PM calls on Malaysians, especially the youths, to unite and work together with the present govt
By P PREM KUMAR & ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / Pic By BERNAMA
The new strategies and initiatives to be implemented in the remaining two years of the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) will propel the country to regain its former glory as an “Asian tiger”, said Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Tabling the midterm review of the 11MP at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, Dr Mahathir called on Malaysians, especially the youths, to unite and work together with the present government to make Malaysia a vibrant economy again.
“We want Malaysians to be united. We want Malaysians to succeed and enjoy the nation’s wealth. I invite all Malaysians to take up their responsibility now.
“If all strategies contained in this document can be implemented, I believe Malaysia will roar back as an Asian tiger.
“Malaysia’s image will change from a kleptocratic state to a pure democratic state with a clean, noble and integral government. Malaysians from every corner of the world can proudly introduce themselves: I am
a Malaysian,” he said, followed by thunderous table-thumping by lawmakers in the august house.
Dr Mahathir said Malaysian youths should learn knowledge that can elevate the country to become a developed nation, by securing skills and holding onto religious and noble values.
By adhering to truth, honesty and justice, youths should also adamantly refuse bribery, the PM advised.
“My expectation to develop the country is on the young people. Part of my generation has gone. To whom will we leave the fate of this nation, if it’s not to the younger generation,” he said.
Clad in a blue suit and matching blue tie, Dr Mahathir began his speech to propose the mid-term review at 4pm in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday. The august house was adjourned at 12.30pm until the report’s tabling.
The mid-term review is also the first policy paper to be tabled by the Pakatan Harapan government, since the historic 14th General Election in May.
Speaking at a press conference later, Dr Mahathir said a few proposals under the mid-term review, such as limiting terms for the PM and state chief ministers, would need constitutional amendments.
Constitutional amendments can only be done if the ruling government commands a two-third support of the Dewan Rakyat, and Dr Mahathir expressed confident that some Opposition MPs would support the proposals.
“I am sure some of them (Opposition MPs) would support the amendments,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also said the government’s 3% deficit target should be seen holistically by credit rating agencies and the stock markets.
“The markets will react one way or another. What we are trying to do is to improve the performance of the Malaysian economy.
“If we leave things as they are, the country will go down because what we inherited from the previous government was huge loans and debt. Never in the history of the country, our total debt has breached over RM1 trillion,” he added.
On the proposed crooked bridge connecting Johor and Singapore, Dr Mahathir said the proposal came from the Johor state government.
The state government wanted the crooked bridge and have forwarded the proposal to the federal government. The administration is now studying the plan.
“It came from the Johor state government, but now some say a third bridge is better option.
“If you want a third bridge, Malaysia will need consent from Singapore, to which, I don’t think they will agree…but if it’s a half or crooked bridge, we can do it without their consent,” Dr Mahathir added.
He also revealed that the Budget 2019 will be drafted based on an average crude oil price of US$70 (RM291.27) per barrel. “It will be US$70 per barrel, although the current price is about US$80.”
The budget will be tabled by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng at the Dewan Rakyat on Nov 2.