PM: Those who run down coun­try will also hurt or­di­nary Malaysians

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: Be­lit­tling Malaysia could af­fect perceptions abroad and cause or­di­nary Malaysians to suf­fer in­stead of politi­cians.

Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Na­jib Razak, de­scrib­ing this act as an eco­nomic sab­o­tage, said the gov­ern­ment’s op­po­nents in the coun­try of­ten pre­ferred avoid­ing facts.

“They (the op­po­si­tion) cre­ate false pro­pa­ganda — like the idea that this is a state on the verge of bank­ruptcy — some of which sadly gains trac­tion in­ter­na­tion­ally.

“This run­ning down of Malaysia is noth­ing less than eco­nomic sab­o­tage for self­ish and per­sonal po­lit­i­cal gain,” he said at the Global Trans­for­ma­tion Fo­rum 2017 here yes­ter­day.

Na­jib said this kind of “fake news” — that Malaysia is a failed state — al­most wrecked the deal be­tween Saudi Aramco and Petronas.

The joint ven­ture, he said, would not just es­tab­lish new en­gines of growth and push the na­tion to a new fron­tier in tech­nol­ogy and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, but also cre­ate up to 60,000 new jobs.

“The US$7 bil­lion (RM31 bil­lion) that Aramco agreed to in­vest in the Petronas Pengerang In­te­grated Com­plex (PIC) in Jo­hor shows the con­fi­dence of the Saudi-owned oil com­pany in Malaysia,” he said.

Na­jib took a jibe at a “for­mer leader” who many would not ex­pect to have “told lies about his own coun­try”.

Al­though he did not name the leader, it was un­der­stood that he was re­fer­ring to for­mer premier Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad.

“When he tells peo­ple that Malaysia is fac­ing bank­ruptcy, some be­lieve him. In fact, he knows he is telling lies.”

Count­less mea­sures, Na­jib said, had been put in place to en­sure the coun­try’s con­tin­ued trans­for­ma­tion into an in­no­va­tive, knowl­edge-based econ­omy, with sus­tain­abil­ity and in­clu­siv­ity at its core.

“One of which is that out­siders look at Malaysia, and they see a place they’d like to do busi­ness — and in­creas­ingly so,” he said.

“Would they be do­ing that if, as some of our op­po­si­tion politi­cians claimed, Malaysia was a failed state?

“We are work­ing for a na­tion (which is) at ease with oth­ers and is proud of its unique and vi­brant di­ver­sity — be­cause I am not just con­cerned about GDP (gross do­mes­tic prod­uct) or head­line fig­ures, but also public hap­pi­ness and the well­be­ing of each and ev­ery house­hold,” he added.

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