KOTA KINABALU – Malaysia is now highly regarded by the world despite the fact that it was formed only 54 years ago, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said tonight.
He said Malaysia was an unknown country on the world map before, but now, the country was regarded by world leaders as a successful nation.
“As we celebrate Malaysia Day today, let us recall how it was 54 years ago.
“Who knows about Malaysia then? An agricultural state with small population. But today, we are a successful country.
“The warm welcome and respect were given to me by world leaders, including the latest by the US president himself (Donald Trump), because they see Malaysia as a successful nation,” he said when launching the Malaysia Day celebration here yesterday.
Najib said as a sovereign state, Malaysia was now capable of becoming a capital exporter.
“That is why when I met with the US president, I I brought forth what I described as a value proposition, I told him that we were planning to purchase Boeing jets from the US, including eight Dreamliners (Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners), not merely to give easy profit to the US as bandied about by the opposition, but to enable Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to have state-of-the-art aircraft,” he said.
He said not only the move would enable MAS to replace its old planes, but also to be among the top players in the world’s aviation industry.
“We cannot let MAS to lag behind. We want to it to be on the front line so that we can bring more tourists to Malaysia, including Sabah,” he said.
Najib also explained the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) investments in the US, which had been questioned repeatedly by the opposition, saying that the move would enable the EPF to make more profit, hence increase dividends to its contributors.
“When I said that the EPF wanted to invest in the US, they (opposition) said it was no use and it was better to invest in our own country.
“They (opposition) are so shallow, not that smart,” he said.
The prime minister explained that the EPF had funds totalling RM760 billion which could be invested not only in the US, but in 39 other countries.
“The decision was not made by politicians, it was made by its investment committee.
“That is why the EPF is capable of giving a satisfactory amount of dividends to its contributors,” he added.