PEKAN : Malaysia would not be able to achieve its target to be a developed nation by 2020 if it cannot produce sufficient human capital with proper qualifications and positive values.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Malaysia must use the benchmark of a developed nation, with at least half of its citizens having access to tertiary education.
“Compared with other developing nations, we are already at the forefront with 33 per cent of our people having pursued education up to tertiary level.
“Therefore, it is more appropriate for us to compare our country with the developed nations,” said Najib at a function to celebrate students who excelled in Ujian Pencapaian Sijil Rendah and Penilaian Menengah Rendah examinations last year, in his Pekan constituency.
A total of 328 students who obtained 5As in their UPSR and 176 students who got 8As in their PMR received RM200 each from Yayasan Pahang at the function yesterday.
Present was Menteri Besar and Yayasan Pahang chairman Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob.
Najib said the government spent more than 22 per cent of its annual budget on education as it believed it was an investment which would ensure that the country’s aspiration to be a developed nation could be achieved as planned.
“We have to intensify our efforts to excel in education. It will not only cover those in universities, but also students at primary and pre-school levels,” said Najib, adding that the quest for academic excellence should be championed by all, especially parents.
Earlier, when launching the Padang Rumbia housing and community centre, Najib said the government’s transformation plan had also benefited the poor, including those who could not afford to own a house.
He said the project in Padang Rumbia was clear proof that the government would continue to help the underprivileged, especially poor families.
“This project is also the best example of the close cooperation between the federal and state governments and also the private sector.”
Some 50 families received their house keys from Najib at the function which was held at the housing project’s community centre.
Apart from fully-furnished houses, participants in the project will also get monthly incomes from in situ economic activities, including fish and chicken rearing, handicraft making and rice production.
Najib later launched a similar project in Pulau Serai where 112 families received their house keys.
Anuar Mohd Yassin, 42, who received his house key in Padang Rumbia, said he was grateful to be a participant as it could help him provide a better future to his school-going children, aged 9 to 14. “Apart from receiving a free and comfortable home, I can also get a steady income through various agricultural projects that are being supervised by experts in the relevant fields,” said Anuar, who previously worked as a construction worker.
Single mother Junaidah Jamaludin, 37, said that she would quit her job as a ticket counter clerk in Kuala Lumpur as she wanted to focus on rearing organic chickens and cultivating ginger at her new home in Padang Rumbia.
“I can also focus on my four children.”
Source : New Straits Times