BEAUFORT: Malaysia’s approach in dealing with social issues like aiding the poor is getting international attention, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
Schemes such as the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) had been endorsed by 35 economists from Britain as being effective in helping the less privileged, the Prime Minister said.
“BR1M is not like animal feed as some have called it,” he said when launching the joint meetings of four Sabah Umno divisions here.
The four divisions were Kimanis headed by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, Papar (Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Ismail), Beaufort (Datuk Isnin Aliasnih) and Sipitang (Datuk Sapawi Ahmad).
Najib said the decision to hand out the assistance was not his alone but was decided by the Cabinet and supported by the Umno Supreme Council as well.
He also said he had his own approach in dealing with world leaders and avoided the confrontational method adopted by a predecessor.
“I may be amicable but I will always protect Malaysia’s interests above all,” he added.
He reminded Umno members that the party would remain strong only if they fully understood the right values, especially loyalty.
“There is no point in having the brightest mind if there is no loyalty to the party or leaders,” Najib said, adding that he was proud of ordinary Umno members who were willing to sweat under the sun to serve the people.
“They wait patiently just to shake hands and greet the leaders and not expect direct contracts or projects,” he said.
Najib said he also appreciated the fact that Sabah Umno members had been steadfast with the party since it expanded to the state in 1991.
Although Sabah Umno at 25 years could be considered the youngest sibling, he said it had grown to become the party’s backbone.
Similarly, Umno was the backbone of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, Najib said.
Without a backbone, any coalition would become like the Opposition which was disorganised and disunited, he said.
“We cannot gamble with our future. Umno and Barisan are still the best for Malaysia,” Najib said.
He said those who took shortcuts to gain power would be judged harshly by history as opportunists or being Machiavellian.
“They will be judged for their inconsistency; they say one thing now and just the opposite later.
“For example, they say the opposition DAP is a chauvinistic party but later sit down at one table with them,” Najib added.
Without naming anyone, he said a former leader who had warned against using street demonstrations to overthrow the government was now encouraging them.
“And now he is apologising for curtailing the powers of the royalty,” Najib added.