Thursday, July 22, 2010


MIRI, July 22 2010 (Bernama) -- The 1Malaysia concept is also about strengthening national unity and national integration in a multi-racial country, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Thursday.

The Prime Minister said he had pondered long and hard on how to have strong national unity and national integration given the multi-ethnicity in the country.

"Our multi-ethnicity can be our strength. On the other hand, it can be a big problem if we choose to look at our differences in race, religion or culture," he said at a meet-the-people session in Bekenu town.

"If we look at things positively, we can be very compatible with each other. All depend on our mindset.

"And if we can uphold the principles of 1Malaysia, we can co-exist very compatibly and we can be very strong," he said.

Najib said this was why the country's administration would be a blend of the principles of social justice and meritocracy and other considerations, besides implementing policies for the benefit of the people.

"We have been successful fortunately. The best example can be found in the awarding of the Public Service Department (PSD) scholarships where we have based this on the principles of meritocracy and social justice," he said.

He said based on the principles of merit, the government had given scholarships to all students who had scored 9As and above to study at local and overseas universities, irrespective of race or religion.

"But at the same time, we need to help those from the socially disadvantaged group due to their natural environment and other factors.

"There is no way for a student from Long Banga in the interior of Baram in Miri to be able to compete with a fellow student, say from Kenny Hill (Bukit Tunku) school in Kuala Lumpur," he said.

He said if the government were to solely decide based on meritocracy, the student from Long Banga or other interior places in Sarawak would have no way of becoming graduates and being successful.

Malaysians, he added, must realise it was vital for them to have a government which appreciated and recognised such factors.

On another note, Najib said in implementing its development policies and projects, such principles too came handy for the government.

"Folks in Sabah and Sarawak will have different priorities from those living in Putrajaya or Klang Valley. This we must accept," he said.

Najib also said the government, through prudent management of the country's resources and fund, had been able to overcome the challenges of the global economic crisis.

At the function he announced projects totalling RM22.63 million for Bekenu and other neighbouring areas.

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