Putrajaya has to get its priorities right and put the people first – Najib Razak

Putrajaya has to get its priorities right and put the people first – Najib Razak

PETALING JAYA – Putrajaya has to get its priorities right and put the people first, said former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak amid fierce criticism over the government’s response to the flood disaster in several states, particularly in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

Speaking to the press after launching the 2021 World Chinese Economic Forum (WCEF) here, he said it is crucial for the government to use its machinery in a coordinated manner with the utmost urgency when faced with any disasters.

“Even if it is 2am or 3am, (the government) must mobilise whatever assets it has. We have assets available, such as war reserves that we can utilise.”

When asked about his thoughts on the government’s performance in handling the flood disaster, he merely said it is for the people to judge.

On the actions of some ministers going on holidays or taking advantage of photo opportunities at affected areas, Najib noted his answer may be tantamount to criticising the present administration.

“We all learned from this experience and I hope that when the next floods occur, we will be more prepared to galvanise our machinery effectively.

“I have always said to put the people first in whatever situation.”

Earlier, Najib had lambasted former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration during his keynote speech at the conference.

He said after the 2018 PH takeover of Putrajaya, it had resulted in one of the most fraught periods in Malaysia-China relations.

“The East Coast Rail Link, and two China-financed oil and gas pipeline projects were suspended. This has rattled the confidence of the Chinese investor community,” Najib said.

He said PH finally sang a different tune compared to before the 2018 general election, acknowledging that Chinese investments and tech capabilities are opportunities to drive Malaysia’s economic development.

On the controversial Forest City project, Najib said Dr Mahathir had previously accused the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration of selling the nation’s sovereignty to China.

“However, soon after the 2018 election that PH won on the back of this and other similar claims, he (Dr Mahathir) began switching his stance.

“Suddenly, they (PH) now say the Forest City project had contributed immensely to the government, created employment opportunities, promoted technology transfer and innovations, and benefited Malaysia’s economic growth and job creation.”

Yesterday, it was reported that Najib will be launching and presenting a keynote address at the 2021 WCEF, despite being described as a “national embarrassment” after the Court of Appeal upheld his SRC International Sdn Bhd conviction.

WCEF is an annual one-day event that aims to discuss the future of the world with China’s global stewardship.

This year will see 250 delegates comprising government leaders, captains of industries, and budding entrepreneurs discussing economic issues pertaining to the rising global superpower.

Besides a session on the topic of employing multilateralism when tackling global crises, the event will also facilitate discussions on China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The panellists speaking at the event include Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Datuk R. Ramanathan, Asem Young Leaders Network Singapore president Soh Yi Da, Malaysian Institute of Economic Research research fellow Saizi Xiao, and Selangor BN information chief Isham Jalil.

– The Vibes, December 27, 2021

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