Breathe ‘spirit’ into rural projects for them to succeed, says Zahid

PUTRAJAYA: Rural development projects must be measured through their effectiveness if they are to be considered successful, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The Rural and Regional Development Minister said the social impact of government projects in rural areas must be high if they are to reach the right target groups.

“I am not going to look at political colours or affiliations when carrying out my responsibilities (as minister),” he said at the first gathering of the ministry’s staff here on Thursday (Dec 5).

“In Budget 2023 to be tabled in February, the three aspects which must be looked at for rural development should focus on education, infrastructure and safety,” added Ahmad Zahid.

He said these three aspects must be made the priority and their cost-effectiveness will be assessed to see if the ministry has really reached its target groups.

“There needs to be an approach to measure the social impact of projects we carry out in the name of rural development. The measurements must not be merely academic,” he added.

Earlier, in his address to ministry staff, Ahmad Zahid said the ministry has always been among the top five ministries with the biggest budget allocations.

He called on the staff to breathe their “spirit” into development projects on the ground.

Ahmad Zahid then said many rural projects had become failures when they were carried out as mere “government projects”.

Also present at the event was Deputy Minister Datuk Rubiah Wang.

Ahmad Zahid also offered a personal sum of RM50,000 as the first prize for the best performance for the monthly ministry gatherings.

“I promise this money will not come from the allocation of the ministry or from bribes. I do not take bribes,” said Ahmad Zahid.