Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Be equal partners in economic transformation, Najib tells Chinese

Datuk Seri Najib Razak wants the Chinese community, especially that in Sarawak, to become important partners under the

Barisan Nasional administration to help transform the economy through their entrepreneurial skills.

The prime minister said today that the government would like to harness the strength of each community and there were many entrepreneurs in Sarawak, including Tan Sri Tiong Hiew King of the Sibu-based Rimbunan Hijau Group, who had succeeded in making inroads internationally.

“I would like to make a statement on the importance of us working together as one Malaysia very much like an analogy of the Yee Sang (dish) with its many different ingredients but taste very nice when mixed together,” he said at a Chinese New Year luncheon with the Sibu Chinese community here.

“Invest more money in Malaysia,” Najib said, adding that he was confident that the local Chinese community would understand the BN government’s aspiration which allowed everyone to realise their full potential to succeed.

Earlier, the prime minister did a walkabout at the Sibu Central Market by the bank of the Rajang River, where the reception he received was “overwhelmingly enthusiastic” and he was impressed with the well-planned town centre.

He also announced that the federal government had committed an allocation of RM150 million for the upgrading of the Sibu airport as a promise that he had made to the people of Sibu.

He said work on the project, which would become an iconic landmark for Sibu, was expected to start soon.

Sibu was the last stop in two-day whirlwind visit to Sarawak’s interior for Najib, who said that being close to the people should be the fundamental of being a leader.

“I promise the people of Sarawak I want to make a difference and during the last two days I have been to many places, shaken hands with so many people in such a short time but I find gratification from a sense of reward and personal satisfation,” he said.

He said it was the little things that touched him most, such as having young children from a longhouse in Nanga Tada, Kanowit, near here getting financial assistance from the 1 Malaysia Foundation from him.

“To be an effective leader, you have to feel the pulse of the people and the nation,” the prime minister added. — Bernama

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