KOTA KINABALU – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today he believes that the ongoing democratisation of education is an effective formula to eliminate the development gap between Sabah and Sarawak and the peninsula.
He said the formula enabled all Malaysians, wherever they are, to have access to not only education but quality education.
“Only through the mastery of education and knowledge can we traverse through time and elevate the dignity and status of a nation because knowledge gives us strength, and strength lies not at the end of a weapon but in a mind enriched with knowledge and skills.
“So, when we talk of our efforts to have Sabah develop in tandem with the peninsula, to eliminate the development gap, it is by way of developing the education system in Sabah,” he said.
Najib spoke when officiating at the launch of the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Teaching Hospital Construction Project at the UMS main campus here.
Also present at the event were Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Mary Yan Kain Ching and UMS vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr D Kamarudin D Mudin.
Najib said his deep concern for the development of the education sector in the country was nothing new because he had demonstrated his desire from the time that he was the Minister of Education in 1995 when he set up UMS.
He said his commitment as the Minister of Finance to empower education in Sabah was ongoing since he became the Prime Minister and that the latest was the approval of RM1 billion to upgrade schools in Sabah for the comfort of students, as announced in Budget 2018.
Better and quality infrastructure could help realise the dream of many Sabah children who had the potential to advance in education, he said.
“Today, it is becoming ever more evident that the people of Sabah are enjoying much better education opportunities,” he said.
Najib reiterated his commitment to, along with Musa, develop Sabah to a much higher level.
He said his efforts to empower education in the country would be ongoing so as to enable education in Malaysia to achieve a global benchmark.
As the leader, he said, his ongoing efforts were important in providing not only educational opportunities but also a better future for the generations to come as the young had aspired for in the series of dialogues on National Transformation 2050 (TN50).
“This is not the time for us to play politics. This is not the time for us to make empty promises. This is not the time to intimidate the people and incite hatred in society. This is the time for us to build the nation of Malaysia,” he said. – BERNAMA