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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

We need 'glocal' Malays, says Najib

NST (6/11/2007): Umno has proposed a five-point strategy to uplift the nation, which emphasises the creation of "glocal" Malays with a first-class mentality who can "think globally and act locally" as the primary driver.

The four other thrusts are:

* knowledge and education as core components in nation building;

* religion and culture as the foundation of civilisation;

* economic growth and equitable distribution as a source of strength; and

* political stability as a pre-requisite to success.

Laying down the five thrusts, Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the most essential element of the glocal Malay was the mind; sharpened and trained adequately.

If the Malays were to progress, he said, they must maximise the use of their minds to compete on the global stage.

"The Malay mind must therefore be driven towards learning and training in positive, creative, lateral, proactive and innovative thinking.

"I have repeatedly spoken of the need to alter the Malay mindset through transformational leadership and to work as one team in fulfilling the Malay agenda whilst holding on to our beliefs and cultivating a capable next generation. These are the ingredients to foster a generation of glocal Malays with a first class mentality," he said when opening the Umno Youth, Wanita and Puteri assemblies here last night.

Najib, who is also deputy prime minister, said Umno and the government hoped to create a generation known as "Ulul Al Bab" -- a capable and thinking generation, adept at using their intellect and capable of thinking analytically to grow and prosper.

He said such a generation would be made up of individuals who possessed high moral values and good manners, and were steeped in knowledge and understanding of religion and other disciplines.

"They are the graduates in various fields. They are the specialist doctors, certified accountants, engineers, architects, lawyers and entrepreneurs," he added.

He said the most important investment that a Malay family could make was not in the procurement of land, property or fancy cars, but in their children's education by ensuring they get the best and highest level of education possible.

"The closing of the Muslim mind and the pointless polemics about which is more important, worldly knowledge or religious knowledge, benefits no one and only serves to weaken us," he added.

Najib also noted that as the Malays had not sufficiently mastered the economy, they must be more actively involved in economic activities to ensure that wealth distribution would be more equitable.

"We have no intention of taking away the rights of others. All we ask for is a bigger share of an economic cake that is obviously expanding," he added.

Based on the principles of equitable distribution and economic power sharing, Najib said the government had launched three regional development corridors -- the Iskandar Development Region, the Northern Corridor Economic Region and the East Coast Economic Region -- and would also launch economic regions in Sabah and Sarawak.

He said all five economic regions were the brainchild of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is also Umno president.

He called on Malay entrepreneurs to explore new and uncharted areas of business such as halal products, medicines, logistics, biotechnology, modern agriculture, Islamic finance, aerospace technologies, oil and gas, tourism and animation.

Najib explained that Barisan Nasional gave and continued to give the people good infrastructure, free education, healthcare, modern agriculture, job opportunities, business opportunities, and a high quality of living.

"At the same time we must fight crime and we must look at all the problems faced by members of the public, so as to ensure peace in the community," he added.

He also praised Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Wanita chief Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz and Puteri chief Datuk Noraini Ahmad for their tireless hard work in leading the respective wings, as well as being fully-prepared for the general election.

On the next general election:

"For us, what is most important is our preparedness to face the general election. That preparedness certainly does not mean making new bush jackets or baju kurung in anticipation of becoming candidates.

"Nor does it include whispering campaigns, jostling one another and moving about to and fro, bringing along one's resume to lobby for candidacy.

"The preparedness I was alluding to earlier is not about candidacy but about the readiness of our election machinery and activating it at all levels: ballot box areas, electoral constituencies , branch offices and divisions throughout the country."

On money politics:

"How different it is today when everything comes with a price. We must put a stop to this if this struggle is to be cleansed and kept pure. A veteran Umno leader lamented that the state of things are so different now, and cynically quipped to the effect that nowadays 'if you give, you will receive; if you don't, you will fall alone'".

On the Umno Youth kris issue:

"When Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj declared that the date of Merdeka would be Aug 31, 1957 at a special rally held in Bandar Hilir Malacca on Feb 20, 1956, he was handed a symbolic 100-year-old kris by Wanita Umno which the Tunku then unsheathed, kissed and thrust towards the sky. This act was witnessed with great jubilation and pride by all races who were overjoyed about the forthcoming independence. At that instance, the kris was a symbol of the success of a united struggle.

"And so when Umno Youth produced the Panca Warisan kris and raised it symbolically, it was quite unfair for the opposition to turn it into a political issue. The Umno Youth was not declaring hostilities but was instead reaffirming its struggle within the boundaries of the Federal Constitution."

On the New Economic Policy (NEP):

"There is a Malay opposition leader who says that the NEP should be rejected because he alleges that it enriches only a handful of Malays. This allegation is entirely baseless as the NEP has been successful in a number of ways, not the least of which is enlarging the Malay middle class.

"It has also increased the number of Malay accountants, architects, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, engineers, quantity surveyors and lawyers to as many as 42,414 individuals, which is about 38.8 per cent of the total of 109,532 professionals in the country, as reported in the 9th Malaysia Plan.

"This is hardly 'a handful' and a far cry from the number of Malay professionals in the pre-NEP period when it was only five per cent of the total or only 225 individuals. How dare the opposition try to deny empirical facts!"

On the opposition:

"Thanks to the hard work and co-operation of everyone involved, we defeated Pas in Kuala Berang. Pas fell once again in Pengkalan Pasir, and in Batu Talam the independent candidate that stood against us was completely wiped out. The DAP fell flat in Machap, and PKR failed miserably in Ijok.

"We won every single time, with impressive majorities, because of the people's resounding support for Umno and for Barisan Nasional. The opposition may have waxed lyrical in ranting and raving against us, but the people always knew better."

On students:

"Today there are more than 330,000 students in public universities around the country, and from that figure, more that 180,000 or 60 per cent of every annual intake are female students who will soon become young professionals. Imagine the strength of these young women of various races who will all enter the work force.

"Imagine the strength of Puteri Umno and also Umno Youth if all the Malay students one day join the ranks of Umno to help us reach for the stars and elevate our civilization. Imagine the joy of the parents of those students in knowing that they have produced a successful generation."

On Felda's second generation:

"There must be a concerted effort by all relevant parties to equip our young with adequate skills and give them a second chance.

"We have already done this with the second generation of Felda, and today we can see the transformation taking place.

"We have inculcated in them the philosophy that if the first generation of Felda was all about opening settlements and land for farming, then the second generation must be about opening minds.

"In the past three years we have seen more than 19,000 individuals from Felda being given various kinds of training, including 169 who will soon become aircraft maintenance engineers certified by the Malaysia Airlines Engineering Training Centre or MAETC, which is also internationally recognised.

"They are the glocal generation although they come from humble beginnings, faraway in the provinces and rural areas."


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