The implementation of regional development strategies during the Seventh Plan period, such as the diversification of the economic base and the provision of modern amenities, stimulated overall economic growth of all the states. This led to increased income, improved living standards, a higher quality of life and reduced economic disparities between regions. In addition, the improvement in employment and income generating activities resulted in the narrowing of the income gap of the less developed states relative to the more developed states, thus reflecting the effectiveness of strategies towards achieving the objective of balanced development (Malaysia, Eighth Malaysia Plan 2001: 133).