Don’t view federal aid as zero-sum game, says PM
KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said any allocation and aid given by the government should not be seen as a zero-sum game, as the government would help those who deserved assistance regardless of race and religion.
“Our engagement with whoever we help should also not be seen as a zero-sum game, as in Malaysia we basically have enough wealth and resources for us to develop policies that are fair, equitable and inclusive,” he said in his speech at the Malaysian Chinese Youth Dialogue at Dewan Tunku Canselor, Universiti Malaya, here, today.
Najib said people should also not see social justice within the context of a mindset that is based on a zero-sum perspective.
“If we take this perspective, it means that we cannot decide for ourselves the people who deserve to be helped. For example, when we want to eradicate poverty, there are poor Malays, poor Chinese, poor Kadazans and so on to be assisted.
“We want to help those from the lower-income group and people who need help irrespective of whether they are Malays, Chinese or others. That is why we gave out the Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) to all races. The criterion is earning RM3,000 monthly and below and we help every single Malaysian who deserves aid,” he said.
“Nobody can dispute that Malaysia is a successful country which will achieve its ambitious goal of being a fully-developed nation by 2020 amid its cultural diversity.
“There is no other country in the world which has this unique advantage which Malaysia has. Because of the Chinese citizens, we could develop very close ties with China and through our Muslim connection, we have very good relations with the Arab and other Muslim states,” he said.
Meanwhile, during the question-and-answer session, Najib urged the Chinese community to continue supporting MCA in the next general election if they wanted their views to be voiced out in the Cabinet.
“My message to you is, please support the MCA cabinet members because MCA is doing its best to reach out to the Chinese community. If you want your views to be heard by the government, please elect the MCA candidates as well.”
He said this in reply to a question on whether the government would allocate places for MCA in the Cabinet if the party loses many seats in the coming elections.
Najib said what was important now was for all Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties to focus on the general election, to win it and form a strong government.
“Whenever there is a problem, we always work together to find creative solutions, so please ensure that there is a strong, well-represented Malaysian government after the next general election,” he said.
To another question on some quarters still considering the Chinese community as immigrants in this country, Najib said what was important was that the government and leadership itself did not consider the Chinese as immigrants.
“I hope we don’t get too hurt by one or two offending comments as in any community, there will be one or two irresponsible persons. You have to accept that, and don’t take it too personally,” he said. — Bernama