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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Boost govt image, pensioners told

Publication: NST
Date of publication: Dec 10, 2013
Section heading: Main Section
Page number: 004
Byline / Author: By Azura Abas; Koi Kye Lee

PUTRAJAYA: PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday appealed to government pensioners and Umno veterans to spread the news about government's measures to boost the wellbeing of the nation and its people.

This, he said, would correct misconceptions that could hamper the nation's growth.

"For instance, when you go to the surau, maybe you can share with critics how the government's plans can benefit them and the country.

"I understand it is easier to agree with the dissident voice, but the people must be made to understand why certain measures, including the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), are taken," said Najib, who is also Umno president, at the opening of the third annual general meeting of the Umno club for retired senior government officers here yesterday.

He said the country would become a developed nation quickly once it had reduced its fiscal deficit, allowing its ratings to increase.

As former government officers, including from the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), Najib said they were in a better position to understand why Malaysia had to fortify its economy.

"When our economy is strong, we can help the people."

Najib urged pensioners who were supporters of Umno to inculcate love and loyalty in the party among their children and grandchildren.

"The saddest (moment) for me is when a father is an Umno supporter but his children are opposition supporters.

"We have to ask ourselves why such a thing is happening? Where did we go wrong?"

He called for a change in the mindset of Umno supporters.

"The past excellence (of Umno) is no guarantee of success in the future... what is necessary is for us to be brave enough to make a difference, and we have to understand that the environment has changed."

Najib said in the new environment, or new politics as he called it, the old approach or doing business as usual would not guarantee the continued success of Umno.

He said the future of the nation would be bleak if Umno did not lead the country.

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