From Mokhtar Hussain
NEW YORK: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Monday (Tuesday in Malaysia) spoke to some 200 young Malaysians studying in the United States, urging them to believe in the future of the country.
“I want you to believe in the future of Malaysia,” he told the students and Malaysian diaspora gathered at the office of the Malaysian Permanent Representative to the United Nations, located east of 43rd street in midtown Manhattan.
The prime minister had earlier delivered a speech at the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping at the nearby UN headquarters.
Najib told the students that they must equip themselves with knowledge and skills for them to take up vast opportunities being created back home.
The prime minister also called the students not to be influenced on what had been written in the blogs or news portals, especially those based on hearsay or unproven allegations.
The prime minister said he was committed to ensuring that good governance continued in Malaysia and that the government would continue to create more opportunities for the rakyat.
“We have improved a lot. In terms of being a Muslim country, we are listed as the most promising country. Bloomberg has listed Malaysia as top five best emerging market in the world.
“A few days ago I met with Fitch (Ratings). Despite the current economic situation, they believed that we are on the right track especially after we have been brave enough to implement the GST and the rationalization of the subsidy,” he said.
Najib said the government would try hard in strengthening the resilience of the Malaysian economy.
“Malaysians must realize that as a nation, the strength is in being together. If we are together we will be much stronger than if we are divided,” he said, adding that Malaysia’s success would be a joy for him.
The prime minister said that the government was open to criticism.
“You can disagree with the government. You can protest against the government but follow the law,” he added.
Najib also recounted his experience playing golf with U.S. President Barack Obama when several states in Malaysia were hit by flood late last year.
“I am now on record as being the only Prime Minister that played golf with Obama. But unfortunately the timing was wrong. So I didn’t get any political dividend.
“I did it because I thought that is a very positive way to develop personal relationship with the President of the United States and I did it for Malaysia. I didn’t do it for my own personal gains,” he said.
Also present were Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Wahid Omar and Malaysian Ambassador to the United States Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin.– BERNAMA