54 Years of Na­tion­hood

We are on the cusp of be­com­ing a de­vel­oped na­tion driven by knowl­edge-based econ­omy

New Straits Times - - News -

TODAY, Malaysia cel­e­brates 54 years of na­tion­hood. From Malaya to Malaysia, the na­tion has taken all the chal­lenges in its stride. Chal­lenges there were aplenty; there will be many more in the fu­ture. As we have done all th­ese years, God will­ing, we shall over­come them all. Our re­silience has kept us to­gether as one. We must stay as one for the fu­ture. In striv­ing shall our na­tion’s glory be.

The na­tion that was born in 1963 has come a long way to be more than half a cen­tury old. If we were nine mil­lion in num­ber then today we are a closely-knit 30 mil­lion peo­ple of many eth­nic­i­ties, lan­guages, cul­tures and faiths. In 2020 when we be­come a de­vel­oped na­tion with Gross Na­tional In­come (GNI) of US$12,475 (RM52,351), we will be a coun­try of 32 mil­lion. Our pride as a na­tion is not in the grow­ing num­ber of peo­ple alone. We have grown as a na­tion in other ar­eas too.

After years of high growth, Malaysia recorded a GDP of 4.2 per cent de­spite a tur­bu­lent eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment the world over. The gov­ern­ment is ex­pect­ing our growth to be slightly higher this year, with GDP ris­ing next year. Th­ese GDP fig­ures are higher than the de­vel­oped economies as es­ti­mated by the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund. Poverty level too has dropped to 0.6 per cent.

As far as in­fra­struc­ture goes, Malaysia is un­der­tak­ing a ma­jor trans­for­ma­tion. From the east coast of Penin­su­lar Malaysia to Sabah and Sawarak, peo­ple are be­ing con­nected. When fully im­ple­mented in 2019, the East Coast Rail Link in the penin­sula will move 5.4 mil­lion peo­ple and 53 mil­lion tonnes of freight while the Pan-Bor­neo Highway project in East Malaysia will bring Sabah and Sarawak closer to­gether.

The var­i­ous trans­for­ma­tion pro­grammes im­ple­mented over the years through­out the coun­try within and out­side the eco­nomic cor­ri­dors in the penin­sula and East Malaysia have be­gun to show re­sults. From our sta­tus as a mid­dle-in­come coun­try we are on the cusp of be­com­ing a de­vel­oped na­tion driven by knowl­edge-based econ­omy. Malaysia has made sig­nif­i­cant progress in many ar­eas. To sus­tain our progress go­ing for­ward, we need to man­age our tal­ent pool to com­pete with big­ger and more ag­ile economies of the world. The gov­ern­ment’s em­pha­sis on im­pact and out­come is the right way for­ward.

As we grow older as a na­tion we need to strive to­gether to build an in­clu­sive Malaysia, a Malaysia that does not leave a sin­gle Malaysian be­hind. Ev­ery life must have a value, not just in eco­nomic terms but a hu­man­i­tar­ian value too. It must be our com­mon dream, a na­tional vi­sion to re­al­ize a Malaysia that car­ries along its path of progress the young and old, the able and dis­ad­van­taged, and peo­ple of all hues and faiths. Yes, we are a na­tion of a penin­sula and is­lands, but, the sea should not sep­a­rate us.

Let us not al­low ge­og­ra­phy to stand in our way to be a truly united na­tion.

May God bless Malaysia.

NST wishes all Malaysians a happy Malaysia Day.

To sus­tain our progress go­ing for­ward, we need to man­age our tal­ent pool to com­pete with big­ger and more ag­ile economies of the world.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.