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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Poverty eradication to gauge performance of elected reps - PM

Bernama (7/11/2007): Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Wednesday the successful eradication of poverty will be one of the key performance indicators for elected representatives in their respective constituencies.

When delivering his presidential speech at the Umno General Assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here, the Prime Minister said Barisan Nasional (BN) elected representatives must make the poverty eradication agenda as their priority because it was one of the main objectives of the New Economic Policy (NEP).

He said the poverty eradication programme which involved the interests of all ethnic groups would be given intensive attention in the second half of the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP).

"We hope that in the not too distant future, the term `poverty' will be obsolete - a word only to be found in dictionaries," he told more than 2,500 Umno delegates at the Dewan Merdeka, PWTC.

Abdullah said Malaysia would not achieve true peace for as long as there was a large number of the poor living in the country.

"Poverty can cause political instability, street demonstrations, a high crime rate and serious social problems," he said.

Abdullah urged everyone to champion the fulfilment of the objectives of the NEP to ensure a more balanced composition of the professional and middle classes so that the Malaysian society was no longer divided by profession.

He said the non-Malays need not worry about the spirit of the NEP which was being continued because it was never intended to rob anyone's rights, but to eradicate poverty in a comprehensive manner.

"Although it has been 37 years since the introduction of the NEP, we have not made the Malays rich by seizing the wealth of the non-Malays.

"In fact, the wealth of the non-Malays continues to grow. The list of the richest individuals in Malaysia is still led by the non-Malays. All parties should work towards achieving the objectives of the NEP," he added.


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