PUTRAJAYA – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants players in the creative fields to cooperate with the government in instilling humanitarian values in their works towards moulding a society that is in line with the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) vision.
Conceding that there was a vacuum in Malaysian society today on the issue of identity and race, he said this (vacuum) made the process of nationhood not yet firm and strong.
“We have a social problem. In the last day or two, we heard about gangsterism and bullying which became the focus of society.
As such, I hope you will play your respective roles to instill noble humanitarian values in our society,” he said at a breaking-of- the-fast event at Seri Perdana here today.
Over 2,000 guests comprising literary figures, humanists, writers, cartoonists and artistes attended the event, which was held for the first time with the prime minister. The prime minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was also present.
Sixty arts association were also involved including the Federation of Writers Associations (Gapena), Malaysian National Writers Association (Pena), Malaysia National Broadcasters Associations, Malaysian Artistes Association (Seniman), Malaysian Film Producers Association (PFM) and the Malaysian Entertainment Writers and Journalists Association (Karyawan).
Recently, the nation was rocked by the death of cadet officer at Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM), Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnian, 21, and a youth T. Nhaveen, 18, after they were cruelly abused and assaulted in bullying incidents.
Commenting further, Najib said the government not only wanted to develop the best infrastructure for the nation but also to build a civilisation with high noble values.
“The message can be given in the works of all of you in a partnership which can be nurtured between the government and all of you so that we can create a new society in line with our TN50 vision,” he said.
Meanwhile, the prime minister announced a sponsorship package to perform the Umrah (minor haj) for 25 selected individuals from among the authors, artistes, arts and creative activists and humanists, intellectuals and broadcasters.
Najib said priority would be given to those who had never performed the Umrah and the less well-to-do.
“This is a sign of our sensitivity and proof the government views seriously the welfare and lot of the arts and creative people,” he said.
He said those picked would perform the Umrah after this year’s haj season.
In the meantime, he said that he was also prepared to consider a request that 1Malaysia People’s Housing (PRiMA) units be also allocated to arts activists.
“This is the government’s pro-active effort to help those in this group who are needy, other than appreciating their deeds and sacrifices all these while to society, religion and country,” he said.
Based on the outcome of the TN50 discourse with the group on May 17, Najib said the government, though the Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) had also agreed to create a special quota for arts activists to get housing benefits via the People’s Housing Programme (PPR) in Simpang Dua and Kepong, Selangor. – BERNAMA