Ger­akan told: Be ‘pub­lic friendly’

> PM calls on party to boost ef­forts to gar­ner grass­roots sup­port


KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Ab­dul Razak yes­ter­day called on Ger­akan mem­bers to have courage in their con­vic­tions.

In his mes­sage via a pre-recorded video at Me­nara PGRM yes­ter­day, Na­jib said he was con­fi­dent the party’s per­for­mance in the next gen­eral elec­tion can be im­proved un­der the lead­er­ship of its pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong.

In ad­dress­ing the 1,200 del­e­gates at­tend­ing the two day 45th Ger­akan Na­tional Del­e­gates’ Con­fer­ence themed “Unite for Progress and Pros­per­ity”, Na­jib ad­vised the party to be pub­lic-friendly and en­sure it has a co­he­sive and or­gan­ised work struc­ture.

The premier, who is on an of­fi­cial visit to Thai­land, ad­vised all party mem­bers to con­tinue work­ing hard to gar­ner grass­roots sup­port for the party and Barisan Na­sional (BN).

“We have to de­flect the Op­po­si­tion’s accusations that of­ten twist is­sues and spoil the coun­try’s good im­age,” said Na­jib.

Through sin­cere co­op­er­a­tion, BN will con­tinue to be suc­cess­ful in lead­ing Malaysia to­wards greater suc­cess, he said.

In his speech, Mah said the party will heed the prime min­is­ter’s ad­vice and work hard to win seats.

He also stressed that ac­tion should be taken against those who dis­rupt the na­tion’s peace and har­mony.

“It does not mat­ter who they are, whether they are Ger­akan, DAP, PAS or Umno mem­bers. It does not mat­ter if they are (supporters of the) red, yel­low or green shirt (groups).

He was re­fer­ring to an un­ruly in­ci­dent dur­ing a Ber­sih rally on Satur­day in which Red Shirt supporters as­saulted a Ber­sih mem­ber.

Mah ex­pressed con­cern that such in­ci­dents could de­stroy the har­mony that had been built over the years.

He also called for all po­lit­i­cal par­ties, friends and foes alike, to join Ger­akan for a moder­ate Malaysia.

On higher ed­u­ca­tion schol­ar­ships that are now scarce, Mah said the govern­ment should set up a na­tional schol­ar­ship for all Malaysians based solely on merit and not eth­nic­ity.

This schol­ar­ship would be funded through a 1% tax in­crease on wealthy cit­i­zens and com­pa­nies.

“Al­though this may not be pop­u­lar, we sug­gest the 1% tax in­crease be im­posed on all Malaysian cit­i­zens with an in­come of more than RM1 mil­lion and com­pa­nies with a rev­enue of more than RM300 mil­lion,” he said.

Mah said this would stop “brain drain” and more schol­ars would get an op­por­tu­nity to pur­sue ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion.

... Na­jib and his wife Datin Seri Ros­mah Man­sor be­ing given a warm wel­come upon their ar­rival in Bangkok yes­ter­day. Na­jib will be at­tend­ing the two-day Sec­ond Asia Co­op­er­a­tion Di­a­logue Sum­mit, which be­gins to­day.

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