Government engineering better society, says PM

(Bernama) – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the government needs to carry out social transformation in order to create a balanced, fair and equitable society.

Describing it as the biggest challenge, Najib said social transformation could be considered as a complement to the various transformation programmes implemented by the government such as the Government Transformation Programme (GTP), Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and the Entry Point Project (EPP).

“If we want to look at a comprehensive programme it is through social transformation. (It’s) the biggest challenge, because it’s not easy to change social attitude and values,” he said at the 10th anniversary celebration of the formation of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development at the Putra World Trade Centre, here today.

Najib said that in creating a balanced society, the government was committed to ensure that each individual in the country enjoyed the fruits of the country’s prosperity.

“We want to ensure that everyone could benefit from the country’s prosperity. We must help those who are less fortunate, we must be sensitive to the plight of those who live in hardship, suffering from stress, family problems and those who are poor, so that the country’s prosperity is not only enjoyed merely by the rich,” he said.

As such, he said, the government must focus on efforts to mobilise and promote national economic growth to ensure that assistance could continue to be channelled to the needy group.

“If our economy is sluggish, we will certainly be less able to help other people. If our economy grows, we can distribute (the wealth) to those who are less fortunate and need help. Then a balanced society will be created,” he said.

Referring to the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry’s anniversary celebration, Najib said the ministry had gone through a dynamic and significant process of evolution.

Despite having a large target group, the ministry had succeeded in fulfilling the mandate and scope of work entrusted to it, he said.

“Just mention any social group, there is none that is excluded from the ministry. From issues pertaining to children, women affairs, planning efforts to improve the well-being of the disabled group, family problems right up to improving infrastructure for and access to health facilities for the senior citizens, providing adequate protection homes and their active involvement in the country’s social and economic activities.

“The issues championed by the ministry transcend various sectors and stages. In short, the ministry encompasses everything ‘from cradle to grave’,” he said.

On the position of women in national development, Najib said the struggles for the women’s group in the country were no longer confined to issues on equal rights for women or the question of emancipation.

However, he said, in efforts to achieve the target of 30 per cent women’s participation in policy making, he hoped that the women who were picked for the job succeeded based on merit and their own capability.

“We also want to ensure that the successful women are capable of achieving sustainable success, not merely being excellent at the school or university level but later ceased to be excellent after five years of working.

“If this happens, there will then be [fewer] women that we can choose to fill up important posts in the private or public sectors,” he said.

Najib said he had no doubt about the women’s capability in this country, but they should prove only in terms of sustainability.

“If they can work continuously, I believe they can achieve the target of women making up 30 per cent of the policy makers in the near future,” he added. — Bernama