Dishing out the ‘slices’ must be based on merit, says Najib

By Ng Si Hooi, Teh Eng Hock and Lee Kian Seong, TheStar

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economic pie needs to continue growing but it must be shared in a way that is fair and merit-based, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

He said the distribution of wealth must also be done in a way that does not inhibit the success of others or benefit one community over another.

“We cannot continue to grow and thrive as a nation unless all of us – bumiputras, Chinese, Indians and other ethnic groups – are willing to come together and see past and beyond our differences to build our country together,” the Prime Minister said in his keynote address at the MCA-organised Chinese Economic Congress here yesterday.

Najib asked for the active support and participation of all Malaysians for him to successfully chart the best possible future for the country.

“Like my predecessors, I recognise that I am a leader for all Malaysians.

“Your concerns are my concerns — not the other way around.

“My role is to hear your concerns and to act decisively on them whenever it is appropriate,” he said.

Najib pledged to push ahead with reforms under his leadership and pointed out that it was stagnation and not transformation which the nation had to worry about.

“It takes courage to grapple with systematic transformation because it forces us to recognise that our previous practices have fallen short,” he said.

“Before we can advocate greater liberalisation and measures to improve access, we must achieve goals set forth in our policies for transformation.”

Earlier, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, in his welcoming address, said the party’s priority was to link hands to grow the national economic pie.

The nation, he said, must come together as there was no time to fight over the size of the “slice”.

“Our immediate priority is to jointly grow the economic pie, instead of noisily debating over which slice we deserve.

“Make no mistake, failure is not an option,” he said.