KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Tuesday flaunted a report card reflecting his administration's performance that he said exceeded expectations ahead of national polls.
Najib said the country's per capita income last year grew almost 50 percent to 9,970 U.S. dollars last year from 6,700 U.S. dollars in 2009.
He added that Malaysia would achieve the high income status ahead of schedule, or by 2018 if it sustains the current growth rate.
The announcement that was broadcast live on television came as part of the annual report of an economic transformation blueprint that he introduced after taking office three years ago.
The blueprint aims at propeling Malaysia into a country with a per capita income of 15,000 U.S. dollars by 2020.
Malaysia's investment grew by 19.9 percent last year compared to 6.5 percent in 2011, accounting for 26.7 percent of the GDP, the report showed.
Private investment, which accounted for 58 percent of total investment, grew 22 percent in 2012 to 139.5 billion ringgit (44. 68 billion U.S. dollars), mostly contributed by manufacturing, services and mining sectors.
Malaysia's economy grew 5.6 percent last year against 5.1 percent in 2011, outpacing Singapore's 1.3 percent GDP growth in 2012.
Its fourth quarter GDP beat forecast to grow at 6.4 percent.
To spur private investment and liquidity in the capital market, the government said nine firms under its control are ready for divestment between 2012 and 2016, after it had divested four government-linked companies last year.
Malaysia reduced fiscal deficit to 4.5 percent in 2012 from 4.8 percent a year earlier, according to the report, as it aims to reduce it further to 3 percent by 2014 to achieve a balanced budget by 2020.
The government recorded an estimated of 207 billion ringgit (66. 29 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue last year, allowing it to implement a series of socio-economic programs.
"I believe the people have not only seen, heard and evaluated what has been announced but also feel its impact," Najib announced in an auditorium before several hundreds of civil servants and cabinet ministers.
"The moment has come for the people to decide on the country's direction for the next five years... do not experiment with our future as it would be hard to undo any devastations stemming from a wrong decision," he said.
Analysts say the encouraging report card comes in timely for Najib to build momentum towards a crucial nationwide election due by the end of June.
The ruling coalition National Front was dealt the worst blow in history when it lost five out of 13 states to the opposition and was deprived of a two-thirds parliamentary majority in the 2008 election.