At the start of 2009, I had forecasted a year full of challenges for us all, which would require the collective efforts of all Malaysians to overcome. During this past short Christmas break I spent some time to reflect upon the milestones of the year, which I had recorded through my website.
Although the 1Malaysia concept was introduced at the launch of my website, it was after becoming Prime Minister in April that I announced its central role in shaping the new government administration. I also shared with you value of 1Malaysia, which I am happy to see was well-received. In June, I explained the 1Malaysia Concept in greater detail, pointing out how it stays true to the Federal Constitution.
More significantly, as my work took me around the country, I witnessed many occasions that proved that the 1Malaysia concept is a long-standing practice, from the communities in Sarawak, to the people of Sabah. These moments give me great comfort that we are on the right path towards greater unity and prosperity.
As a major step in transforming the government to one that practices “People First, Performance Now”, I announced the new government initiatives, including the 6 NKRAs, on the occasion of my 100 Days in office. We are now moving forward with the transformation programme, having designed comprehensive action plans to achieve these national targets.
We had braced ourselves for the impact of the global economic downturn at the beginning of the year. I sought your views online as early as January, when I invited you to contribute suggestions for the Stimulus Package II. Following an update on the suggestions received in February, the Second Stimulus Package was tabled in March.
In an effort to liberalise the economy and shift to a better national economic model, I announced some reforms in June, which included the deregulation of FIC guidelines.
My first year in office also coincided with the 35th anniversary of Malaysian-Sino relations. In June, I made my inaugural visit to China as Prime Minister, where I also retraced my father’s steps. In light of our goal to survive the economic downturn and continue an upwards momentum in development, I spent a lot of time addressing diplomatic relations, including with France in October, where I spoke on Malaysia’s content industry: Singapore in November for the APEC summit: the United States and Trinidad and Tobago, also in November, and more recently Thailand. I was also honoured to be the first Malaysian Prime Minister to deliver the keynote address at the 35th UNESCO general conference in October.
At the beginning of the year, I unveiled a new website design with additional features (including a poll and an interactive segment) and the promise of more developments. Then, to coincide with Malaysia Day and the first anniversary of my website in September, I updated again with a new look, 1malaysia.com.my which received a positive response from visitors.
This year, other than the blog, I wanted to explore different ways for us to interact and engage in the 1Malaysia dialogue. In February, I announced a 1Malaysia.com.my photo contest on my 1Malaysia blog, and invited readers to submit their pictures. I was very pleased to see the diverse range of entries and to present the eventual winners with their prizes. I continued to expand on ways to interact with my website visitors by inviting readers to email video questions for me to answer in August. While my schedule of late has not permitted me to keep this up regularly, I do hope to be able to do this again soon.
The latter half of the year was also notable for the launch of my new Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/najibrazak. Announced in mid-November, the popularity
of the page took me by surprise. : I was sufficiently motivated to produce a series of special Facebook messages, including a video address on the issue of climate change in December. I look forward to meeting my internet friends and fans in programmes scheduled for next year.
The year has certainly brought its share of rewards and challenges, but I look forward to 2010, so that we can continue to chart our path together towards realising the 1Malaysia concept in spirit and in practice. I hope you continue to join me in this effort!