Friday, January 1, 2010
Najib Predicts A Brighter Malaysia in 2010
Malaysia Envisioned To Emerge Stronger In 2010 - Najib
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak hopes that with the various initiatives undertaken, Malaysia will emerge stronger with positive growth in 2010.
He also hopes that the government's fiscal deficit will be reduced from 7.4 per cent to 5.6 per cent next year.
"However, our long-term objective is not just to recover from the economic crisis, but what is more important is taking this opportunity to lay a strong foundation for the nation's prosperity in the future with continuous renewal," he said in his 2010 New Year message which was carried live on Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) tonight.
Najib said it was imperative for its future prosperity that Malaysia uplift itself in the global economic value chain.
"Forging ahead means creating a knowledge-based economy driven by a high capacity for creativity, innovation and adding value."
Hence, he said, in 2010, the government would table two important initiatives. One is a long-term initiative through a new economic model, which will serve as a guide for the national development direction towards 2020 and the years beyond.
"The second is the short- and medium-term initiative in the 10th Malaysia Plan. Indeed, the success of these two initiatives requires the proactive role of every Malaysian.
"It is true that in facing the difficult moments posed by the economic challenges, we have achieved success not by co-incidence but by making wise choices.
"I believe that the key to our future success is not just our wealth in natural resources, but more importantly, our knowledgeable human capital imbued with a strong entrepreneurial spirit in generating new wealth for the nation," he said.
While wishing Malaysians 'Happy New year 2010', Najib urged everyone to move forward to achieve success together as "there are still many paths to travel and many challenges to face".
"What upholds the spirit, I believe, is because I am not alone. I know the people of this country are smart, talented and high-spirited.
"Together, we are fully optimistic of upholding Malaysia's good name," he said while hoping that 2010 would bring prosperity, security, good health and good fortune for Malaysia and its people.
Najib regarded 2009 as a time of extraordinary challenges, such as the global warming crisis which threatened the sustainability and well-being of the planet.
Besides that, he said, Malaysia also had to weather the global financial crisis, "which hit us at an unprecedented magnitude and scale, causing havoc to families and businesses in every corner of the world".
"Whatever the challenges and hurdles, with His blessings, we went through all these not by sitting back, but by standing strong, by taking action and making difficult decisions, while implementing various policies in a thoughtful manner."
He said that whether at the Asean or Apec level, and recently in Copenhagen, Malaysia had played its role aptly to place itself among the major players of global cooperation to achieve progress in the areas of trade and security and in addressing global warming.
"Although we have not fully recovered from the economic downturn, the signs indicate that Malaysia is moving out of the gloom and it recorded positive GDP growth from the fourth quarter of 2009.
"Our past records and achievements have given us confidence that Malaysia will not only recover from the economic crisis, but also have the potential of emerging stronger economically and more prosperous in the post-crisis era."
Najib said Malaysia had proven its resolve in situations like in the 1980s when commodity prices dropped sharply and during the Asian financial storm of the late 1990s, where Malaysia survived through its own recovery formula.
"We had also drawn up and implemented a roadmap towards building a stronger banking and financial sector for the country. As a result, this time, we were saved when many countries were hit hard by the economic crisis due to the failure of their banking and financial systems."
He said Malaysians must be courageous and firm in effecting change and renewal for continued prosperity, while their sacrifice was also required to raise productivity, competitiveness and mastery of new skills.
The prime minister said the effects of the global economic crisis had compelled the government to prioritise things to bring the country back to the optimal economic growth level.
"This we have done by undertaking concrete measures, such as the economic stimulus injection of RM67 billion, tabling of an additional budget, liberalisation of selected sectors, creating employment, providing comfortable homes, improving the public transport service and restructuring of subsidies."
He said that soon after taking over the helm of the government administration nine months ago, he introduced the 1Malaysia concept: People First, Performance Now, which was a priority under the present government.
"Although there are groups which try to sidetrack us or create confusion out of this noble initiative, I am confident and believe that the majority of Malaysians have begun to understand the philosophy behind the 1Malaysia concept.
"Our strength is built in the name of celebrating diversity and homogeneity regardless of whether we are old, young, Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Iban or of other ethnicity. To ensure that the concept's goals are met, the role of the government should be transformed from that of a sole provider to the best facilitator," he said.
Najib said a brighter future for Malaysia depended on the combination and promotion of ideas, talents, initiatives and the spirit of Malaysians, regardless of their limitations and backgrounds.
"The contribution of every Malaysian citizen is vital in ensuring success. There is no Malaysian who is not important or is marginalised. The government welcomes every talent available. Isn't it a waste if a talent that is honed under the Malaysian sky is capitalised on for the prosperity of other nations?"
Under his administration, six National Key Result Areas (NKRAs) were set, which involve reducing crime rates, combating corruption, widening access to affordable and quality education, improving infrastructure in rural and remote areas, and upgrading public transportation.
"I wish to state that the NKRAs and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are not something exhaustive or complete, as the government welcomes the contribution of ideas and opinions from the people.
"I believe that with synthesis between the government and people, we will have vetted ideas to improve on what we have," he said.