KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak praised Chinese Malaysians today for their role in the economy and nation-building amid racially-charged rhetoric by some Malay organisations that the community was out to take political power.
The prime minister also stressed that Malaysians from the different communities must work together to ensure further success in the push for a high-income nation. His remarks came at the tail-end of a two-day visit by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.
“Thanks to their persistence, determination and sheer hard work… the contribution of the Chinese community to our economy is absolutely crucial to the country as a whole,” Najib (picture) said in a speech to the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCIM).
But, he said, co-operation among all communities was crucial to the country’s success.
“By combining the work ethic, dedication and persistence of the Chinese business community with the hospitable, polite and considerate attitudes of the Malays and the ambition, openness and respect for family values of the Indian community, we can create synergies that will drive economic growth for all and bring even greater prosperity for Malaysia,” he added.
Najib said the public and private sectors must collaborate further in implementing government initiatives such as the New Economic Model, Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
“We cannot enhance Malaysia’s national economy without the owners of small and medium businesses — the kinds of companies run by so many members of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce — being given the freedom and support they need to grow.
“Quite simply, the public sector must work with the private sector to drive innovation, not work in opposition to it by erecting roadblocks and obstacles to growth,” he said.
Najib reiterated that the Chinese business community has a crucial role in making the country conducive for future businesses and investments.
The Najib administration is still reeling from the public uproar caused by Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia when it called for a “1 Melayu, 1 Bumi” campaign.
Utusan Malaysia had earlier urged the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition to ignore the Chinese community for not supporting it during the recent Sarawak election.
Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar has also said that rural voters are more grateful compared to urban residents for initiatives implemented by BN, citing the recent Sarawak state polls as an example.
Source : The Malaysian Insider