in a statement that the project was a strategic measure to tackle the issue of oil palm waste disposal, which has negative effects on the environment, in addition to reducing the country’s dependence on natural fuels.

The project, which is in line with the Rural and Regional Development Ministry’s waste-to-wealth development initiative, also seeks to achieve the country’s goal of 40% renewable energy by 2035 and a low-carbon status by 2040.

“This project will open collaboration opportunities in research and development under local educational institutions as well as opportunities to explore and develop green technology that brings greater benefits to rural development,” said Risda. – Bernama, August 27, 2023.

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